DEAR ABBY: I have begun dating a woman I find very attractive. I'll call her "Rita." We have many things in common, and she's a lot of fun to be with.
The only thing that troubles me is that after 12 years of being divorced, Rita is still very much involved with her ex. Most of their children are grown. One is a senior in high school, and an older child still lives at home.
Her ex is allowed free access to her home, mostly to see the kids -- and comes and goes at will. They travel together to family functions and to visit children who live in other parts of the state.
Rita recently had her hair styled differently and told me she was annoyed that her ex didn't seem to notice. When he comes to her house to cook for the kids, he leaves the kitchen a mess, which she apparently cleans up.
Do you think Rita has gotten past the divorce? What would you say the odds are of having a successful relationship with her? -- DAZED AND CONFUSED IN ST. LOUIS
DEAR DAZED AND CONFUSED: That depends upon what you would consider a "successful relationship." Apparently, Rita's divorce was a very amiable one, and the ex is still a part of her and the children's lives. This can be considered a plus or a minus, depending upon how you feel about a package deal -- because it appears that is what you'll be getting if you become serious about Rita.