DEAR ABBY: This is in response to "Living a Soap Opera" (Jan. 3), the unhappy woman who is married to an alcoholic. She is flattered by the three younger men she's conversing with online. My experience is that when men say they are in a place where you can't meet them, such as stationed far away in the army or on a ship, and they immediately fall in love with you, it's most likely a scam.
I'm not saying this to hurt her feelings or deflate her ego, but for the purpose of safety. If they start asking for money, beware! Vulnerable people easily get scammed in this way. Sadly, I know this from experience, so I just wanted to give a heads-up. -- THANKFUL I CAUGHT ON
DEAR THANKFUL: Many readers saw red flags in "Living's" letter. The in-the-military scenario is a common one. "Living" should research catfishing and these kinds of scams, and never send money for any reason. Readers also recommended she attend Al-Anon meetings if she hasn't been, and look for activity groups locally to add some positivity to her life.
DEAR ABBY: I have been with my husband for 10 years. Last year, his brother's baby mama died, and we are stuck raising his brother's 11-year-old son. I told my husband I don't want to do this, but he refuses to listen. My youngest child is 28 years old. I think he is choosing this over our marriage. Advice? -- POST-PARENT IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR POST-PARENT: This should not have been a unilateral decision. Why isn't the boy's father prepared to raise his son? Are there other relatives, such as your in-laws, who could step in? If your husband is dead set on going forward over your objection, make clear in advance that because you have raised your children, he will be doing the heavy lifting -- cooking, laundry, homework supervision, school conferences, etc., for his nephew -- and not you. That poor boy deserves to be raised in a loving and welcoming home, so please make an effort to be kind to him.
DEAR ABBY: Years ago, my father gave my mother a mink coat and a gold and diamond necklace. Shortly afterward, he left her for another woman. Mom gave me the coat and the necklace because she wouldn't wear them. She passed away several years ago, and now, due to health expenses, I need whatever money the necklace may bring. Am I wrong to sell it? My daughter doesn't want me to, but I don't think she knows the whole story. -- LETTING GO IN VIRGINIA
DEAR LETTING GO: Because you need the money the necklace would bring, by all means sell it. And when you do, explain to your daughter that while she may consider the necklace to be a treasured heirloom from her grandmother, it's really a reminder of a painful betrayal, and necessity dictates that you unload it now.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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