Dear Abby: New in-law’s rape conviction tests family
Dear Abby: My stepdaughter recently married a convicted rapist. She refuses to believe he raped an elderly woman even though there was corroborating DNA evidence. While he admitted his guilt in front of a judge and spent some time in jail, the conviction was later overturned, after which he denied his culpability.
My stepdaughter has two young children from a prior marriage and she’s now pregnant with his child. They live in another state. I am a rape survivor. I am absolutely adamant that this man is not welcome in my home.
I do not want to negatively affect my husband’s relationship with his daughter, but her decision to become a family with this individual has been difficult for me. She’s planning to visit, and I — and others in our families — have no idea what to even say to her. How do we handle social interactions? Please help.
— Staying Firm in New Mexico
Dear Staying Firm: Because you do not want the husband under your roof, your husband should entertain them separately away from your home. If you HAVE to see them, be warm and cordial to your stepdaughter and nonconfrontational to her husband. I advise the same for the other family members whom she plans to visit.
Dear Abby: I have a friend, an acquaintance really, who once confessed to me that he is bisexual. This is not a big deal because I am as well. The problem is, his wife doesn’t know he’s bi or that he secretly meets men for sex.
I have repeatedly advised him that he shouldn’t be doing that and he needs to tell his wife. But all that got me is he ceased talking to me. I don’t know if he’s still doing it, but I’m assuming so. What, if anything, should I do or say? Should I tell his wife?
— All for Truth in Wisconsin
Dear All: Put yourself in the wife’s situation. If your spouse or significant other was having sex with multiple partners, wouldn’t you want to know? If you tell her, she can have her doctor test her for exposure to any number of STDs — all of which are on the rise. Please don’t wait.
Dear Abby: My husband and I have been married for 35 years. For the last seven years, we have been separated. He treated me badly, and finally, I refused to take it, so I left him. I moved out, bought a car and bought a home, all on my own. I’m proud of myself.
We have tried marriage counseling, but I felt like we were just going through the motions. He has pressured me in the past about getting back together, but I know he will go right back to his old behavior.
My question is, when is it time to get a divorce? I’m confused about just being separated because it makes me feel I’m in limbo.
— In-Between in Colorado
Dear In-Between: You ARE in limbo. You tried marriage counseling; it didn’t help you trust that your husband wouldn’t continue to abuse you. Call a lawyer. After seven years (!) of separation, the time to formally untie the knot is now.
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