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Ex’s threats may warrant legal action

DEAR ABBY: My son, age 31, dated a woman for a month. On a couple of occasions, she got drunk and became very nasty. He decided to end the relationship and did it in person. Unfortunately, during their short time together, he divulged some personal issues he’s working on. She contacted him a few weeks after they broke up. When he didn’t respond, she contacted him again and threatened to make his personal issues public. What do you do in this situation? – Cautious Mom in New Jersey

DEAR MOM: The healthiest thing for your son to do would be to continue ignoring the woman. There is nothing positive to be gained by allowing himself to be sucked into a contentious relationship with someone who may be unstable. The alternative would be to have his attorney write her a letter explaining that should she post anything on social media that could damage his reputation (and job, business, etc.), she might be liable for damages, legal fees and court costs.

DEAR ABBY: My husband received a huge inheritance two years ago, and he hasn’t given me a penny. He was always a supportive husband until now. Before he received the money, he told me he was going to give me $5,000 and buy me a car. Something changed his mind, and he has become very selfish. When I mentioned this to him, we got into a big argument, and he said he doesn’t “have” to give me anything. This has bothered me to the point that it has strained our communication and our marriage. What can I do? – Very Hurt in the South

DEAR VERY HURT: If you can ask your husband calmly why he changed his mind after promising you a new car and the money, that’s the place to start. If that isn’t possible, then you and your husband may need help from a licensed marriage and family therapist to restore the level of communication and trust the two of you enjoyed before he received his inheritance. (He can certainly afford it now.)

DEAR ABBY: People are always collaring me, cornering me and then talking my ear off. They drone on and on for long periods of time. Family does it, friends do it and so do strangers. It’s a social situation I dread. It gives me a feeling of claustrophobia. Invariably, I can't get a word in edgeways. It’s like people feel they have something to prove with me or are desperate for praise. I feel I can’t extricate myself without appearing downright rude or cruel. This scenario happens so often, I sometimes wonder if maybe something is tattooed across my forehead that encourages others to dominate me with their words. What can I do to stop people from chattering at me? – David in Texas

DEAR DAVID: Here's how: Straighten your backbone. Tell the person, “Excuse me,” and move. You may “need a drink, some food, to use the restroom or make a phone call.” Or you may “need” to talk with someone else. The only thing you shouldn’t do is just stand there.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.