Dear Abby: They won’t admit their dad is a lying, cheating dirtbag

Man’s ex can’t believe some of her grown children consider their unscrupulous father a wonderful guy.

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DEAR ABBY: My ex and I were together 17 years. He was a cheater, a liar, and any other way a horrible husband can be described. I divorced him six years ago.

My problem is a few of our kids think he’s a wonderful guy. The older one (25) lived with him until a few months ago. I don’t know how to make her understand how horrible he is. I think if she stepped back for a while, she would see it, but she (and several of his other kids) have been completely brainwashed.

She’s very quick to ask a question, but when I respond in a way she feels is negative about her dad, she suddenly has to hang up or needs to go do something. I’m lost trying to make her see how their part of the family looks like a cult to everyone else in the family. — KNOWS THE TRUTH IN OHIO

DEAR KNOWS: Trying to reason with your daughter is a waste of time. Trying to “deprogram” your children from the “cult” of loving their father isn’t working, so quit trying. By persisting, you will only drive a wedge between you. As you stated, once they have stepped back, they may begin to see the light without help from you. Let it happen on its own.

DEAR ABBY: A friend of 35 years recently accused me of exposing her and her mother to COVID. She told me she thinks I did it on purpose because I thought so little of them. This is not true!

I had been home for eight days and saw her on a Friday. The following Wednesday I felt sick, so I got tested. When my test the next Monday came back positive, I told her immediately. Since then she has blocked me and won’t talk to me to figure out what happened. I don’t even know if they got sick.

We have been good friends and helped each other often. I have done a lot for her, but she still refuses to talk to me. What should I do? — BLOCKED BY COVID IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR BLOCKED: When people are frightened, they sometimes act emotionally instead of rationally. A problem with COVID is that people can be infected, without symptoms, and spread the virus without becoming sick (yet) themselves. This is why mask-wearing and social-distancing are so important. From your description, this may be what happened in your case.

Give your friend time to cool off and continue trying to reach out to her. Then hope that in light of your long friendship, she’ll calm down and you can reconnect.

DEAR ABBY: I’ve never seen you answer a question like mine. I have a $20 bill that was torn. At some point, the two halves became separated in my pocket, and I lost one of them. Is there any way I could get value for the half that I still have? — POOR IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR POOR: I’m sorry, but the answer is probably no. If you had three-quarters of the bill, you could take it to a bank and exchange it for a whole bill. But because you have only half, you are out of luck. Sorry!

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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