DEAR ABBY: I have been in a wonderful relationship and blissfully happy for two years. We live together. When "Scott" and I first got together, he told me he had a felony conviction and that a woman had falsely accused him of rape. I laughed it off because I didn't want to see the truth, but it ate at me badly. Then I finally looked it up via a background check, and it's really bad.
Two months after his ex-girlfriend broke up with him, Scott broke into her house and raped her while she was passed out on prescription sleeping pills. She called the police the next day, and he got a plea bargain, went to jail for 100 days and paid her $20,000 in restitution, probation and the whole thing. Scott still insists it was all her fault and that he is the victim. What do you think? — SHATTERED IN THE WEST
DEAR SHATTERED: I am so glad you asked. What I think is that you should extricate yourself from a relationship with this disturbed felon as quickly and carefully as you can. That Scott blames his victim for the rape he committed tells me he still has not accepted responsibility for his actions and that he is dangerous. Consider contacting the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (rainn.org; 800-656-4673) for advice on how to safely end it.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 55-year-old woman dating a 63-year-old man. Our relationship didn't start out in the best of circumstances eight years ago because he was still in his 25-year marriage. His wife had been living out of state. When she eventually learned about our relationship, she asked for a divorce. The divorce has been final for more than a year.
I understand that he is embarrassed to let his friends know he is now divorced, but his closest friends know. I'm still waiting for a time when I can be a part of his life without hiding, but I'm beginning to feel he has no intention of letting this happen.
He gets irritated and upset with me when I ask if this friend or that knows about the divorce yet. He doesn't want me to meet his friends. Must I just accept that I was never meant to really be a part of his life, even though he tells me he loves me? — STILL IN HIDING IN WASHINGTON
DEAR STILL IN HIDING: I'm sorry, but I think you may be finally reading the handwriting on the wall quite clearly. If he were proud of this relationship and in love with you, he would be showing you off to his friends, not hiding you. Have you actually seen his divorce papers, and are you absolutely sure that this man is divorced?
DEAR ABBY: I am 64 years old and happily married to a wonderful woman. The problem I'm having is she has a very large family. Most of them walk into our home without knocking. Even if I know they are coming over, it bothers me. I would never, ever walk into any of their homes without a knock. I was raised that you knock before entering, even at my parents' house after moving out on my own. What do you think about this? — PUT OFF IN FLORIDA
DEAR PUT OFF: Out of respect for your feelings, your wife should have spoken to her family years ago and asked them to either call before dropping in on you or, at the very least, knock. And if it's feasible to keep the doors locked, do it.
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.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)
Here are some of the Chattanooga-area restaurants where you can eat in or order takeout for Thanksgiving