Wife fears los­ing her fam­ily if she leaves them for lover

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - COMMUNITY/ENTERTAINMENT - Abi­gail Van Buren Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. For an ex­cel­lent guide to be­com­ing a bet­ter con­ver­sa­tion­al­ist and a more so­cia­ble per­son, or­der "How to Be Pop­u­lar." Send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plu

DEAR ABBY: I live in Is­rael, and for the past five years I’ve been hav­ing an af­fair with a great guy I’ll call Yuri. I mar­ried very young to a man who is kind and very Ortho­dox. I love my chil­dren and grand­chil­dren.

Yuri thinks we should leave our spouses and make a fresh start. (I’m not Ortho­dox and nei­ther is he.) I am afraid if I do, I may lose my chil­dren and grand­chil­dren. On the other hand, I can’t sur­vive with­out Yuri.

I have al­ways had lovers since I dis­cov­ered how Ortho­dox my hus­band is – it’s a sur­vival thing. I am go­ing nuts. What should I do? – IN TUR­MOIL IN IS­RAEL

DEAR IN TUR­MOIL: Con­sider VERY care­fully what a new life with Yuri will cost you, be­cause it’s go­ing to be emo­tion­ally ex­pen­sive. Right now you are part of a com­mu­nity, with stand­ing in that com­mu­nity. If you leave it, all of that will be gone, and you will likely be shunned.

While run­ning away with your lover may seem ro­man­tic, I would be very sur­prised if it didn’t spell the end of your re­la­tion­ship with your chil­dren and grand­chil­dren. A de­ci­sion like this should not be taken lightly; it needs to be made ra­tio­nally. If you are "go­ing nuts," you are NOT think­ing ra­tio­nally, so please, dis­cuss this with a coun­sel­lor more fa­mil­iar with Ortho­dox cus­tom than I.

DEAR ABBY: My ex sent our chil­dren let­ters from prison. I didn’t give them the let­ters be­cause he was abu­sive. In one of them he asked our daugh­ter to for­give him and not pun­ish him for­ever. Abby, her father had abused her, and he’s ask­ing for her to stop pun­ish­ing HIM? She was go­ing to kill her­self be­cause of what he did to her.

My daugh­ter went through sev­eral years of in­tense coun­selling and still bat­tles de­pres­sion, so there is no way I’ll per­mit him to have con­tact with her or my other chil­dren. I have had no con­tact with him since we split up sev­eral years ago. My lawyer mailed the di­vorce pa­pers and that was that. Should I write him a let­ter and tell him what I think? – NOWHERE IN TEXAS

DEAR NOWHERE: No, your lawyer should. One of the hall­marks of abusers is that they tend to blame their vic­tims for their ac­tions. The state­ment in your ex’s let­ter ac­cus­ing your daugh­ter of "pun­ish­ing him" with her si­lence is trou­bling. She’s un­der no obli­ga­tion to for­give her abuser.

When he is fi­nally re­leased from prison, one of the con­di­tions may be that he must have no con­tact with mi­nors. And if by then your chil­dren are no longer mi­nors, one can only hope that they have be­come ma­ture enough to pro­tect them­selves emo­tion­ally – and phys­i­cally, if nec­es­sary – from their father. DEAR ABBY: I’m 13, and a girl in my grade likes me – RE­ALLY likes me, but I think I’m too young. All my friends say I should go for it and have her as a girl­friend, but I’m not sure I should. I need pro­fes­sional help. – NOT QUITE READY IN GE­OR­GIA

DEAR NOT QUITE READY: De­ter­min­ing when a per­son is "ready" for a ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship isn’t some­thing other peo­ple can or should de­cide. If you’re not sure you want a girl­friend right now, the fact that she likes you – RE­ALLY likes you – isn’t as im­por­tant as what YOU think and YOU feel. You ap­pear to have a good head on your shoul­ders. Let it be your guide and don’t al­low your well-mean­ing friends to push you into any­thing.

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