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by Abigail Van Buren

Boyfriend's Prison Record Opens Him Up to Judgment

DEAR ABBY: I have never been in love before, and I have just learned the man I'm seeing is a former felon. It was nothing having to do with sexual violence or killing anyone. I'm afraid if my family finds out, they will judge him. He works seven days a week and lives in a shelter because most places don't want to rent to felons. He treats me good and takes me out for dinners.

Maybe I'm stupid for not being judgmental, but he's a good person who has served his time for his crimes, and he's still being punished. Are people like him not allowed to be in love and have families too? -- IN LOVE IN NEBRASKA

DEAR IN LOVE: People make mistakes. People "like him" also fall in love, marry and have families. While there is bias against individuals with prison records, the fact that they served time does not guarantee they can't go on to live successful lives after their release. Explain that to your family, and suggest they take the time to get to know him before jumping to conclusions and making any final judgments.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Family & Parenting