Dear Abby

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FEATURES - 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 or­der “How to Write Letters for All Oc­ca­sions,”

Af­ter­math of son’s af­fair puts grand­mother in awk­ward spot.

DEAR ABBY: My son had an af­fair that re­sulted in the birth of a child out­side his mar­riage. The baby is ex­tremely ill. My daugh­ter-in-law has for­given my son for his in­fi­delity, and along with my two grand­chil­dren, the lit­tle fam­ily is try­ing to re­build and also do right by the baby.

The baby’s mother stays in con­tact with us, although she is bit­ter and un­pleas­ant to my son be­cause he would not leave his fam­ily for her. How­ever, she does keep us abreast of the baby’s on­go­ing med­i­cal con­di­tion and needs. She con­fided to me that she got preg­nant hop­ing that my son would fi­nally leave his fam­ily.

My ques­tion is: How do I han­dle the re­la­tion­ship we have been forced into with the baby’s mother? I need moral guid­ance, and some kind of eti­quette guid­ance as well. MORAL DILEMMA


DEAR M.D.: Don’t blame the woman for feel­ing bit­ter. Her at­tempt to force your son into leav­ing his fam­ily failed, and she’s now re­spon­si­ble for a very sick child. How­ever, that doesn’t change the fact that the baby is your grand­child, and she is your grand­child’s mother. Treat her with kind­ness.

Don’t make things more dif­fi­cult than they are by be­ing hos­tile or judg­men­tal.

She’s pay­ing for this af­fair and will for many years to come. Re­mem­ber al­ways that she is ma­nip­u­la­tive, but treat her

with com­pas­sion.

DEAR ABBY: I have a good friend I’ve known for 35 years. I was there for her dur­ing some rough times when we were both liv­ing pay­check-to-pay­check. Long story short, she’s now mar­ried to a mil­lion­aire, and ev­ery time we get to­gether, she in­sists on pick­ing up the check.

Truth­fully, I sup­pose it makes no sense for me to pay. I get that. Fifty dol­lars to me is like 50 cents to her. But the last thing I want is for her to feel I’m tak­ing ad­van­tage or tak­ing her for granted. Once I did grab the din­ner tab, and she re­ally let me have it!

Am I over­think­ing this? Should I just ac­cept her good for­tune and gen­eros­ity? – VAL­UES FRIEND­SHIP IN THE MID­WEST

DEAR VAL­UES FRIEND­SHIP: It ap­pears your friend also val­ues friend­ship and ap­pre­ci­ates how pre­cious long-term re­la­tion­ships are. The two of you have a lot of shared history, and that kind of friend­ship isn’t easy to repli­cate.

I do think you should ac­cept her gen­eros­ity, but I also think you should share your feel­ings with her so she can put your mind at ease. If it will make you feel less in­debted, con­sider giv­ing her an oc­ca­sional gift. It doesn’t have to be ex­pen­sive, just thought­ful.

DEAR ABBY: What are the best words to use when you re­al­ize the psy­chother­a­pist you re­cently be­gan ther­apy with isn’t the right one for you? Should the words be said in per­son, over the phone in his voice­mail or in writ­ing? I want to get this over with as soon as pos­si­ble and start look­ing for some­one who may bet­ter suit me and my is­sues. – LOOK­ING FOR THE RIGHT ONE IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR LOOK­ING: The words are, “This isn’t work­ing for me, and I won’t be com­ing back.” Be sure to tell the per­son why. Your mes­sage can be con­veyed faceto-face, left as a phone mes­sage or be put in writ­ing. The choice is yours.

Dear Abby

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