DEAR ABBY: I have been dating "Harold" for two and a half years. We are in love and things were great until a year ago, when a friend informed me that Harold is married and the father of three children. When I asked him if it was true, he confessed that yes, he is married, but he's not "in love" with his wife and they are getting a divorce. They have not lived together in the time we've been dating; he has a separate apartment -- and their divorce will be final soon.
My problem is Harold still doesn't want me to meet his children. He says he doesn't want to upset them and isn't sure how they'll react to me. They are 16, 8 and 5.
I'm attractive, well-educated and hard-working. I only want what is best for their dad. I feel I should meet his children. They are an important part of his life and he adores them. I have met many of his friends and some of his family. Is it unreasonable for me to expect to be introduced to his kids?
I bring the subject up occasionally, but it upsets him. He says I need to "give him time." I'm beginning to think his children will never be happy at the thought of their father being with a woman other than their mother, and I'm beginning to doubt Harold's sincerity. What should I do? -- SECOND THOUGHTS IN KENTUCKY
DEAR S.T.: I don't blame you for having doubts. Harold appears to have severe memory problems. "Forgetting" to mention a wife and three children for two and a half years is a dismaying lapse. You had a right to the truth about his marital status from the beginning.
It should be apparent to you by now that Harold is capable of withholding important information. It makes me wonder what else he may be concealing. Meeting his children is the least of your problems right now. Do you have proof that he's even being divorced? If I were you, I'd insist on seeing the papers. If there are none, I'd be out the door and out of his life. Please consider it.
DEAR ABBY: My husband is helping me to write thank-you notes for the wedding presents we recently received. Yesterday, we learned that his great-uncle has passed away.
Should we address the thank-you note to just his great-aunt or to both of them? The gift was from both of them. -- STUMPED IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR STUMPED: The thank-you note should be addressed to the surviving relative. However, it would be thoughtful to include a mention in your note that their gift will be especially treasured because it came from both of them.
DEAR ABBY: My sister-in-law is pregnant (a baby girl) and has decided to name her "Haley." That's not the problem, though.
We have a family tradition that a baby's middle name be after a member of the family. My sister-in-law's mother recently died of cancer, and Haley would have been her only granddaughter. The problem is that Grandma's name was Mary, which means the baby's name will be Haley Mary. Do you think that name will cause her to be teased when she reaches school age? -- CONCERNED IN COLORADO
DEAR CONCERNED: Very possibly. But that doesn't mean she couldn't be given a variation of her grandmother's name -- like "Haley Marie." It's worth considering.
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