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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My son's new wife -- who has a daughter -- insisted that his two children are not biologically his. After a DNA test, it turns out she was right. They aren't. My son, my husband and I are heartbroken. His twins are 10, and they don't understand what's going on.

My husband and I are trying to gently remain in their lives with phone calls and limited visits. My son's wife refuses to visit with us until we stop communicating with the children, promise never to talk about them and display no pictures in our home. She's trying to convince our son to stop seeing us, as well. What to do? -- DISAPPOINTED IN TEXAS

DEAR DISAPPOINTED: Those children, regardless of who their birth father is, were raised believing you and your husband are their grandparents. If you love them, do not knuckle under to your son's new wife or it will be only the beginning of how she will attempt to control you.

She does not have the right to dictate who you (or your son, for that matter) see and communicate with. She also does not have the right to order you to remove any object from your home.

If your son opts to turn his back on those children, that's a decision only he can make. If he also chooses to turn his back on you, then you raised a milquetoast instead of a man.

Read more in: Family & Parenting

Loneliness Consumes Man Separated From Wife

DEAR ABBY: I'm a married man, and I love my wife. We're not living together at the moment due to unfortunate circumstances.

Being far away from her, I get extremely lonely. I have a co-worker who became a good friend, and I have feelings for her. I have told her how I feel, and we have hung out a few times -- nothing sexual. Now she's moving away, and I feel heartbroken. How should I deal? I'm fighting back tears for someone I'm not even with. What do I do? -- HEARTBROKEN IN THE EAST

DEAR HEARTBROKEN: A relationship does not have to be sexual to be meaningful, and your co-worker was filling a space in your life that was empty. That you feel a sense of loss and sadness that she is moving is not surprising.

Not knowing the unfortunate circumstances that caused the separation between you and your wife, I can only advise you to start looking for a way to mend fences or change those circumstances so you can live together again, because clearly, you're not doing well on your own. If that's not possible, start giving serious thought to how you plan to live the rest of your life, because this way isn't working.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Friends & Neighbors

DEAR ABBY: The other day I was on a video conference call with our boss and two colleagues. When "Joan" came on the call, "something" was hanging from one of her nostrils. She may have had a cold. I scratched my nose and mustache a few times, trying to alert her of what was happening, to no avail. She didn't react. No one else said anything.

What would the correct protocol have been? Should I have left it alone or was I right to try to let her know? I did what I would have done in person. Should I have privately texted her? Please advise. -- TELECOMMUTING WOES

DEAR TELECOMMUTING: If the person with the leaky nose had been you, wouldn't you have wanted to know? Yes, you should have texted her.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Work & School

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