Dear Abby: My mother insists on telling my three youngest children that my husband is not their father. The oldest girl is the spitting image of him, and she’s upset about it. Mom also calls me terrible names. She keeps saying it will add years to my life if I divorce him and makes appointments with divorce lawyers “for” me, which I am charged for. My husband and I have a limited income and can’t move away because our jobs are here. How can I convince our kids my husband is their father?

Trying To Prove It

Dear Trying: A way to do that would be to explain to your children that your mother has severe emotional problems and isn’t in her right mind when she says those things. (From what you have written, it appears to be true.) You do not have to move away to distance yourself from this toxic, troubled woman. Stop communicating with her. Block her phone number, if you must, and do not allow her to have contact with any members of your family unless and until she regains her senses and apologizes to all of you.

Dear Abby: I belong to a women’s golfing group. The mission of the club is to play golf and have fun. We have tournaments, prizes, and awards are given for the best scores.

The problem: Several of the ladies are “allergic” to counting their scores correctly. We have given them counting beads to help them “remember” their score. They have played with board members who asked them to count their scores out loud each time they hit the ball and to state their scores after the last putt. There have also been conversations with the golf pro about the importance of keeping accurate scores. Yet, the inaccurate counting persists. Members are upset because these ladies often “win” tournaments. What to do?

Proud Of My High Handicap

Dear Proud: You might be able to curb the cheating if you suggest club members swap scorecards and keep score for each other. However, if that doesn’t do the trick, stop playing with those who cheat.

Dear Abby: I recently became friendly with a couple who lost their 40-year-old son six months ago. We have grown close over the last several months.

The issue is, as they are mourning the passing of their child, they have turned their home into a shrine. There are pictures of him in every room, etc. I know everyone handles grief differently, but this seems excessive, if not a little creepy. I suggested they see a therapist, which they did, but only a couple of times. Believe it or not, they were told they were on the right track! Can you give me any suggestions?

Finds It Depressing

in Indiana

Dear Finds: I sure do! Stop judging that couple and expecting them to get over the loss of their child on your timetable. If you are going to continue to be a supportive friend, you must abandon your preconceptions about how they should deal with their loss.

Be supportive. Listen when they need to talk. And when you can, give them positive messages that may lighten their load.

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

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