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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Apr 23, 2013
DEAR AMY: Our single, older, male next-door neighbor has become very chummy with our 19- and 20-year-old boys, who are in college and living less than one hour away.

He often invites them to join him for dinner, movies and bowling. We used to socialize with him occasionally but don't anymore.

Our sons think he's a great and generous guy. We see someone who makes a lot of effort to see our sons often, and we are uncomfortable with it. He's been fairly close to our family but as he's been way too generous (at times) with gifts in the past, I've asked that we stop exchanging gifts. All the same he sneaks gifts to our sons and tells them not to tell us.

I've mentioned boundaries, but it seems to make no difference to him what we think. We don't want our sons to see us as being negative. They see no boundary issues concerning him.

This feels just a bit creepy to us, and he's not taking our cues at all. Help!-- Parents in a Quandary!

DEAR PARENTS: If you are creeped out and trying to protect your sons from inappropriate contact, then you shouldn't worry about seeming "negative."

I can certainly understand an older individual having young friends. But the red flag is that this neighbor has asked your sons to keep secrets from you. No responsible and respectful adult would ask young people to lie to or deceive others.

You should be completely frank and honest with your sons. In the age of Jerry Sandusky and countless other stories of trusted adults "grooming" and then victimizing young people, if you "err" it should be on the side of transparency and honesty.

You should also tell this neighbor -- plainly and clearly -- that you do not feel comfortable with his overt focus on your sons. Beyond that, if you have further (and concrete) reason to suspect anything creepy is going on, you should notify the police.

DEAR AMY: I'm a single woman in my 20s. Six months ago a new employee was hired at my office. I was instantly attracted to him but he was married and so I never acted on my feelings. His wife is a wonderful person and we have socialized together.

Recently he confided that he has been completely preoccupied with me for months. He finds reasons to visit me at work, overanalyzes my text messages (or lack thereof), and says he loves me like he has never loved anyone before (including his wife). He says he regrets marrying his wife because now he is experiencing true love for the first time.

I love him, too, but have told him nothing can happen between us while he's married. We have had long, intimate conversations but have never been physically intimate.

He has confided that his marriage is ending. I refuse to allow anything to start before then, but I still can't help but feel like a home wrecker. I so desperately want to be with him but I can only imagine the judgment from co-workers and friends if we end up together. Can I follow my heart or should I cut ties with him entirely?-- Conflicted

DEAR CONFLICTED: Assuming that you are accurately reporting the details of this relationship, I'd say he -- not you -- is the home wrecker.

It would be best if you could take a step back -- way back -- to consider this objectively before taking the relationship further. People leaving their marriages always say they never should have married in the first place. And maybe that's true. But you should be very careful and skeptical. Consider every angle, including the professional issues, and then choose to do what's right for you.

DEAR AMY: I think you were too hard on "Hurt Wife," who was locked in a silent standoff with her husband. He sounds like a rat, and you suggested that she had swept issues under the rug. What gives? I think you owe her an apology.-- Hurt Reader

DEAR READER: We all have issues swept under the rug. Confronting these personal issues could help "Hurt Wife" to clarify what to do about this marriage -- other than retreat in angry silence.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#2 Apr 23, 2013
One of the answers in WaPo says it best:
Make sure you call the non emegency police number to report conduct with 2 people over the age 18 where there has been no threats and no obvious illegal activity.

First check with Miss Manners about how long you are obliged to listen to teh police laugh their heads off at you.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#3 Apr 23, 2013
One of the answers in WaPo says it best:
Make sure you call the non emegency police number to report conduct with 2 people over the age 18 where there has been no threats and no obvious illegal activity.

First check with Miss Manners about how long you are obliged to listen to teh police laugh their heads off at you.

Sorry if this is a double: Topix went wonky on me when I hit Post
pde

Homer Glen, IL

#4 Apr 23, 2013
Lw1: Your sons are 19 and 20 years old. Unless you have any evidence that there was some sort of illegal behavior toward them when they were minors--which they are not anymore--there is nothing you can do here.

