Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 8:02 pm
Dear Annie: My son met his girlfriend while in college. They moved in together, and “Dora” became pregnant. After a few months, she decided they should move back to Nebraska to live near her father. My son had two jobs at the time, so they agreed he should stay to tie up loose ends and then look for a job in Omaha.
While apart, Dora became difficult and told my son he had no say in anything to do with the child. With no job and not knowing anyone in Omaha, he decided not to move until the child was born. But now he can’t get in touch with his former girlfriend or her father. Dora won’t return his calls.
How can we find out whether Dora had the baby? My son wants to do the right thing financially and emotionally for his child. What rights does he have? — Not Knowing Is Painful
Dear Not Knowing: Plenty. If he is this child’s father, not only does he have an obligation to support the baby, he has the right to sue for custody. Tell him to see a lawyer immediately. And he might want to get a paternity test, just to be sure.
Dear Annie: I just turned 50 and have been divorced for the past seven years. I recently moved in with “Duke,” whom I met a year ago.
Duke’s job requires a lot of traveling, and lately, things don’t seem right between us. Women call his cell phone frequently, and he won’t answer when he’s with me. He says they are co-workers and he doesn’t need to speak to them. But I also found lewd text messages from women and naked pictures of them on his phone. His son also told me that Duke is online a lot, talking to different women in our area.
I confronted Duke about what I found and told him I can no longer trust him. I also stupidly admitted I checked his phone, and he tried to turn it around and claim he can’t trust me either because I snooped.
Duke says he loves me, but if that’s true, he wouldn’t be doing these things behind my back. I do not plan for this relationship to go any further (meaning marriage), but I’m not sure what I ought to do. Should I continue to live with the lies and deception and go out and have fun myself, or should I find a place of my own? I think I know the answer, but would like your opinion. — Hurt in Florida
Dear Hurt: You should absolutely find a place of your own. Duke is not trustworthy and has no intention of changing his behavior. There is no future or contentment in this relationship unless you need a roommate to help pay the rent, in which case, you should have separate bedrooms and separate lives. Sorry.
Dear Annie: I would like to add my two cents to your reply to “It’s Cold in Maine,” the woman who was concerned about her granddaughter’s language on Facebook.
Facebook is a wonderful tool to find old friends and keep in touch. But as Grandma learned, there is often a problem of “too much information.” My husband un-friended our daughter-in-law because he didn’t want to be bombarded with her sorority activities and fashion comments. She was hurt and angry and considered it an insult. I urge people instead to use the “hide” feature to keep others’ comments from appearing on your wall, while still allowing you to check their pages and keep the lines of communication open.
Most young people go through a phase of using colorful language, and much of it is for shock value, so telling them to stop will fall on deaf ears. It is OK to tell them how you feel in a private conversation, but un-friending sends the message that you no longer care about them. I also would not reprimand people in the public areas of Facebook or complain to their mother like “Maine” did. — Facebook Fan
Dear Fan: Thanks for the suggestions. We concur.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 5.25.10