Dear Abby: Please help with some advice regarding my children. My almost-ex-wife filed for divorce while asking me to “work on myself.” She refused counseling despite our 17 years of marriage and two children, ages 12 and 10. While I was out of our family home — at her request — she was dating a married (unemployed) man who has a child of his own. Our daughter eventually told me what was going on, which was very hard for her.

My wife then moved into a rental house. She and the boyfriend are still legally married because the divorces aren’t final. Now she’s imposing him on our children at the rental house. She also brings him to their sporting events even though it makes the children and other team parents uncomfortable.

Do you think it is appropriate that she expose our children to her dating situation?

Stay Classy In The West

Dear Stay Classy: Nothing you or I can say to your almost-ex is going to change what she’s doing. And no, what has been going on with her and her lover is not “appropriate.”

Please continue to be as supportive of your children as you can be. You should also talk to your lawyer about their custody, because your wife is going to have her hands full supporting this new man in her life, which may mean she has less time to spend with them.

Dear Abby: I’m an 11-year-old girl. I just started middle school (sixth grade). The girls in my class have been together since pre-K.

Although I’m new to the school, I knew two of the girls from before. They are very nice and have accepted me. The problem is that they are the “leaders” of two separate groups. During my lunch/recess they each want me to sit with them. How do I do this without hurting any feelings?

New Kid At School

Dear New Kid: As you said, you are new to the school. For the time being, alternate sitting with each group. Be friendly to everyone, regardless of which group they belong to. And while you’re at it, do the same with classmates who aren’t members of either group. In time, you will figure out where you are more comfortable.

Dear Abby: I am a 35-year-old woman who is returning to community college after a 10-year absence. I’m disturbed by the lack of respect that some of my classmates show. Many times they show up 30 to 45 minutes late. (The classes are only an hour and 15 minutes long.)

Also, some of them constantly talk during the lectures, forcing the teachers to talk over them.

When I was in college the first time, teachers were allowed to deny a student entry to class if they arrived late and to kick students out if they were causing a disturbance. These students are robbing us of our class time because the teacher must make time to let them in, wait for them to stop talking, etc.

Is this just me being too serious, or is this a generational problem of parents not raising children to respect others?

Cranky College Lady

Dear Cranky: Neither one. It’s a case of a teacher not being in control of his/her classroom. Talk to the teacher about how you feel, and to the head of the department if you think new rules should be put in place. Your point is valid.

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

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