DEAR ABBY by Abigail Van Buren


DEAR ABBY: I recently met the love of my life, and I plan to leave my life and family in Arkansas and move to California to marry him. He just divorced after 25 years of marriage. My problem is that her ex wanted a divorce, but now she wants him back. She knows he’s met someone, but she constantly tells him she wants a “booty call”.

They have two adult children and their daughter is getting married soon. Her ex is now threatening that if he brings me to the wedding, she’ll do something crazy. I know he loves me and only talks to her to calm her down, but I feel like if he doesn’t take me to the wedding, he’ll be disrespecting me. He still talks to her even though she said mean things about me, which is also hurtful. Am I too sensitive? — PERPLEXED SOUTH

DEAR PERPLEXED: When this man’s ex tells him she wants a phone call, how does he respond? If he still has sex with her, your chances of success with him are nil. He can talk to her (although she says nasty things about you) because they have children and maybe grandchildren in common. That he REPEATED his less than glowing comments to you says little about his judgment.

Under these circumstances, I don’t think you should insist on attending this wedding. Instead, think carefully about the wisdom of leaving your life and family behind and moving unless you have a job pending and a guaranteed timeline regarding marriage.

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DEAR ABBY: My 50-year-old nephew has always used women and was eventually caught embezzling $60,000 from one. He was arrested and ordered to pay restitution, otherwise he would remain in prison for years. After only two weeks incarcerated, he cried and begged our family and promised that he would refund the money to whoever paid his restitution.

My sister was a wreck and came to me. I came with the money and got a promissory note from my nephew. Long story short, he stuck my sister on every payment. When my sister went bankrupt because of this, I asked if he could at least pay $25 for what he owed, but he didn’t. My sister finally paid off everything my nephew owed me, and now she expects us all to be one big happy family.

She invited me and my husband to come for the holidays, which will include my nephew. I told her I would never be in the same room with that liar and that cheat again, so now she’s mad at me! Am I making the right choice? He used all of us to get out of jail, never reimbursed anyone and still uses women. Why am I supposed to embrace her with open arms? I think that would condone his actions. – DISTURBED AUNT

Dear Aunt: I agree with you on this. Your knee-jerk reaction to keeping your sociopathic nephew at bay (or even further) is HEALTHY. It is safer to keep unethical people at bay. After what happened, even if your sister wants it, you are no longer one big happy family.

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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 or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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