dahgts

Chicago, IL

#1 Jan 5, 2013
DEAR ABBY: I'm the youngest of three children and I'll be graduating from high school in the spring. My parents always seemed happy with each other. They were obviously in love, and they told my brothers and me they would never get divorced. Although they had arguments, they always made up, and it never seemed to be serious.

For the last few months, my dad has been acting weird. He spends a lot of time talking to and texting "a friend" on the phone. The problem is, although the friend has a male name ("George") in his contacts, the person has a female voice. I didn't think anything about it until recently, when I turned on Dad's phone to play a game and it was open to a series of text messages between him and this "friend." What I saw made it clear that something is up. Mom knows nothing about it.

I love my father, but I don't think I can handle this. I can't believe he'd do this to our family, especially since all of us are going through a really hard time lately.

I don't know what to do. I don't want to tell anyone because I don't want our family to fall apart. But I can't stay quiet. What should I do?-- BLINDSIDED IN JERSEY

DEAR BLINDSIDED: I agree that you can't keep quiet about this. What you saw was, of course, shocking -- and the person you should talk to about it is your father. Sometimes when people are going through a really tough time, they do things they wouldn't ordinarily do. Your mother may -- or may not -- have an inkling that something is going on.
Ask your father if the text means he plans to leave the family. Then give him a deadline to come clean with your mother, and let him know that if he doesn't, you will. You have my sympathy.

DEAR ABBY: My husband was sober for 14 years. He started drinking again two years ago. He's on probation and drinking is a clear violation of his probation. His liver enzymes are elevated, and I can't seem to find the right words to get his attention. I have thought about contacting his probation officer, but then he will be incarcerated.

Abby, I am watching the man I love drink himself to death and I'm afraid for him. Should I tell his probation officer or just watch him self-destruct?-- SCARED AND CONFUSED IN MICHIGAN

DEAR SCARED: The reason you can't get your husband's attention is because of the alcohol. He isn't thinking straight. As I am sure you realize, one of the hallmarks of addiction is denial. No one helps an alcoholic by enabling the person to continue drinking, and your husband definitely needs help.

While it may not be easy, talk to the probation officer so your husband can be incarcerated, dry out and become rational again. I know it is a painful choice, but watching him die of liver disease would be worse.

DEAR ABBY: Can you answer something for me? If the abbreviation for "mister" is "Mr.," then why is there an R in "Mrs." when there's no R in the word it's short for?-- INQUISITIVE IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR INQUISITIVE: According to my America Heritage Dictionary (4th Edition), "'Mrs.' is the abbreviation of the word 'mistress'" -- an antiquated term for a married or widowed woman.

Since: Mar 09

West Palm Beach, FL

#2 Jan 5, 2013
L1: I say talk to your older siblings first. Also, how do you know what George's voice sounds like?

L2: Tough love.

L3: What is the origin of the word "bored"? Clearly this LW needs to know....

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#3 Jan 5, 2013
j_m_w wrote:
L1: I say talk to your older siblings first.
NO!

That could disrupt the family harmony which is what the kid is trying to avoid. All three children will know that something's going on and the mother will still be kept in the dark? I don't see that turning out well. LW should go with Abby's advice.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#4 Jan 5, 2013
So everyone should ignore the elephant in the room because the facade of a happy family is paramount.
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
NO!
That could disrupt the family harmony which is what the kid is trying to avoid. All three children will know that something's going on and the mother will still be kept in the dark? I don't see that turning out well. LW should go with Abby's advice.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#5 Jan 5, 2013
RACE wrote:
So everyone should ignore the elephant in the room because the facade of a happy family is paramount.
<quoted text>
Everyone doesn't even know about the elephant in the room accept for the lw. Spilling the beans/ratting out his dad before even talking to him first is not the way to resolve this.
Anonymous

Plant City, FL

#6 Jan 5, 2013
1: Truth has a way of rising to the surface--always. It's just a matter of time.
But hey--they might keep their word and not get divorced. Did they promise you they'd never cheat?
Dad's a tool. Get used to it now--adults will break your hearts more so develop skills to cope with fallable humans...

2: If he drinks and drives and kills someone, their blood in on your hands, enabling fool. Infuriating.

