Se­rial fa­ther keeps chummy re­la­tion­ships with his exes

The Washington Times Daily - - LIFE - ABI­GAIL VAN BUREN 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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

DEAR ABBY: I re­cently met a 28-year-old fa­ther of three I’m in­ter­ested in. He seems won­der­ful. He’s a hard worker, takes care of his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and is an amaz­ing fa­ther to his chil­dren. They’re all still very lit­tle, but they’re great kids.

The only thing that’s been on my mind lately is he has a lot of bag­gage. Those kids are from three dif­fer­ent women. He gets along with all of them very well, to the point that they some­times do stuff to­gether with the chil­dren. They go out to places, or some­times he in­vites them over to his place to swim in the pool.

I un­der­stand that he has to main­tain a healthy re­la­tion­ship with his exes for the sake of the chil­dren, but I never thought it would be this “healthy.” I have never ex­pe­ri­enced some­thing like this. I ap­pre­ci­ate him be­ing up­front about ev­ery­thing, but I can’t stop think­ing about it. Am I over­re­act­ing? — THREE’S COM­PANY

DEAR THREE’S COM­PANY: I don’t think so. While I ad­mire the man’s de­vo­tion to his chil­dren — not to men­tion his skilled diplo­matic abil­ity — it does ap­pear that he has a prob­lem mak­ing a last­ing com­mit­ment to a woman. Un­less you would se­ri­ously con­sider join­ing this “harem,” I urge you to re­li­giously prac­tice con­tra­cep­tion. If you would like chil­dren in the fu­ture, it would be bet­ter to ap­proach it with some­one who isn’t as mar­riage-pho­bic as this young man ap­pears to be.

DEAR ABBY: I re­cently at­tended a wed­ding af­ter which the bride chose not to adopt her hus­band’s last name. Af­ter the wed­ding we met them for din­ner. When they strolled up to the restau­rant to meet us, I hap­pily ex­claimed, “Oh, here come Mr. and Mrs. Smith!” af­ter which I was quickly in­formed that I was wrong be­cause the bride was keep­ing her maiden name.

Abby, even if a woman goes by her maiden name, is it so wrong to re­fer to her as “the Mrs.”? -- STEPPED IN IT

DEAR STEPPED: Your mis­take was an in­no­cent one. Now that you know this cou­ple is sen­si­tive about their in­di­vid­ual iden­ti­ties, ad­dress them by their names (“Linda” and “Robert”) if you wish to main­tain a so­cial re­la­tion­ship.

DEAR ABBY: You and your mother have an­swered many sex­ual ques­tions in your col­umn over the years. Edi­tors back in the ‘50s were more prud­ish about what could be pub­lished in fam­ily pa­pers. Did your mother have to bat­tle with dragons to print sex­ual ques­tions from her read­ers? — SONNY IN ALABAMA

DEAR SONNY: If she did, she didn’t men­tion it to me. While I agree that edi­tors back then — and even now — tend to be con­ser­va­tive, if they dis­ap­prove of a let­ter, they are free not to print it.

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