DEAR ABBY: My ex-husband and I have been divorced 24 years and, now that our children are grown, we have minimal contact. We see and speak to each other only when there's a wedding or a birthday party for our grandson.
Three years ago, our 34-year-old son went to work for his father with the promise that "someday the business would be his." Our son left a well-paying job to work for his father, but from past experience I know my ex isn't trustworthy. He often lies to get what he wants, and his promises rarely come to fruition.
Now I'm hearing from former in-laws I've remained close to, as well as our other children, that my ex does nothing but complain and belittle our son. He shares every mistake our son has made over the last three years and even personal information about our son's finances. Naturally, it upsets me to hear these things. What do I do? Should I tell my son what his father is saying about him? Do I confront my ex, even though I'm sure he will deny saying these things? Or should I just butt out, because, after all, my son is an adult? -- CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE
DEAR CAUGHT: Talk to your son. Tell him what these relatives are repeating to you. It's better than remaining silent and letting him stay in the dark. How he chooses to deal with his father after that is up to him -- including telling dear old Dad he needs something in writing to guarantee he gets the business in the event of Dad's demise. (No one lives forever, as the saying goes.) If Dad refuses, your son will be better off looking for another job rather than waste any more of his time.