DEAR ABBY: Please help with some advice regarding my children. My almost-ex-wife filed for divorce while asking me to "work on myself." She refused counseling despite our 17 years of marriage and two children, ages 12 and 10. While I was out of our family home - at her request - she was dating a married (unemployed) man who has a child of his own. Our daughter eventually told me what was going on.
My wife then moved into a rental house. She and the boyfriend are still legally married because the divorces aren't final. Now she's imposing him on our children at the rental house. She also brings him to their sporting events even though it makes the children and other team parents uncomfortable. Is it appropriate that she expose our kids to her dating situation?
- Stay Classy In The West
DEAR STAY CLASSY: Nothing you or I can say to your almost-ex is going to change what she's doing. And no, what has been going on with her and her lover is not "appropriate."
Please continue to be as supportive of your children as you can be. You should also talk to your lawyer about their custody, because your wife is going to have her hands full supporting this new man in her life, which may mean she has less time to spend with them.
Dishing on dishes
DEAR ABBY: I have a set of china I inherited from my mother. I don't have children, and my niece and nephew (brother's side) are estranged from the family. My brother has been raising his now 14-year-old granddaughter from infancy. Have you any ideas on what to do with the dishes?
- Unsure in California
DEAR UNSURE: Yes, I do. In the past I have received letters from frustrated readers telling me they offered treasured family items - china, crystal, antique furniture - to young relatives, only to have them refused because "they weren't their style."
Because the china has sentimental value for you, why don't YOU start using it? However, if it isn't your style either, consider selling or donating it.