Since: Mar 09

Pittsburgh, PA

#7 Jan 5, 2013
cheluzal wrote:
1: Truth has a way of rising to the surface--always. It's just a matter of time.
But hey--they might keep their word and not get divorced. Did they promise you they'd never cheat?
Does anyone, other than the kid, REALLY think the Mom doesn't know?

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#8 Jan 5, 2013
VAdame wrote:
<quoted text>
Does anyone, other than the kid, REALLY think the Mom doesn't know?
Yes. People successfully have affairs under their spouses nose all the time.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#9 Jan 5, 2013
Your overlooking the fact that the kid has noticed his change in behavior, do you really think (s)he is to only one to notice?
I wager its a very badly kept secret and everyone is wearing blinders.
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes. People successfully have affairs under their spouses nose all the time.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#10 Jan 5, 2013
RACE wrote:
Your overlooking the fact that the kid has noticed his change in behavior, do you really think (s)he is to only one to notice?
I wager its a very badly kept secret and everyone is wearing blinders.
<quoted text>
A change in behavior could be a lot of things. Maybe everyone else knows there's "something" going on but don't know what. Maybe the lw is the only other one that accessed dad's cell phone and now knows the secret. She should talk to dad first before blathering everything to everyone. I'm sure there is a lot she might not know and I'm sure everyone will agree that spouting off when you don't know the whole story is not a good idea.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#11 Jan 5, 2013
No, knee jerk reactionary actions based upon little to no information is just following your hunches and should be explored to the fullest. Why ask dad when you can quiz everyone else, pool your knowledge base, come up with a totally biased view of what is happening and then confront him.

How else do you ever expect them to get on Jerry?
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
A change in behavior could be a lot of things. Maybe everyone else knows there's "something" going on but don't know what. Maybe the lw is the only other one that accessed dad's cell phone and now knows the secret. She should talk to dad first before blathering everything to everyone. I'm sure there is a lot she might not know and I'm sure everyone will agree that spouting off when you don't know the whole story is not a good idea.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#12 Jan 5, 2013
LW1: The affair that your dad is having is probably the outcropping of a mid-life crisis. It is very selfish of him to have chosen this path. The affair will only make whatever problems he is facing ten times worse. Definitely muster the courage to tell him what you have discovered and follow Abby's advice to give him a deadline to tell your mother so they can sort this out.

LW2: You're going to have to tough love him, but I am not sure that telling his probation officer and getting him back in jail is the best idea. On the other hand, it might be the only thing that works. This is a tough call.
edogxxx

Braidwood, IL

#13 Jan 5, 2013
RACE wrote:
No, knee jerk reactionary actions based upon little to no information is just following your hunches and should be explored to the fullest. Why ask dad when you can quiz everyone else, pool your knowledge base, come up with a totally biased view of what is happening and then confront him.
How else do you ever expect them to get on Jerry?
<quoted text>
Maybe dad is dying and "George" is his doctor? The kid never actually SAID an affair was the issue, just that "something was up."
edogxxx

Braidwood, IL

#14 Jan 5, 2013
Kuuipo wrote:
I am not sure that telling his probation officer and getting him back in jail is the best idea.
I agree. Should she be more concerned about him going back to jail or dying?
I'm sure there are intervention options that will allow him to remain anonymous. She should pursue those first before turning him in. Prison is not the best cure for alcoholism.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#15 Jan 5, 2013
From the letter...open to a series of text messages between him and this "friend." What I saw made it clear that something is up. Mom knows nothing about it.

First off, doctors dont text their patients (that I am aware of)
Next, "What is up", does not read like the texts are discussing a tumor.
Finally mom not knowing sounds suspiciously like infidelity.

But you read what you want into it.

edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Maybe dad is dying and "George" is his doctor? The kid never actually SAID an affair was the issue, just that "something was up."

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#16 Jan 6, 2013
cheluzal wrote:
2: If he drinks and drives and kills someone, their blood in on your hands, enabling fool. Infuriating.
Exactly where did she say that he is driving while drinking? For all we know, he's a stay at home drunk. I knew guy that was just that. Never drove drunk. Would pick up a 12 paxk on the way home and drink the whole thing each night. Soory, but I would not rat someone out to the cops if the only person they were harming is themself.

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