DEAR ABBY: My daughter is getting a divorce from a wonderful young man I've grown very close to. He's away in the service, and he and my daughter have grown apart. He is in Korea and not able to deal with the situation back at home.
He emails me and talks to me on Facebook quite often. When he asks me about my daughter, I am vague. I love him as a son, and I have been crying over this. I'm so upset that I'm having migraines. How do I detach from my son-in-law while still being there for my daughter? -- SAD MOTHER-IN-LAW IN TEXAS
DEAR SAD M-I-L: Be honest with him. Tell him that while you love him like a son, the present situation with your daughter is causing you so much emotional conflict that it's making you physically ill. Explain that you will always be his friend, but that you must distance yourself emotionally somewhat until the divorce is final and he and your daughter have moved further on in their lives. Yours is not a happy situation to be in and you have my sympathy, but your health must come first.
DEAR ABBY: I work in an educational setting where the emphasis is on accountability, responsibility and being a good role model. I made a terrible decision two years ago and received a DUI while out of town. I'm still ashamed of my choices that night.
I accepted all responsibility and completed the necessary requirements through the courts. However, since then I have dreaded someone at work finding out and losing the job I love. Do I talk to my HR department or confess to my supervisor? Or do I just keep it to myself and hope no one finds out? -- STILL PAYING THE PRICE IN MICHIGAN
DEAR STILL PAYING: If you're involved in education, then you may be a member of a union. Instead of discussing this with HR, have a chat about it with your union representative. Because you have accepted responsibility for the incident and have completed the requirements of the court, I doubt that your job is in jeopardy, and your union rep may be able to give you some peace of mind.
If you have no union representation, keep it to yourself. I see nothing to be gained by blabbing about this to your co-workers.
DEAR ABBY: While driving the streets and highways, we communicate in many ways with our fellow commuters. We can wave, give a "thumbs up," lay on the horn or, in slow traffic, shout out the window with curses or blessings. More often than not, a "single-finger salute" is flashed in anger, and that sometimes turns into road rage.
Instead, we should drive the same way our lives should be lived -- with compassion, consideration, attention and awareness of our fellow travelers. When we make mistakes, we should be repentant and signal an "I'm sorry."
Abby, I'm at a loss for a hand signal for "I'm sorry." Any suggestions? -- MILD-MANNERED MOTORIST IN VIRGINIA
DEAR MILD-MANNERED: Living in a city known for its heavy traffic, I can relate from personal observation that many drivers commit moving violations, and an equal number simply make mistakes while behind the wheel. Even I (the saintliest of advice columnists) have done this. While I'm sure my helpful readers will step forward to volunteer suggestions for an "I'm sorry" signal, what I have done when the person pulls up next to me and we're stopped, is raise both hands (palms up) and say, "I'm sorry!" The shame on my face conveys the message.
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 $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)