DEAR ABBY: My son has refused to speak to me ever again because his girlfriend asked me if he had another child from a previous relationship. I didn't think it was right to lie to her, so I told her the truth about his daughter. My son called me yesterday and told me I was "dead to him" and he never wants to see me again. I feel so guilty having betrayed him.
I'm not sure how to make amends with my son. Abby, can you help me? -- SAD MOM IN OHIO
DEAR MOM: Your son may have preferred his girlfriend be kept in the dark about his daughter, but if the girlfriend didn't have some strong suspicions, she would not have raised the subject with you. Frankly, I admire you for telling the truth and not going along with your son's deception. I'm not sure how you should "make amends" with your son. He is the one who should be making amends with you. His lack of character is lamentable.
DEAR ABBY: My wife has been out of work for four months. Last week she applied for a job at a loan office. During the interview, she learned it was a payday loan operation, and she would be expected to get people to sign up for loans they could not afford.
This goes against our principles. We have seen family members caught in payday loan schemes that buried them in debt, and we find the whole industry to be immoral and abhorrent.
My wife is currently receiving unemployment compensation. One of the rules of unemployment is, if a company offers you work, you must accept it. She said if she knew what the position entailed, she would not have applied. Now she is terrified she may be offered a position in a business she finds repugnant, but she may not be able to decline the offer. What can she do? Please answer fast! -- STUCK FOR AN ANSWER IN KANSAS CITY
DEAR STUCK FOR AN ANSWER: Your wife should contact the payday loan company and tell them she is not interested in the position before she gets an offer. That way, she won't be breaking any rules, and the company can hire a willing applicant.
DEAR ABBY: I have an issue regarding my 18-year-old son, "Jake." His father and I divorced several years ago -- amicably for the most part. Since then, and even before, Jake has had emotional problems.
My son makes up stories about himself. On one of his online social network sites he has been talking about a vehicle he doesn't own. He even invited a friend to go four-wheeling with him in his nonexistent vehicle. This is only one of many lies Jake has told. When I call him on it, he admits it but says it's "no big deal."
Abby, people believe what my son is telling them. What is going on, and what can I do? -- CARING PARENT, LITTLETON, COLO.
DEAR CARING PARENT: Your son may lie in order to impress others, or be so emotionally troubled that he can't tell the difference between what he fantasizes and what is real. I assume that because Jake has had emotional difficulties for some time that he has been under the care of a therapist. If so, contact the therapist and explain what's going on. If Jake doesn't have a therapist, find one. Perhaps an intervention will help Jake. If the lying persists, your son will become increasingly isolated as it gets out that no one can believe a word he says.
To order "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)