Man’s Fear of Being Alone Leads to Affairs

DEAR ABBY: My son has taken it upon himself to get romantically involved with two different married women. He’s newly divorced after a long marriage and hates the idea of being alone. He says he loves them both, but realizes there’s no future with either one, so he’s trying to extricate himself from the jam he’s gotten into. The problem is, the women refuse to let go, and it’s causing all sorts of problems. Any ideas? — DAD IN THE MIDDLE IN NEW YORK

DEAR DAD: If you are smart, you’ll stay out of this mess. Hasn’t it occurred to you that if your son was truly unhappy with the situation, he — not you — would have sought help for his problem?

He doesn’t love either of those women; he loves what he’s getting from them — attention, companionship, sex. Because they are married, he doesn’t have to worry about them wanting a commitment from him as a single woman might. If he really wanted to stop these dolls from “stalking” him, he would threaten to make their husbands aware of what’s been going on, and THAT would be the end of it.

DEAR ABBY: I am 15 and my mom was recently diagnosed with cancer. My two older sisters are away in college, and my dad works all the time. How should I balance taking care of Mom, doing schoolwork and playing field hockey? I wish I could give each task my full attention, but I’m not going to be home much because of school. — JUGGLING IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR JUGGLING: I am sure your mother’s diagnosis has caused stress for every member of your family, including those who are away, and for that I am sorry. You are so young, and I can only imagine the stress you are feeling.

If you were discussing this with your mother, I am sure she would tell you — as I am — how important it is that you keep up with your schoolwork and activities. You cannot assume the entire responsibility for her care by yourself. Who will help her during her treatments, and how much time you should realistically devote, is something both your parents should help you to determine. None of you will really know how much assistance she’ll require until the process is started, so be flexible and take things a step at a time.

DEAR ABBY: My mom owns two successful women’s clothing stores near my hometown that she’s had for more than 10 years. The problem is, she named them after me, and I hate it!

I’ve tried talking to her about it many times, but every time I bring it up she gets sarcastic, says things like, “This is a fun conversation,” and doesn’t let me get a word out. I have tried talking to the rest of my family about it, but they don’t consider it a big deal and tell me I’m being ridiculous. I have run out of ideas about what to do, so if you could give me some advice, it would really help. — ANGRY DAUGHTER

DEAR ANGRY DAUGHTER: Because it bothers you so much, consider going by your MIDDLE name. And, if that doesn’t satisfy you, and you feel strongly enough about this, go to court and legally change your name to another one you like when you reach adulthood.

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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