Log In

Reset Password
Columnists View from the Center Bear Smart The Travel Troubleshooter Dear Abby Student Aide Of Sound Mind Others Say Powerful solutions You are What You Eat Out Standing in the Fields What's up in Durango Skies Watch Yore Topknot Local First RE-4 Education Update MECC Cares for kids

Son’s friend lives in home with sex offender

DEAR ABBY: We recently moved to a new neighborhood. My 8-year-old son, “Joey,” has become best friends with a classmate, “Paul,” who lives on our street. We know from research we did when we bought our house that Paul’s stepfather, with whom he lives, is a sex offender who committed crimes against children and served time in prison.

Paul has been coming to our house most days, which is fine. However, both Paul and Joey have started asking whether Joey can play at Paul’s house. I will never allow my son to play there. At some point, the boys will want an explanation, but I don’t think Paul knows about his stepfather’s past, and I don’t think Paul’s mother knows that I know.

If I tell Joey an age-appropriate version of the truth, I am sure he will tell Paul. I don’t think this is how Paul should hear about his stepfather’s past, plus I am concerned it might cause Paul’s mother to get upset and cut off the kids’ friendship. Do you have any advice? – Conflicted in the West

DEAR CONFLICTED: Are you absolutely certain that you have the story right and Paul’s stepdad is a registered sex offender? I ask because I’m surprised that he would be allowed to live in a household with a minor child.

Your concern that Joey might tell Paul about his stepfather is laudable. A way to handle it would be to continue insisting that the boys play only at your house. I do think you should discuss this with Paul’s mother so you know for sure this is what you are dealing with. If it is true, for the next few years use the old, “Because I’m your mother and I said so,” when Joey asks to visit Paul. Eventually, the truth is going to come out, but Paul should hear it from his mother.

DEAR ABBY: I’ve been married for eight years. I love my wife with my heart and soul. The problem is, although I’m in love with her, I still love my ex-wife. I never actually expressed these feelings toward my ex until recently. I write to her and call her, hoping she will answer. I don’t want to leave my wife because she’s a good woman. But so was my ex. What can I do?

Every time my wife and I have a disagreement, I start thinking about my ex and what life would’ve been like if I had stayed with her. I find myself thinking about her more and more often each day. I know my ex still loves me, although she won’t come out and say it. Is it OK to be in love with one and still love the other? – Lots of Love in Florida

DEAR LOTS: May I inject a sliver of reality into your fantasy? You say you “know” your ex-wife still loves you although she won’t come out and say it, nor does she answer your passionate letters. I’d say her refusal to communicate sends a pretty strong message that she doesn’t feel the way you do.

I don’t know what is wrong in your current marriage, but if you don’t stop pining over the wife you dumped, you are going to lose this one, too. Counseling may help you accomplish this, and it is what I strongly recommend. Start now.

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.