Man puts drink­ing is­sue on dis­play in front yard

Austin American-Statesman - - THE PLANNER - Jeanne Phillips Dear Abby

Dear Abby: I’m a wid­owed se­nior who has been dat­ing a very kind man, “Ben,” for three years. He’s re­tired; I am not. He does things for and with me, and we en­joy trav­el­ing to­gether.

The prob­lem is, Ben usu­ally starts drink­ing about 3 p.m. at the neigh­bor­hood bar. I’m wel­come to join him, but I pre­fer to work at my job or vol­un­teer in the com­mu­nity. By the grace of God, Ben has made it home safely ev­ery night, but I’m afraid he will even­tu­ally hurt some­one.

My son came home for a month be­cause of a job change, and tonight he found Ben passed out in the front yard. I told my son I was sorry, and he said not to be, but he does not want his fam­ily — my grand­chil­dren — around when Ben is like this.

I am so em­bar­rassed. I would miss this re­la­tion­ship, but I’m won­der­ing if you think I should end it. — Miss­ing the Good in Him

Dear Miss­ing the Good: It must have been clear to you for some time that Ben has a se­ri­ous drink­ing prob­lem that needs to be ad­dressed. Whether you should end the re­la­tion­ship de­pends upon whether he is will­ing to ad­mit that he has a prob­lem and is will­ing to do some­thing about it.

Be­cause Ben’s drink­ing is now af­fect­ing you and, by ex­ten­sion, your fam­ily, it’s time to con­front him and give him a choice — get help or find another lady friend. There are Al­co­holics Anony­mous groups world­wide and in al­most ev­ery com­mu­nity. Steer Ben in that di­rec­tion, and while you’re at it, lo­cate the near­est Al-Anon group for your­self. You will find it both sym­pa­thetic and help­ful. These groups are as close as your phone di­rec­tory or your com­puter. Visit

Dear Abby: I re­cently uti­lized a na­tional an­ces­try com­pany to de­ter­mine my her­itage. I also pro­vided kits to my adult chil­dren think­ing it would be a fun ex­er­cise we all could share. Un­for­tu­nately, my good deed came with un­ex­pected con­se­quences.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­sults, my youngest son isn’t re­lated to me. Ap­par­ently, un­be­knownst to me, my ex-wife had an af­fair 25 years ago.

What do I do now? Should I con­front my ex to ver­ify the af­fair and learn the iden­tity of my son’s father? How do we tell my son? Should we? How do we han­dle our fam­i­lies? Keep it a se­cret? I would ap­pre­ci­ate your guid­ance. — Un­known Fam­ily Tree

Dear Un­known: Be­fore mak­ing ac­cu­sa­tions or an­nounce­ments, it is im­por­tant that you de­ter­mine the ac­cu­racy of the test to make ab­so­lutely sure the re­sults are con­clu­sive. If a sec­ond test ver­i­fies the first, your son should be in­formed be­cause he has a right to know his fa­mil­ial med­i­cal his­tory — and HE should talk to his mother about who his bi­o­log­i­cal father is.

For ev­ery­thing you need to know about wed­ding plan­ning, or­der “How to Have a Lovely Wed­ding.” Send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wed­ding Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. (Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.)

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