DEAR ABBY: My first marriage ended in divorce 35 years ago because my wife had cheated on me several times. I suspected then that I wasn't my daughter's biological father. Lately I have been wondering about my son, too. Both are in their late 30s now. Obviously, I decided to accept them as my own.
My son and his daughter both have health problems. My granddaughter's medical problems are very serious, but the doctors aren't sure what she has. A saliva test to determine if he is my biological son might give him or my granddaughter some insight into their medical problems. Should I have this test done?
- Questioning In The South
DEAR QUESTIONING: Because you feel there is the possibility the test might shed light on genetic medical conditions, discuss it with your son and let him decide whether he wants it done. If there is a chance that the health problems affecting him and his daughter are inherited from his paternal bloodline and you turn out not to be his father, he may want to ask his mother who the person is and see if the man would be willing to have genetic testing done.
Husband's drinking drives away guests
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I usually hosted all the get-togethers among our friends. We haven't been able to do that for about six months.
Hosting is something I love to do when I'm not working. My family, friends and co-workers have all told me they no longer want to visit - or vice versa - because of my husband. He gets drunk and treats them like they are inferior. My husband, a stay-at-home dad, does not see it. There are now many people in my life I no longer see because of his rudeness.
My husband and I have been best friends since third grade. I love him, but protecting him and making excuses for him is exhausting. What should I do?
- Hard-Working Spouse
DEAR HARD WORKING: One of the symptoms of a "problem drinker" is when the drinking affects that person's relationships. Your mistake has been in trying to protect your husband from the consequences of his drinking. What you need to do is attend some Al-Anon meetings and do what you can to steer your husband out of denial and into a substance-abuse program. To find a meeting near you, visit al-anon.org.
Cleaning lady cleans out her charity bin
DEAR ABBY: A few months ago, I hired a woman to keep house for me. She's a single mom and not well off. I cleaned out my closet recently and selected more than 100 items to donate. I told my cleaning lady to go through them and choose anything she might wear, but asked that she take only things she really wanted because I planned to donate the rest to a charity. To my surprise, she took two-thirds of the stuff. I hope she isn't selling it. I'm not sure if I should say anything to her. What do you think?
- New To This in Arizona
DEAR NEW TO THIS: I think that the next time you decide to clear out your closet, you offer the woman a limited number of garments and that's all.