Dear Abby: My ex, a deadbeat and a thief, tries to turn my family against me
He’s cozying up to his former wife’s adult children, parents and siblings, and now they want her to forgive him for his shameful past.
DEAR ABBY: I was married for 10 years before I found out my ex was living a double life — other women, children, etc. We divorced, and afterward, I provided the best possible life for our three children.
My ex was the typical deadbeat dad — never there for his children. Twelve years later, my children are adults, and he has decided to show up and start a relationship with them. Anytime they have milestones with church, college, jobs, weddings, etc., he is there.
I have stepped back and let them decide what kind of relationship they want with him. Even worse, my ex also has rekindled his relationship with my parents and siblings. He’s turning my family against me, although we have both remarried. When I try to talk to them about it, they say, “I’m sorry you feel that way,” “He’s changed,” “Why can’t you forgive him?”
Abby, my ex stole his business partner’s money to live his double life. If he has “changed,” why is he once again trying to turn my family against me? What do I do? Must I divorce myself from my parents and siblings? — NEVER RID OF HIM
DEAR NEVER RID: A man who lives a double life, neglects his responsibilities as a parent and steals from his business partner without trying to make amends to ALL of them doesn’t appear to have “changed.” Your children, parents and siblings have “chosen” to forgive and welcome him back into the fold regardless of how it affects you. (He must be one heck of a salesman.)
It’s time to look into your heart and decide how much of this togetherness (!) you can tolerate. Some discussions with a licensed mental health professional could be helpful in this regard. If, after that, you conclude that less contact with your parents and siblings under these circumstances would be healthier for you, then do what is best for yourself.
DEAR ABBY: My stepson is being released from prison after assaulting his 9-year-old stepdaughter in my home. He plans on living here with us, with his dad’s blessing. A few years ago, I was sexually assaulted, and I still suffer from PTSD because of it. It’s getting worse as the release date approaches.
My stepson has problems with drugs and alcohol as well as anger issues. He expects us to pay for whatever he wants. We have spent a third of our retirement money on his legal expenses, and there are no plans for him to pay us back. He has mistreated my dog several times, and I do not trust him.
Am I wrong for not wanting him in my home? My husband has turned a deaf ear to my concerns. I guess blood is thicker than water. — DREADING IT IN THE WEST
DEAR DREADING IT: Trust your instincts. Because your husband has chosen to ignore your concerns about his son living with you, the time has come for you to take care of yourself. Consult an attorney about protecting whatever assets you still have before they are completely depleted, take your dog and get out of there NOW. Believe me, you have my sympathy.
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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