You have no right to control who they choose to have friendships or relationships with. You have no right to define what your ADULT sons' boundaries regarding relationships are.

What, did you helicopter over them so much that you don't trust that they can make reasonable, adult decisions about what sort of relationships to engage in? Sounds like a problem of your own creation, if so.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#5 Apr 23, 2013
1 Pllleeeeaaaassseeee! Grooming them? There flipping 20yrs old! You cant groom a consenting adult! How about you just be honest with your kids and tell them you think the guy wants to diddle them, and see what their answer is. Maybe they want to be diddled!

2 Oh, boo-hoo! Lamy actually told a woman to man up about her culpability in a dysfunctional marriage and you think she's being mean. Cry me a river, probably hit too close to home for you didnt it!

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#6 Apr 23, 2013
1- I think it's inappropriate for a full-grown adult male to be so buddy buddy with a 19 and 20 yr old, to the point where he's always buying them gifts and telling them to keep it secret. I say check the sex offender registry in your area just to see if this guy has any type of nefarious history. Also have a down to earth adult conversation with your sons about this man's actions and why it's causing you concern.

2- Start by stopping flirting and texting with this man. Boundaries. Focus on your job, not your hooch.

3- Right, because women are never to blame.
pde

Homer Glen, IL

#7 Apr 23, 2013
RACE wrote:
1 Pllleeeeaaaassseeee! Grooming them? There flipping 20yrs old! You cant groom a consenting adult! How about you just be honest with your kids and tell them you think the guy wants to diddle them, and see what their answer is. Maybe they want to be diddled!
You seduce a consenting adult. And maybe he is trying to seduce them, or maybe he's just a socially clumsy, clingy person who goes overboard trying to sustain what he believes to be a friendship.

All three of them are adults. It's their relationship to figure out.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#8 Apr 23, 2013
L1: Speak to your adult sons and give them your opinion in the most non-judgmental way you can (non-judgmental towards your sons). Trust them to know what is right for them. Be there if they screw up but it's time for these adults to run their own life.

L2: The LW is a part of the destruction of a marriage, even if she did not mean to destroy it. Back off unless you like drama.

L3: If I remember correctly, the woman was whiny and needed to take more control for her own actions.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#9 Apr 23, 2013
L1: Turn the keys to the "Off" position and exit your parental hovercraft. Do you realize that you're encouraging your *adult* sons to keep things from you because of your ridiculous over-the-top reactions?

Amy is completely wrong.

L2: No, you don't love him. And he's not divorcing his wife. Enjoy the roller coaster you're on for the next 5 years or so.

L3: No, just Amy bring wrong again.

“Happy Halloween”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#10 Apr 23, 2013
LW1: I hear ya. Itís creepy and there are boundary issues, but your sons are 19 and 20. They arenít little boys who need their mommy to protect them from some guy offering them candy if they get in the car with him.

LW2: Things like this are not supposed to happen, but they do. The heart has a mind of its own, and it seems a bit unfair for two folks who are in love to not be together and for him to remain in a marriage when he is no longer in love with his wife.

I can totally see things from his wifeís perspective too, but does she really want to be with a man so desperately that she will be with one who doesnít love her and wishes to be with another? I would not want to be married to my wife if she felt that way.

LW3: I thought the guy was king doosh bag.

“FD&S is no way to be.”

Since: Feb 13

United States

#11 Apr 23, 2013
1. They are 19 and 20, they are old enough to recognize inappropiate behavior. And PEllen, call the police? Really? For what? "My sons are adults and have a friend I don't like." What are they going to do with that?

2. You always want what you can't have. This is especially true from his side. But please, go on with him so you can hopefully giveus some interesting letters.

3. They were both idiot in different ways. The "marriage" has been over for some time.
pde

Homer Glen, IL

#12 Apr 23, 2013
Sam I Am GEAM wrote:
1. They are 19 and 20, they are old enough to recognize inappropiate behavior. And PEllen, call the police? Really? For what? "My sons are adults and have a friend I don't like." What are they going to do with that?
"First check with Miss Manners about how long you are obliged to listen to teh police laugh their heads off at you."

