DEAR ABBY: I was divorced when my son was 9. He's now 24. My ex-wife married the man she had been having an affair with and they have a 12-year-old son. I am also remarried and in a good place in my life.
For the past two years, my son has brought his half brother to our beach house for a weekend of fun. We honored this request and enjoy time with our son, but it is difficult having his half brother in my home. It brings up emotions I thought I had put behind me years ago.
I do not want these visits to continue, and I need to communicate this. I'd like to have an adult conversation with my son to explain the situation. How much do I tell him about my emotional reasons without being negative about his mom?
I also don't think he should have to carry the news to my ex or disappoint a 12-year-old. Should I send a simple note to her and explain that we will no longer host her son? -- NEEDS THE RIGHT WORDS
DEAR NEEDS: By all means write your ex. Explain that entertaining her son brings up emotions you would rather not have to relive. It's not the boy's fault that he's the flesh-and-blood symbol of his mother's infidelity, but you don't have to have him there if you don't want to.
If you would like to have a man-to-man talk with your son, go ahead and do it. He's an adult. Tell him pretty much the same thing -- that having the boy over is painful for you and, therefore, you prefer the beach house visits stop. You are entitled to your feelings, and your son is old enough to appreciate them.