Dad will dis­own son if he digs into fam­ily his­tory

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - PARTIES ETC. - Jeanne Phillips www.Dear­Abby.com

DEAR ABBY: I am a 22-yearold, sin­gle male who re­cently grad­u­ated from col­lege. I re­ceived lots of con­grat­u­la­tions in per­son and by phone, text and so­cial me­dia.

One of them came from a woman my age named "Bree." When I re­sponded, I didn't re­call ever hav­ing friended her but learned she's a cousin who lives back east. Ap­par­ently, her mother and my fa­ther are sib­lings. When I asked my fa­ther about it, he got very de­fen­sive and told me who­ever it was I spoke to is a com­plete and to­tal liar. Or­di­nar­ily, I might have agreed, but his re­ac­tion tells me there's a lot more to this.

I want to find out more. Nei­ther of my par­ents will say a word about it, and I don't know why. When I told them I plan to travel to the East Coast and meet Bree, I was told I may not be wel­comed back if I do! This makes me won­der what hor­ri­ble thing could have hap­pened that would make a fa­ther con­sider dis­own­ing his son.

Be­cause my fa­ther won't share the truth with me, I am left with only this op­tion. Pur­sue this, find part of my fam­ily I never knew ex­isted and learn some­thing, but lose the fam­ily I have and re­gret it for­ever. Any in­sight?

— Lost Cousin in Cal­i­for­nia DEAR COUSIN: I can of­fer in­sight, but not a roadmap for how to pro­ceed. Fam­ily se­crets can be dev­as­tat­ing. That your fa­ther re­acted so strongly shows how threat­ened he is that you might un­cover some­thing he isn't proud of.

As a col­lege grad­u­ate, I am sure you are fa­mil­iar with the myth about Pan­dora's box. While you may not lose your fa­ther if you delve into this, you may find that when you do, your im­age of him may be shat­tered. If you re­ally feel you will "re­gret it for­ever" if you do, then make sure you are pre­pared for the pos­si­ble penalty.

DEAR ABBY: My only son and his wife had their first baby re­cently. My daugh­ter-in-law treats me ter­ri­bly. She's hy­per­crit­i­cal of what I do or say. I am usu­ally so blind­sided I don't have much of a re­ply.

When I at­tempted to help out with the laun­dry, clean­ing, etc., I was met with more crit­i­cism and ad­vice on how to per­form those tasks. She also says I don't know how to prop­erly hold an in­fant. Abby, I have raised five grown chil­dren! How can I change this sit­u­a­tion?

— Pun­ished for Want­ing to Help

DEAR PUN­ISHED: Re­mind your daugh­ter-in-law that you're just try­ing to help her. She may not have been crit­i­cal of your ef­forts as much as try­ing to con­vey how she would like those tasks done. How­ever, if you can't please her, take the hint and stop of­fer­ing.

She may be a ner­vous new mother, but she ap­pears to have gone over­board to the point of be­ing tact­less. The next time she tells you you don't know how to hold a baby, point out that you man­aged to raise five of them safely to adult­hood. Then back off and give her some space be­cause she may be hor­monal and need it.

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

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