Dear Abby: Red flags go up as younger man romances widow

One hint of a possible scam artist: He posted a photo of the woman’s lake house and claimed it was his.

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DEAR ABBY: A friend of mine lost her husband a couple of years ago. I didn’t think she was looking for love or companionship, but all of a sudden she has met a younger man, and I’m concerned. I have observed several red flags, but I’m not sure if I should say something.

She owns a home in a big city and another smaller, very nice one with a view of the lake in a resort town three hours away. This man has posted on his main Facebook page a picture of “his” new cabin. (I don’t have any details regarding who else was there.) I looked at his Facebook pictures and saw one of his daughter, who looks to be around 13, along with several pictures of a woman I assume to be his beautiful significant other posing with him and his daughter.

On my friend’s birthday, he showed up at her door with a huge bouquet, balloons and all. She called a mutual friend about the flowers and was all giddy. This scenario makes me suspect he’s a predator who may start asking her for money. What, if anything, should I do? — FRIEND SEEING SIGNS

DEAR FRIEND: If it were me, I’d ask my friend how SHE enjoyed the family party at her lake house — and whether she has seen what this new man in her life has posted about it on his FB. Then, I would tell her how seeing his claim that the place is “his” made you do a double-take. After that, I would simply listen.

DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law, “Gladys,” was never a particularly good mother as her kids were growing up. We don’t get along very well. She interjects herself into every aspect of my family’s life, especially when some sort of crisis happens. Most recently, it concerned the death of my wife’s father’s second wife. Gladys actually parked her truck in front of ours to prevent us from going over there to give him emotional support.

When she acts like this, my wife refuses to stand up to her. This woman has more than once come between me and my family. How should I confront her and my wife about this? I feel like Gladys had her chance, but now it is my place to call the shots. Please tell me if I am being unreasonable. — HUSBAND AND DAD IN GEORGIA

DEAR HUSBAND: I don’t think you are being unreasonable. I do think you need to have a serious, private conversation with your wife. You both need to learn how to set firm boundaries for her mother. If you need help doing that, consult a marriage counselor. A marriage in which one spouse feels sidelined is headed for trouble.

DEAR READERS: At sundown, the first night of Passover begins. This major Jewish holiday celebrates the most momentous event in Jewish history: the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. Happy Passover to my readers who observe this important holiday. — LOVE, ABBY

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.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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