DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend of 15 years is in prison. We have two children together. Our relationship has been rough. We had a fight, and he went to jail for it. Another reason he went to prison is he violated his probation and failed to report.
I take the kids to see him, and he still wants us to be together. He has nowhere to go when he gets out. How do I tell him I don’t want him back at my house without him retaliating on me? — AFRAID IN TEXAS
DEAR AFRAID: This is how. Tell him plainly that because of the circumstances that sent him to jail, you no longer want him living under your roof. It’s bad for the children. Therefore, he will be finding other living arrangements when he is released.
He may not like it, but please remember you owe him nothing. You have to stand your ground for your children’s sake. Should he stalk or threaten you in any way, go to the police. Tell them you are afraid of him and why, and ask about a restraining order because he is violent.
DEAR ABBY: When my husband and I eat a meal, as soon as he’s finished he gets up and wanders around. We call that the “wandering” phase of his meal. I have asked him to no avail to stay seated and talk with me. I think it is disrespectful.
My husband also pulls out his phone when we are out with friends. I have told him that what he’s doing is basically telling them he would rather see what’s on his phone than converse with them. He doesn’t do it for the entire meal, but when he does, it irritates me. How can I get basic manners across to him? — LONELY AT MEALTIME
DEAR LONELY: I knew a person years ago who had an impulse control problem similar to the one you describe your husband having. The man had been in an auto accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury. In your husband’s case, it appears he either has attention deficit disorder or “suffers” from a lack of consideration for your feelings. There is help for the former, but you can’t teach basic manners to someone who doesn’t want to learn. You have my sympathy. Try not to let it give you heartburn.
DEAR ABBY: I work as a parcel clerk in a major retail store. The biggest part of my job is returning shopping carts from the parking lot to the lobby. Shoppers have a habit that makes my job a lot harder than it needs to be, so I want to get this message out to as many people as possible:
Please push your shopping cart all the way into the next one when you put it away. I’m not asking you to bring your cart all the way back to the store. Just remember that each cart can nest into the one in front of it.
You have no idea how much faster I could do my job if everybody did this. Thank you for helping get the word out. — PLEA FROM THE PARKING LOT
DEAR PLEA: Glad to help. And as long as we are on the subject of shopping carts, may I add that those cute little straps that are meant to secure small children in the upper compartment of the cart tend to get caught and lock the carts together if folks are careless after they unhook their children. It can be next to impossible to untangle those carts. I speak from experience.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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