DEAR ABBY: My ex-wife and I were married for 29 years. Then she had an affair with a co-worker's husband. Now that we're divorced, she thinks we should be the best of friends!
If she has car, money or any other type of problems, she thinks I should help her. In the divorce, I kept the home, the furnishings, etc. She left with only a few things that were her mother's and her clothing.
She drops by unannounced, and wants to visit or watch television. I'm baffled. If she wanted out of the marriage and to have nothing to do with me, why is she still in my life? Granted, we have two daughters. One is 22, and the other, who is 10, lives with her.
She texts me about how her day has been, or if she's having problems at work or in life in general. I have been kind to her, not wanting to put too much stress on my youngest child. What should I do?
- Confused in Texas
DEAR CONFUSED: Your ex is no longer your life companion. She shouldn't be acting as if you are.
Have an honest conversation with her and create some boundaries. She should not assume she can drop by unannounced and expect you to solve her problems or comment on her day. Tell her you need your space and not to drop by without calling first because you may be busy or going out.
You can still be a loving and involved father to your 10-year-old without doing anything more than co-parenting with your ex, but only if you draw the line.
Teen hiding boyfriend
DEAR ABBY: I'm 13 and I have a boyfriend, "Donald." We have a strong relationship for someone our age. My friends all say they can't see us breaking up. I'm not sure about this though.
The problem is, his mom recently invited me to dinner. And I had to turn the offer down. You see, I'm not allowed to date, and if my parents knew, I'd be switched to an all-girls boarding school. I always feel like I'm letting Donald down because his mom has made this offer more than once. He has never once complained, but I have no clue what to do.
- Clueless teen
DEAR CLUELESS TEEN: Here's what you do. Be totally truthful. Ask Donald to explain to his mother that as much as you would like to come to dinner, you cannot do that because your parents feel you are too young to date. Then take a rain check until your parents meet Donald and agree that it's all right for you to see him and accept his mother's invitation.
Online invites OK?
DEAR ABBY: The world is changing quickly thanks to the digital technology available to us. We all understand the importance of an RSVP, attendance at a celebration and a gift to the host on a mailed-out invitation. What do you think about Facebook invitations to wedding receptions, graduation parties, etc.? Most are sent out to masses of friends on the person's friends list. Do you consider those to be official invitations, requiring an RSVP, attendance and gift?
- Waiting for my snail mail
DEAR WAITING: Regardless of how the invitation is delivered, the polite response is to accept or refuse and not keep the sender hanging. If you choose to attend, a gift would be in order if the occasion requires one.