DEAR ABBY: My mother and dad had a full and happy 62 years together. She died last year.
While going through her things, we found several old diaries that Mother kept until a few months after marrying Dad (from ages 15 to 21).
Well, Dad read them and saw that Mom had dated a lot of men before they married, even one of his best friends. She wrote that there was also another man she wanted to marry, but he had a girlfriend in another town, and it was not to be. Apparently Dad had been unaware of it.
Dad was devastated. Now he's telling all his friends how wild Mom was. This, after 62 years of devotion, love and two children.
The purpose of my letter is to warn diarists to please destroy any writings not meant for others to read. Get rid of them! Dad is 85 and brokenhearted. -- SAD IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR SAD: Your point is well taken. However, someone needs to tell your father to stop feeling sorry for himself and to remember the good times.
If he's worried about his deceased wife's past, the truth is, she didn't have much time for one. It's time to end the pity party and dwell on the positive.
DEAR ABBY: My 13-year-old daughter, "Rose," has had a boyfriend, "Jason," for nearly a year. He is 12. I just found out they've been having sex, and I'm putting Rose on birth control.
Jason never spends much quality time with her. I try to tell her that he is young and not ready for a serious relationship, but she doesn't hear it. My heart aches when I hear Rose crying on the phone because they're arguing.
Rose revolves her life around Jason. She doesn't want to do anything with me or her friends anymore. Her attitude has changed tremendously, and she is losing interest in school. I have asked Rose to sign up for some kind of activity. She refuses. I don't know what to do. Please help. -- WORRIED MOM IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR MOM: It's time to assert yourself. Rose and Jason are both too young to be having sex or even an exclusive relationship. It is up to you to help your daughter understand that as much as she might wish it, Jason is unable to give her the attention and commitment she's craving. You didn't mention if there is a father in your daughter's life. If there isn't, perhaps another adult male in the family can help.
Family counseling for you and Rose could be helpful. It will help to reopen the avenue of communication between you. Her priorities are seriously out of whack, and you are not reaching her. At this age, she should be developing social and intellectual skills.
CONFIDENTIAL TO BETRAYED AND BROKEN IN BALTIMORE: Dry your tears and stop blaming yourself. What goes around, comes around. This quotation says it all: "When a man marries his mistress, he creates a job opening."
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