Dear Abby: Large stepdaughters could get hurt if they use my delicate chair

It’s likely to get awkward warning them about the new seat on the deck.

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DEAR ABBY: I married a widower eight years ago, and we are very happy. However, his three grown daughters were angry that he moved on with his life after the death of their mother. To keep peace in the family, I have tried to “kill them with kindness,” and while we’ve made progress, I feel they take advantage of me and sometimes treat me with disrespect.

Although we don’t swim often, we go to the expense of opening our pool every summer so the children and grandchildren can swim. Frequently when I check the pool after they leave, I find my pool floats have been damaged or destroyed. All three of his daughters are very large women. Not once have they mentioned that they damaged the floats or offered to replace them.

I bought a new chair for my deck recently and noticed that it has a weight limit of 250 pounds. At least two of his daughters — maybe all three — exceed the weight limit. I’m considering selling the chair because I’m afraid someone will get hurt. Is there a way to let them know they shouldn’t try out my new chair without it turning into an awkward situation? — POOL PROTECTOR

DEAR POOL PROTECTOR: Unless you want to be perceived as the “wicked stepmother,” your husband should handle this delicate subject. HE should point out to his daughters that if they or their children break something, he expects them to tell the two of you about it. If it happens repeatedly, they should either replace the item or bring one of their own.

Because you are concerned his daughters will break the chair, consider buying foam mats they and their kids can cover with beach towels and use when they are on the patio. Furniture you do not want them to use should not be made available to them.

DEAR ABBY: Would it be wrong to tell my ex-husband’s girlfriend (who he left me for) that he still tells me he loves me and can’t move on because of me? He says it no matter how many times I have told him I don’t ever want him back. He has also said he doesn’t plan to remarry, despite the fact that she wants to get married and is being led to believe he loves her and wants to marry her. (I have the text messages to prove it.)

I don’t want her to be hurt like I was. She moved away from her family to be with him. She has no family here, but she has a great job, and he’s just using her for her money. I know I shouldn’t care, but I think she should know how he feels. I hate that he’s lying to her and using her. Should I send her the texts I have or leave well enough alone? — WANTS TO WARN IN THE SOUTH

DEAR WANTS: You can try to warn this woman by sharing the texts your ex has sent to you. You probably will not be believed if you do, but at least your conscience will be clear, and you can go on with your life.

May I make one more suggestion? Block him on your devices. Your ex is very bad news.

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.

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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