Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Son's Ex Wife Finds Way Around His Mother's Will

DEAR ABBY: My ex-wife, who continued to be a friend to my mother after our divorce, has, in my opinion, recently overstepped her bounds. On the day of my mother's funeral, my ex-wife arrived early at Mom's house and commenced to help herself to several pieces of personal property! I found out later that all of the personal property was willed to me.

Where does this kind of behavior fit in the realm of manners or etiquette -- or maybe even criminal activity? My mother had specific items listed in her will to give to certain people. -- CONFUSED IN ANCHORAGE, ALASKA

DEAR CONFUSED: The kind of behavior your ex-wife displayed does not fit into the realm of manners or etiquette, but it certainly qualifies in the category of criminal activity. Have your attorney demand (in writing) that the stolen items be returned immediately, or the police will be notified and a theft report filed.

DEAR ABBY: A number of years ago my husband's sexual interest stopped. Initially, because I begged him, he consulted a few doctors and we went to several therapists. Nothing worked. There are no indications that there is another woman. The only other "woman" he seems to be interested in is "Mary," as in "Bloody Mary."

I recently met a much younger man (I'll call him Joel), and there is a strong mutual attraction. He will be working in this country only a couple of months, after which he will return home to his fiancee. In light of my imposed celibacy, would a tryst with Joel really be adultery? For many reasons I will never divorce my husband. -- UNTOUCHED TAMALE

DEAR UNTOUCHED: Yes, a tryst with Joel would really be adultery. A short fling won't quench your thirst -- it will only stimulate your appetite and create more problems. I'd advise against it.

DEAR ABBY: I am 26 and have been engaged for two years. The problem is that my fiance doesn't want to make a life for us. He is 28, and still lives at home with his divorced 51-year-old mother and her 38-year-old live-in boyfriend.

My fiance has no living expenses and operates his own business. He talks about finding a place for us, but it's just talk -- he never makes any effort. I have tried everything to motivate him, but nothing seems to work.

Abby, his living arrangements and his procrastination about finding us a place to live together don't seem normal. Should I just throw in the towel? -- UPSET IN MISSOURI

DEAR UPSET: Not yet. Since your fiance hasn't moved forward in finding the two of you a place to live, begin looking on your own. If you find something affordable, take him to see it so you can sign a lease together. If he starts making excuses -- then it's time to throw in the towel.

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600