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by Abigail Van Buren

Future Father in Law Is Flirting With Danger

DEAR ABBY: My fiance, "Eduardo," and I have been a couple for nearly four years. We plan to marry in 2004.

Eduardo's parents ("Maribell and Guillermo") have had their share of marital problems but have remained together. My father died six years ago, and my mother raised my sister and me by herself. She is an attractive woman with high standards who chose not to date until last year.

Our "combined family" has always enjoyed getting together on birthdays and holidays. However, recently Guillermo has been hitting on my mother! He stares at her, vies for her attention, and makes no secret of the fact that he loves to be near her.

My mother is not -- and would never be -- interested in him, especially since she and Maribell have become close friends.

I think the behavior of Eduardo's dad is out-and-out inappropriate, but if I mention it to Eduardo, he refuses to acknowledge there's a problem. He insists his father would never behave "like that." Eduardo won't discuss it with me anymore and refuses to bring it up with his dad.

Should I approach my future father-in-law myself, Abby? If so, exactly what should be said? I don't want to say anything to Maribell because if she hasn't already noticed her husband's behavior, it would only hurt her. Please share any suggestions you have. -- DISTRESSED AND DISTURBED

DEAR D AND D: You say your mother is attractive and has high standards. I'm sure this isn't the first time since your father's death that a man has "put the moves" on her.

Rather than involving yourself in this delicate situation, let her speak up for herself in putting Guillermo in his place.

DEAR ABBY: I surprised myself. I seduced a man not long ago, with the sole intent of having a one-night affair. We agreed that we didn't want to get seriously involved at the time.

Well, the one-night affair turned into six encounters in three weeks, and it is very enjoyable on a physical level. The problem is, the sexual aspect is all there is. I would like to go out and have fun, like the night I met him. I have brought this up, yet the subject remains unanswered.

How do I firmly express that I want more without him thinking that I'm looking for a relationship? -- ASKING TOO MUCH IN CHICAGO

DEAR ASKING TOO MUCH: But you ARE asking for a relationship -- you want to make plans, go out and have fun. That's a lot more than the one-night stand you indicated to him that you wanted. The irony is, you are getting more -- and less -- than you asked for.

Tell him straight out in plain English what you want. But don't be surprised if he's unwilling to cooperate. You're changing the rules after the game has started.

DEAR ABBY: I am a new stepfather to two adorable girls, ages 4 and 7. I explained to them that I am their stepfather -- but they call me Dad or Daddy anyway.

Their father heard them call me Daddy, and he's extremely upset. He is accusing me of "undermining his importance."

Abby, what should the girls call me -- and how do I handle this overbearing father? -- INSTANT FAMILY IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

DEAR INSTANT FAMILY: The girls should call you anything they wish. However, ask them to come up with several new options, and you pick the one you like best.

When the girls and you have decided on a new name, your problem with their father should disappear.

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 $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)

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