Woman coping with past abuse fears it's being repeated now

DEAR ABBY: When I was around 10, my mother ended a relationship with the man who raised me from the age of 2. Soon after, she met "Bill." At first, Bill was nice, but after they bought a home together and got married, things changed. Bill became physically and sexually abusive to my mother, my siblings and me. The few years were pure hell.

I am now 26 and still coping with what he did to us. After they divorced, Bill simply moved on. He has never paid for any of the horrible things that he did to us.

I recently found out that Bill is remarried and has two more stepchildren. I am literally losing sleep thinking he may be doing those same things to them. What should I do?


DEAR WORRIED SICK: You and your siblings should go to the police and make a statement about what the man did to you. That's what should have been done when your mother divorced him. It's interesting that he married two women who already had children, isn't it? Bill's current wife should also be notified, because a leopard doesn't usually change his spots &

and neither does an abusive pedophile.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are young and newly married. We have thrown several parties during the last two years. Our guest list consists mostly of family and some close friends from college.

This year we debated whether or not to have a Halloween party because the last few parties have resulted in huge messes for us to clean up the next day, as well as stragglers who don't leave until the wee hours of the morning. My husband and I both work full time and I attend graduate school at night.

We finally decided to have it, but put an ending time on the invitations this year so we will have time to clean the house before we go to bed, and also to get guests to leave at a reasonable hour. The party will be an open house lasting four hours.

What should I say to the people who are now approaching us and demanding to know why there's an ending time? Are we rude for imposing this restriction? I tried to explain to one guest, but he just didn't seem to get it.


DEAR FLUSTERED: In no way was putting a beginning and ending time on your invitation rude. It was practical. The person questioning you is the one being rude, and because he "just didn't seem to get it" he should be told exactly what you told me.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 16-year-old girl who is extremely confused about my nationality. My maternal grandparents were born in Helsinki, Finland, and moved to the United States as teenagers. (Their parents were born in Finland as well.) I was always led to believe that this would make my mother a full-blooded Finn, even though she was born in the United States. Ever since I found this out, I have been studying the Finnish language and have become somewhat fluent.

Both my father's parents &

and my father as well &

were born in Manchester, England. His family moved here when dad was in his early teens. This, obviously, would make my father British.

I was born in the United States. This is where I start to get confused. Am I Finnish? Am I British? Am I half-and-half? Or am I American? If you can help me with this question, it would mean a lot to me.


DEAR WONDERING: Because you were born in the United States, your nationality is 100 percent American &

of Finnish and British extraction.

DEAR ABBY: My wife, "Nancy," and I have been married — 1/2 years. We've always had our differences &

our taste in music and movies, and the fact that she's a social butterfly and I'm not. But we've always been loving and had similar goals and interests in other areas of life.

About four months ago, Nancy met a guy on MySpace. He's from southern Oklahoma; she's from Dallas. They hit it off right away and are now self-declared "best buds." I don't doubt that they are just friends. However, he always says how much he "cares" for her. They spend many hours a day talking to each other on the computer. I have voiced my concerns, which have been met with stiff resistance.

Now my wife is planning a trip to Dallas &

where her parents live &

to spend a week with them and this guy that she met online. I don't think anything is going on now, but I suppose it could happen.

What really bothers me is the amount of time they spend on the computer and leaving messages for each other when they aren't both on. It leaves no time for our marriage. It also tells me that Nancy isn't getting what she needs from me or is bored with me because she makes the choice to continually talk with him instead.

I have already told her I want a divorce based on the premise that "If marriage is a flame, she is snuffing it out."

Is this a sound choice on my part? Doing this is very difficult, and it's just begun. And yes, I am filled with so much anger, frustration and rage that it's hard to hold on.


DEAR HURT: Your wife is having an emotional affair, and you have every right to feel the emotions you're experiencing. However, instead of telling her you want a divorce, you should have told her you wanted marriage counseling to see if the two of you could iron out your differences. If it isn't too late, please try it before she leaves for Texas, because if she goes, your problems will only compound.

I also recommend that you discuss the situation with your in-laws and try to enlist their help. I'm sure they will be less than thrilled to know that she's using her prospective visit as a way of meeting her new "best bud."

DEAR ABBY: I have a problem with time. I am always late, no matter what &

whether it's to class, to see friends, to the movies. I am early occasionally, but usually I am barely on time or late.

I have tried giving myself time frames and everything else I can think of, but nothing ever works. I have just started high school, and I want to shed the reputation of being "the late Miss Suzie." Do you have any suggestions to help prevent my lateness?


DEAR MISS SUZIE: I'm glad you realize that you have a problem, because being chronically late is not only evidence of poor time management, it is also rude and an inconvenience to others. There is truth to the old saying that when people are kept waiting, they use the time to count up the tardy person's faults.

I do have a suggestion that has worked for me. Because you are usually "barely" on time or late, set your clock 10 minutes ahead. Then "forget" about it and abide by your clock. The secret is in the forgetting.

Dear Abby is written by , also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Share This Story