Dear Abby: A few years ago, my ex and I went through a contentious, bitter, and prolonged divorce. She is a foreign national, and after a few years she returned to her country.
Our son, now all grown up, soon followed suit.
I hope to visit him in a couple of months. My son and my ex expect me to go with him too. I don’t want to see him. We are divorced after all. How do I respectfully tell my son that I don’t want to see his mother? And how do I tell the former? Single dad in Washington now
Dear Now Single Dad: Tell your adult son that while you look forward to seeing him given the circumstances of the divorce, you prefer to have no contact with his mother. Hopefully, this won’t affect his desire to see you. However, if it does, you’ll have to decide if that’s the price you’re willing to pay to see your son. (And make that “family reunion” short and sweet.)
Dear Abby: Regarding “Shocked in Iowa” (Nov. 4), it appears that a friend of the letter writer may be in danger. As you said, the man her friend was involved with is “more than a little controlling.” At the very least, this woman, once caught by social services or the police, needs a welfare check – that is, a critical look at her situation by a well-informed professional familiar with these types of situations.
It’s just the type of thing that could result in “Beffled”‘s dude losing his identity and all finances in what appears to be a well-heeled con man. It is also conceivable that he may be murdered for the insurance money. Yes, he is an adult who “has the right to make his own decisions.” But, from what we know about this woman, she might not be able to make any decisions of her own and be completely under the control of someone she’s only known for a short period of time.
The condition of this woman is more worrying. As a residency-trained, board-certified emergency physician, I have seen similar situations that resulted in identity theft, loss of all assets, and even murder. My wife has a master’s degree in social work and has dealt with similar scenarios with clients that resulted in dire consequences. We have serious concerns about the physical and emotional safety of her friend, as well as her financial well-being. – Experienced in Colorado
Dear Veteran: Other readers wrote in to express similar concerns. He suggested that the friend’s new “boyfriend” could be a narcissist, psychopath, or domestic abuser. He recommended that the “shocked” contact their local department of family and children’s services to report possible elder abuse. Adult protective services may also be able to help. and guidance from the National Domestic Violence Hotline (thehotline.org, 800-799-7233), as a woman’s sudden major changes — selling her house, living with a man, taking out a life insurance policy and ceasing contact with friends — are many red flags.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. contact dear abby www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.