Par­ents of star ath­letes re­main stuck in the past

Austin American-Statesman - - AUSTIN360 DAILY - Dear Abby

Dear Abby: For the last eight years I have been the mother of a star in our lo­cal high school. When one of my boys would grad­u­ate, the next would take over and be even more ath­letic or mu­si­cally tal­ented — and in my youngest son’s case, both.

Now that they are gone I can’t stand hear­ing other par­ents talk about their chil­dren’s ac­com­plish­ments. I also can’t stop my­self from mak­ing some com­ment about how my sons were bet­ter. I know it’s wrong, but I still do it.

Sport­ing events make me sad and my hus­band de­pressed. Is this empty nest? We can’t seem to fig­ure out how to move on. Have you any sug­ges­tions? More chil­dren are out of the ques­tion.

— Spot­lights Dimmed in Ohio

Dear S.D.: What you may fail to see is that all par­ents are proud of their kids, and if you con­tinue to com­pare other peo­ple’s chil­dren un­fa­vor­ably with your own, you will soon be as wel­come as a pole­cat at a garden party.

This is why I urge you and your hus­band to take a lit­tle time, re­fo­cus your at­ten­tion to chil­dren less for­tu­nate than your own, and in­vest some of your en­ergy in other youths who need the en­cour­age­ment and sup­port you can give. If you do, you will be re­warded many times over.

Dear Abby: My ex­hus­band — who had an af­fair — and I have been di­vorced for three years, but have been forced into a room­mate sit­u­a­tion due to health is­sues on my part and fi­nan­cial is­sues on his. We have two kids to­gether that I have needed his help with. How­ever, there is a po­ten­tial “new guy” in my life who is un­com­fort­able that my ex still lives here.

My friends tell me I’m too nice to have let him stay here for so long. I feel it’s the char­i­ta­ble thing to do be­cause he has nowhere to go. I’m also afraid my kids will think I’m be­ing hate­ful if I kick their fa­ther out. Oh my God, Abby, what do I do?

— In Tran­si­tion in Ten­nessee

Dear In Tran­si­tion: If you want to stay “stuck” in your predica­ment, al­low your former hus­band to con­tinue liv­ing there. If you would like to go on with your life, then rec­og­nize that very few men would want to date a woman who has an­other man liv­ing with her.

By al­low­ing your ex to stay with you, you have al­lowed your chil­dren to think your mar­riage could be re­paired. If that is not the case — and search your heart be­fore an­swer­ing that ques­tion — then set a time limit for him to leave.

Dear Abby: My hus­band and I went to a restau­rant last night. We were en­joy­ing our meal when a cou­ple came in and sat at a ta­ble close to ours. Soon, a bad body odor wafted over to where we were sit­ting. It was so strong I couldn’t fin­ish my din­ner.

When we got up to pay our bill, we told the man­ager about it and asked what could be done. He said that was a tough ques­tion and he didn’t know the an­swer. I told him I was go­ing to write to Dear Abby and ask. He said if I got an an­swer to be sure to let him know. What would you sug­gest? — Chok­ing in Iowa Dear Chok­ing: It was not the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the restau­rant staff to “do” any­thing about your prob­lem. The thing to do was change to a ta­ble in an­other sec­tion. If you were ques­tioned about it — which I doubt you would be — the po­lite re­sponse would be that you pre­ferred a ta­ble in a dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tion. Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Dear Abby ap­pears on Sun­day, Mon­day, Wed­nes­day and Fri­day. Email Dear Abby at

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