DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for 18 years. It’s a second marriage for both of us. He cheated on his ex with me. Soon after we were married, he told me that, given the chance, he would cheat on me, but that I shouldn’t worry because no really pretty woman would ever want him.
Six years into our marriage, I needed to find something on his phone and saw he had signed up on a dating website for married people looking to cheat. We went to counseling. He said he wasn’t planning on following through; he just wanted to see what was out there.
Not long afterward, I noticed he had checked a website for dating foreign women, but he needed a credit card, so he gave up. Off to counseling again. I told him that was strike two.
Last month, I went on vacation with my daughter. Last week, he accidentally deleted something on his phone and asked me to find it. What I also found were emails from women offering their services, all of them sent while I was away. (“Send money, I’ll send more titillating photos.”) He claims he didn’t ask for them. There are eight or 10. My question: Is this strike three? — FOOLISH LADY IN MARYLAND
DEAR LADY: It should be obvious to you by now that your husband isn’t interested in being faithful. If you’re looking for a reason to leave him, this is strike three. If not, it’s strike 2 1/2. (Please get yourself tested for STDs.)
DEAR ABBY: My beautiful daughter has a great job, two lovely sons and a fiancé who loves her. She seems to have it all. But since she’s been with him, she has gained weight. I would estimate that she now weighs around 250 pounds. She has no energy, doesn’t walk at all, and sits in front of the TV when she’s not at work. She refuses to allow her picture to be taken; she always insists on being the one taking pictures.
I know she’s bothered about her weight. I know I am bothered because I’m afraid she won’t live 10 more years. Last weekend, we were at an outside self-service restaurant with a steep terrace. We wanted another drink. She asked me to get them because she would be too out of breath. I made two trips bringing things down to our table.
How can I say I think she needs to lose weight? Of course, she does, but will this ruin our relationship? I almost feel like she needs an intervention. We would be as worried if it were alcohol that was threatening her life. But it’s food. Her fiancé is also overweight. I think he’s an enabler.
I’m stressed and depressed over this. They plan to be married next year, and I wonder how much they will weigh by then. Any advice? — PROTECTIVE MOM IN MISSOURI
DEAR MOM: Your concern is valid. Your daughter’s weight gain and sedentary lifestyle could lead to serious health problems if they aren’t addressed. That said, the intervention should come from your daughter’s doctor, if she has one, rather than from you.
DEAR ABBY: I have had a wonderful relationship with my only grandson for nine years. Since I retired, he visits every other weekend, which makes me so happy. He has autism and didn’t speak for the first six years, but now he talks constantly. It’s wonderful. I’m very close to my son as well.
I guess you know what’s coming: My daughter- in-law cut my grandchild out of my life four months ago. She says he was molested in my care by my husband. I took my husband of 13 years, who has never been alone with my grandson, ever, to the police station. He passed all lie detector tests, and the police said they believe my husband.
My grandson didn’t say a word; only my DIL spoke. I had CPS come out and they did a thorough investigation. They said that, in their opinion, she was making this up. She hasn’t spoken to her family in 12 years. She cuts everyone off if they upset her.
My grandson needs me. What can I do? My son says if I move and live next door to them, I can see him every day. But, I don’t believe that would last either. I’m sure she would just come up with something else. Any ideas? — ACHING HEART IN TEXAS
DEAR ACHING HEART: If your son is suggesting that you move next door – presumably without your husband – it is a nonstarter. The person who could fix this is your son. Because the accusation your DIL made was groundless, your son should insist you have visitation with your grandson. However, if that doesn’t happen, then remember Texas is a state in which grandparents do have some rights. Therefore, it may benefit you to discuss this matter with an attorney specializing in family law.