My son and his live-in girlfriend were expecting a baby. My daughter planned the shower, and it was a wonderful eight months of excitement. I was included in the ultrasounds and all information, and we were all anticipating the big day. Two weeks before the baby was due, my son showed up and announced that the baby was not his. He was heartbroken, as were all of us.
I had given them items that should have stayed in the family, and many of his friends and our extended family gave them a lot of gifts. Shouldn't those things be returned? She cheated on my son, became pregnant by another man, and then waited until the end to break his heart. Your advice would be appreciated.
- Sad and Mad in Idaho
DEAR SAD AND MAD: Please accept my sympathy for the very real loss your family has experienced. My question to you would be, how is your son handling this revelation? Is the relationship over, or is there a chance he could forgive her, reconcile, and accept the baby as his own? (Some men do.)
If that's the case, let things stand as they are. However, if he won't, you should politely ask for the family items to be returned. Rightfully, they should be. Assuming they are in her possession and were given as gifts, she may refuse, and you can't force her. Be prepared, hang onto your temper, and try not to say anything for which you might be sorry later. This is a time for negotiation, not vendetta.
Still feeling the effects
of childhood sex abuse
DEAR ABBY: I was raped when I was 13. My uncle was the person who took me to the home of his friend who raped me. After that, my uncle started molesting me. Instead of believing me, my parents believed my uncle's lies. They blamed and abandoned me afterward. I had to learn about life the hard way.
My dad is dead now, and I don't associate with my mom or anyone on her side of the family. I always mess up any relationship I have. I love the guy I have been seeing for three years, but I'm still doing the same things that ruined my last relationships. I have a huge problem with trust, even with this new guy. How do I stop acting like this?
- Needs Help in Florida
DEAR NEEDS HELP: Considering your history, your trust issues are a normal reaction to what was done to you by your family. That your parents would believe your abuser instead of you when you told them you had been assaulted is appalling.