DEAR ABBY: After a two-year relationship ended, I got pregnant on the rebound. I called my ex and told him I was having a baby with another man because I wanted to hurt him. Apparently it worked -- at least that's what his best friend told me.
Now that a few months have passed, I ran into him and all those loving feelings I had for him came rushing back. Should I tell him? The father of this baby is a good-for-nothing deadbeat. He wants to be father-of-the-year without helping me financially.
What should I do about my feelings for my ex, and what should I do about the father of my baby? -- CAN'T DECIDE IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR CAN'T DECIDE: It is time for you to grow up and accept responsibility for the situation you're in right now. Your behavior has been immature and irresponsible. The child you're carrying is going to need someone who can provide for him or her financially and emotionally.
Because you have feelings for your ex, contact him and let him know, but don't count on him wanting to reconcile. Then you should also contact a lawyer about ensuring that "Babydaddy" lives up to his financial responsibilities.
And in the future, when you decide to have sex with someone, recognize there could be consequences and use birth control. Every time!
DEAR ABBY: Recently my mother and I got into an argument on a four-hour road trip. She didn't like my opinions or my answers, so she kicked my 17-year-old daughter and me out of her vehicle and abandoned us in an unsafe neighborhood two hours from our home. She has done it twice before, and I have yet to hear an apology from her for dumping us on the curb.
Luckily, my son was able to come and retrieve us. Most people would have cut her off the first time she pulled this stunt, but I'm a "three-strikes-you're-out" kind of person. I have given my mother many opportunities to apologize for her behavior, but she refuses to acknowledge her own wrongdoing.
I have decided this is the last time this will happen to me. I no longer speak to her and won't allow my daughter to go anywhere with her for fear she will be dumped somewhere unsafe. My other kids -- ages 21 and 22 -- say I should get over it. Was cutting her off a reasonable response? -- THUMBIN' FOR A RIDE
DEAR THUMBIN': Your mother appears to have a short fuse and poor judgment. Is cutting her off a reasonable response? I think so. Dumping someone in an unsafe neighborhood could get the person killed, something we see all too often in the media. If you ever decide to relent, however, and go anywhere with her, make sure you are the one behind the wheel because it's clear Mama can't be trusted when she's in the driver's seat.
DEAR ABBY: My family and I moved to Iowa when I was in high school to be closer to the other side of the family. Because we had lived in California, we didn't interact much with our Iowa family. So now, even though we have been back in Iowa for the last eight years, they still forget our birthdays and don't include us in family get-togethers. How should I deal with this situation? -- EXCLUDED IN THE HAWKEYE STATE
DEAR EXCLUDED: It appears you're being punished for the "sins" of your parents. (Could there have been some friction with the Iowa relatives that caused the move to California?) All you can do is talk to them and see if you can improve the situation. Consider inviting them to your family get-togethers and you may get a positive response.
However, if they are not receptive, then it will be up to you to create a "replacement" family out of the people you have become close to in your community since your return.
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