DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 27 years and have three wonderful kids. The youngest is 16.
I recently found out I may have another son from a relationship prior to my marriage. The woman never notified me or asked for child support. I found out through someone else a couple of months ago and, thanks to social media, was able to find him and look at his picture. He looks exactly like I did 25 years ago.
The problem is, when I mentioned it to my wife, she did not want to discuss the possibility. She acts like nothing happened and asked me not to bring it up again. What would you recommend in a situation like this? Should I say nothing and let it be, or risk ruining my marriage? -- VACILLATING IN VIRGINIA
DEAR VACILLATING: I find it interesting that someone would know you possibly had another son all this time and didn't say anything sooner. If it's true, the young man might like to know, if only so he can have a complete familial medical history.
I don't see how establishing the truth could "ruin" your marriage unless your wife is self-centered and immature. However, rather than suddenly appear out of nowhere with the news, it might be better to reach out to the woman you had the relationship with, tell her what the friend told you and ask her if it's true.
If she concealed the information from her son or from the man who raised him, possibly thinking the boy was his, it could be traumatic for everyone concerned. So, if you do decide to move forward on this, explain that if it's true, you think it might be in her son's best interests to know.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter, a widow, started going out with men she meets on dating websites last year. She has three children; the youngest is 10. She has a full-time job and doesn't smoke, drink or use drugs. She goes out five to seven times a week.
I have all the responsibility for the children's care, school, church, laundry, cooking, etc. I'm feeling very overburdened. While I don't mind doing all these things, I feel taken advantage of. Am I wrong or is it now normal for a mother to go out that much? When she's home, she's constantly checking her texts and social media. Please advise. -- USED IN TEXAS
DEAR USED: You are a caring, loving, responsible mother and grandmother. However, you are also an enabler. You are allowing yourself to be used.
Your daughter appears to be immature and centered entirely on herself. It is not "normal" for a mother to be out socializing as often as your daughter is. To ignore her children in favor of social media to the extent that you described is neglectful. You are entitled to a life of your own, so stop doing your daughter's job as much as you have been and start doing some things for yourself.
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