Abby: Mom fears news of ex’s abuse will cause split

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: My daughter, “Meg,” was sexually abused at the age of 3 by her father 25 years ago. “Emile” and I were divorced, but he had every other weekend visitation. After returning from one visit, she said, “Daddy put his finger in there. It hurt. I cried.” Her words forever changed my life.

After we made countless trips to the children’s hospital and numerous therapists, a judge allowed supervised visitation. It happened again, but Emile told the judge he was “putting medicine on her.” He remarried shortly after and lost interest in Meg and her brother, “Ian,” which was a blessing to me, but he’d visit with them occasionally.

Emile spent years belittling me and telling lies to the kids about me, but I stayed busy with two jobs and raised them by myself. Meg has no relationship with her father, but her brother does.

Ian is now expecting a child and knows nothing about the abuse his sister suffered. I have tried raising the subject with Meg, but she won’t discuss it. I’m afraid if I tell Ian, it will cause a breach in our relationship and I’m not sure he would believe me. But how do I NOT tell him? Please advise me.

Worried Sick in Louisiana

Dear Worried Sick: Sit your son and his spouse down and tell them EVERYTHING. They need to know what Grandpa-to-be is capable of. Because it has been kept a secret for so long, it’s sure to be a shock, so don’t be surprised if they react with disbelief. If they want proof, show them any court records or other documents you may have. Whatever happens after that, your conscience should be clear, because you will have done your duty as a mother, and they will have been given fair warning.

Dear Abby: My husband curses nonstop. He wakes in the morning with an “f-ing this” or an “f-ing that.” He does it as he goes into the kitchen to get his coffee. I can’t stand it.

I have asked him repeatedly to stop. He was never like this when we were younger. Over the 20 years of our marriage, he has become worse and worse. Now he’s a nonstop “f-ing machine.”

My neighbors have complained to me about it. They have children, and when he goes outside, it continues. How do I get him to tame his tongue?

Married To Mr. Eff-ing

Dear Mrs. Eff-ing: Is your husband unwell? Could his problem be related to stress or a form of dementia? If the answer is no, then let me point out that men who are happy in their jobs and their lives do not act this way. Men who are considerate and care about their wives’ and neighbors’ sensibilities usually try to accommodate them if asked nicely. Your problem may not be your husband’s tongue as much as it is his attitude — and until he realizes that only he can change it, there is nothing you or anyone else can do to fix him.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.