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by Abigail Van Buren

Single Mother Is Frightened by Former Date's Persistence

DEAR ABBY: I have a family member I love dearly, as does the rest of the family. This person has had an odor problem for many years -- but it is seemingly getting worse. We feel it is not only body odor but also lack of bathing and laundry.

No one in the family wants to be responsible for telling this person about it for fear of hurting this person or making the person upset and resentful. What should we do? -- UNSURE IN MISSOURI

DEAR UNSURE: You must speak to the person. By doing so, you will be helping, not hurting. What would be cruel would be to ignore the problem.