;)
pde

Homer Glen, IL

#13 Apr 23, 2013
Toj wrote:
L1: Speak to your adult sons and give them your opinion in the most non-judgmental way you can (non-judgmental towards your sons). Trust them to know what is right for them. Be there if they screw up but it's time for these adults to run their own life.
I'm wondering if maybe the sons also need an opinion on why it's not cool to take advantage of socially awkward or needy people.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#14 Apr 23, 2013
Sam I Am GEAM wrote:
1. They are 19 and 20, they are old enough to recognize inappropiate behavior. And PEllen, call the police? Really? For what? "My sons are adults and have a friend I don't like." What are they going to do with that?
I think she was being sarcastic.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#15 Apr 23, 2013
Sub, the guy in LW2 is lying. His marriage isn't ending. He's just feeding stupid LW a bunch of lines to get into her pants.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#16 Apr 23, 2013
Toj wrote:
<quoted text>
I think she was being sarcastic.
Agreed.

“Happy Halloween”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#17 Apr 23, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
Sub, the guy in LW2 is lying. His marriage isn't ending. He's just feeding stupid LW a bunch of lines to get into her pants.
How do you know? What you say is possible, but not necessarily the case. What if he does love the LW and does not love his wife? Can that not happen? Can two folks not fall in love, when they should not? Are you able to make yourself fall in love with someone or stop yourself from doing so? Iím not. Like I said, the heart has a mind of its own.

In any case, the LW has protected herself from the possibility of what you say, tho, by refusing to take it to another level while he is married. Thatís very smart of her to do if she does not trust him and his intentions.

I donít think she should feel bad about anything, tho. Itís really this guyís call and itís really on him. A less than ideal situation for everyone, IMO, but what are you going to do Ö things happen?

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#18 Apr 23, 2013
pde wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm wondering if maybe the sons also need an opinion on why it's not cool to take advantage of socially awkward or needy people.
They might. There are 19 year olds who are very mature and others who are like 14. Given how hoving this mother is, they may be like 14 year olds in maturity.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#19 Apr 23, 2013
Sublime1 wrote:
<quoted text>
How do you know? What you say is possible, but not necessarily the case. What if he does love the LW and does not love his wife? Can that not happen? Can two folks not fall in love, when they should not? Are you able to make yourself fall in love with someone or stop yourself from doing so? Iím not. Like I said, the heart has a mind of its own.
In any case, the LW has protected herself from the possibility of what you say, tho, by refusing to take it to another level while he is married. Thatís very smart of her to do if she does not trust him and his intentions.
I donít think she should feel bad about anything, tho. Itís really this guyís call and itís really on him. A less than ideal situation for everyone, IMO, but what are you going to do Ö things happen?
I think the guy is totally full of it and LW is a complete idiot who will change her mind on waiting for him to divorce before sleeping with him.
animaniactoo

New York, NY

#20 Apr 23, 2013
Sublime1 wrote:
<quoted text>
How do you know? What you say is possible, but not necessarily the case. What if he does love the LW and does not love his wife? Can that not happen? Can two folks not fall in love, when they should not? Are you able to make yourself fall in love with someone or stop yourself from doing so? Iím not. Like I said, the heart has a mind of its own.
In any case, the LW has protected herself from the possibility of what you say, tho, by refusing to take it to another level while he is married. Thatís very smart of her to do if she does not trust him and his intentions.
I donít think she should feel bad about anything, tho. Itís really this guyís call and itís really on him. A less than ideal situation for everyone, IMO, but what are you going to do Ö things happen?
Frankly, she needs to back it down even from the level where it is, and stop having long intimate conversations with him until something definitive has happened. She's leaving herself open for that next step, and for being lied to about his having separated from his wife, etc. when he hasn't done anything of the sort.*If* he is serious and honorable, he'll clean up his home situation in a hurry so that he'll be free to start a relationship - and accept that the long intimate conversations can't happen until then.

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