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by Abigail Van Buren

New In-Law's Rape Conviction Tests Family Relationships

DEAR ABBY: My stepdaughter recently married a convicted rapist. She refuses to believe he raped an elderly woman even though there was corroborating DNA evidence. While he admitted his guilt in front of a judge and spent some time in jail, the conviction was later overturned, after which he denied his culpability.

My stepdaughter has two young children from a prior marriage and she's now pregnant with his child. They live in another state. I am a rape survivor. I am absolutely adamant that this man is not welcome in my home.

I do not want to negatively affect my husband's relationship with his daughter, but her decision to become a family with this individual has been difficult for me. She's planning to visit, and I -- and others in our families -- have no idea what to even say to her. How do we handle social interactions? Please help. -- STAYING FIRM IN NEW MEXICO

DEAR STAYING FIRM: Because you do not want the husband under your roof, your husband should entertain them separately away from your home. If you have to see them, be warm and cordial to your stepdaughter and nonconfrontational to her husband. I advise the same for the other family members whom she plans to visit.

Read more in: Family & Parenting