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DEAR ABBY: My 44-year-old son is a long-haul driver. His girlfriend has 14-year-old and 17-year-old daughters, who are both high-functioning autistic. My son thinks they should have chores because they need to learn to live independently. This is the biggest argument they have.
He says that they should be on the internet for only four hours per day, and that once they graduate, they will have to be on their own. They do nothing around the house — they don’t clean their room or pick up after themselves. My son has told his girlfriend that if they don’t learn how to do it now, they won’t know once they move out.
His girlfriend tells him he is right when he says, “You need to find another place to live.” But she goes right back to doing nothing to help her girls learn to become independent. She receives child support for the girls and works part time. She doesn’t think she should help pay for things “because he makes good money.” But these girls are not his. They agreed when she moved in that she would pay half the expenses. What do you think of this situation? — DISGUSTED IN MINNESOTA
DEAR DISGUSTED: Your son’s girlfriend promised before she moved in that she would pay half the expenses. She has reneged on her promise, and your son has allowed it. This woman is not only irresponsible, she’s a terrible parent by fostering her daughters’ dependence. When the girls turn 18 nothing will change, and he should expect to support the three of them until he finally has had enough of this arrangement. If you have shared your feelings with him and he has chosen to tolerate the status quo, then quit wasting your breath. It is his life and HIS CHOICE.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a 40-year-old wife and mother, married for 23 years. I have never been unfaithful. I never even thought of another man until a few months ago. Then, boom! It happened. I have fallen in love with my boss, “Tony.” He is four years younger than my husband, and he’s married. When I told him how I feel, at first he was shocked and not very interested. Now he’s had time to think about it, and he’s starting to show some interest.
I am afraid of what may happen if he asks me out. What should I do? Should I go out with him? Is it possible to love one man and also be in love with another? I’m so crazy about Tony that it hurts. I think about him all the time and even dream about him. (I have been known to talk in my sleep.) When I’m making love to my husband, Tony’s on my mind. Please tell me what to do. — MISERABLY IN LOVE IN MISSOURI
DEAR MISERABLY IN LOVE: Gladly! Lady, you are playing with fire. Recognize that if you follow through with starting an affair with your boss, it’s likely to end up hurting four people, including you. The odds are that your marriage will be history, and Tony could be in for a very expensive divorce.
Whether you continue for years as Tony’s side piece, or he figures out that a dalliance with an employee is too dangerous, the person most likely to lose out, emotionally and financially, is you. If you are unable to regain your emotional balance, quit your job. If you are lucky, Tony may give you a good reference.
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 DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.