DEAR ABBY: My ex-wife, “Jenny,” and I were together seven years, married for almost five of them. We have a young child together. We have been divorced for eight months. I have been trying to reconcile with her because she is the love of my life and I want our family to be together.
The problem is, since we separated, she has been seeing my ex-best friend, “Mack,” who was the best man at our wedding. I was crushed when I found out. I have tried to show Jenny that Mack is a manipulator and a liar and that he hasn’t been honest with her during their time together.
I know that I am clearly the best man for Jenny, our son and our family. However, she continues to see Mack even after his true colors have been shown and after I have done everything to make things right with us and win her back. How should I proceed, knowing she’s making the wrong decision? — RIGHTING A WRONG
DEAR RIGHTING: Please accept my sympathy because it’s obvious you are hurting. You can’t save your marriage all by yourself. It takes two. Your ex is unwilling to accept that Mack hasn’t been honest, and sometimes people must learn the hard way. As much as you’d like to “save” Jenny, she’s going to have to make her own mistakes. Stay close so you can buffer your son if there are stormy seas ahead. If Mack is as bad as you say, their romance likely will not last.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have two adult sons, 22 and 20. We helped them become independent by teaching them as teenagers to cook, do their laundry, scrub their bathrooms, vacuum, do dishes, etc.
Our oldest moved out a year ago and rented an apartment with his 28-year-old girlfriend. A month after he moved, we were invited to their place for dinner. The apartment was a mess. We let our son know they need to spend 15 to 30 minutes every day picking up after themselves so their days off won’t be spent cleaning. They both work crazy hours.
Neither one thinks cleaning their apartment is important! We have bought them cleaning supplies, a vacuum, a mop, etc., to help them maintain their apartment, but they sit unused. Their place is now a total disaster. It pains me to see them live like this. This isn’t how our son was raised.
By the way, she is the mother of a 5-year-old who stays with her three days a week. Part of me wants to call CPS because no child should live in these conditions, but I’m hesitant because of my son. He loves her and enjoys living with her. I desperately need advice on how to best handle this. — FASTIDIOUS IN WASHINGTON
DEAR FASTIDIOUS: I understand that you are disgusted, but the “best way to handle this” would be to step back and stay out of it. This is how your son has chosen to live — for now. If he is bothered by the mess, he’s capable of stepping in to rectify it. You should not call CPS unless the child is in imminent danger.
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.