Dear Abby: Husband’s rejection of our polyamorous son breaks my heart

Father refuses to speak to man who has decided, along with his wife, that they see other partners.

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DEAR ABBY: Our son “Victor” and his wife have informed us that they are “polyamorous.” They have been married for nine years, and were together for five years before they married. They have agreed to this arrangement, and their partners know they are married. They love each other, own a home together and plan to be together forever. They are “safe,” and no one is getting hurt.

Because of their lifestyle, my husband, “Del,” has not communicated with them for more than 16 months. He says if I die first, he’ll make sure they get nothing in his will. I have visited them alone (we live over 800 miles away) and plan to do so in the future. Our other married son, “Mike,” tried to talk to his father about this, but Del still refuses to budge. When Mike said this means we will never be together as a family again, his father had no response.

I have told Del this is breaking my heart. I have considered leaving him over this. However, if I leave, I’m doing the same thing he has done — refusing to have a relationship because I don’t like his behavior. My husband also refuses to go to family gatherings with his cousins or his brother because he has fundamental political differences with them. In fact, there are now only four family members he’s interested in seeing. I thought he would soften his attitude over time, but he hasn’t. What should I do? — HEARTBROKEN IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR HEARTBROKEN: What you do is continue living your life as you always have, and see your children and other relatives as often as you wish. By now it should be obvious that nothing will change your husband’s attitude. If he insists on isolating and punishing himself, you can’t stop him.

If Del becomes vindictive or punitive to you, consult a legal adviser about whether you want to stay in a marriage like this. If you choose to leave, you will be able to decide INDEPENDENTLY how your assets should be distributed in the event of your death.

DEAR ABBY: My wedding ring from my first marriage was perfect. My ex asked my dad for my late mother’s ring to propose to me. He then took Mom’s ring to the jeweler and had the stone put in a modern, beautiful setting that I loved.

We are divorced now because my husband transitioned to female. We’re amicable, all things considered. I can’t imagine a lovelier ring if I want to remarry someday. If I do, can I use the same ring because of its sentimental value? I think I may want a fresh start and a different ring, but I can’t imagine anything better and I feel stuck. — THINKING ABOUT THE RING

DEAR THINKING: This is something you will need to discuss with the next person who expresses an interest in marrying you. Many men would not like the idea of you wearing the ring from your first marriage. A compromise might be to reuse the heirloom stone and have it placed in a setting you both agree is appropriate. (It would sure save someone a lot of money.)

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.

Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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