Son trades on lies and good looks to get what he wants
DEAR ABBY: I need help and don't know where to turn. I am divorced and have a 37-year-old son, "Teddy," who has never married and has no children. He lives on his own except when he's in trouble or has nowhere else to go. Then he moves back in with me.
The problem is my son is a liar and has been ever since he was a teenager. He even lies when telling the truth would be better. I punished him every way I knew how when he was growing up. Nothing worked.
Teddy has been in trouble with the law in the past and is now in trouble again. Of course, he says he's innocent. I got him out on bond and offered to get him help. I also told him there would be no more money from me, and I no longer want to hear his lies.
Another problem: Teddy is extremely good-looking and women swoon over him. He ends up using them and then dumping them, and then they call me.
I don't know why he is the way he is. Is there treatment for people who can't tell the truth? Please tell me what to do. I love my son and it breaks my heart to see him do these bad things.
- Brokenhearted mother in Texas
DEAR BROKENHEARTED: As much as you love Teddy, it's time to accept that you can't fix what's wrong with him; only he can do that. It won't happen until he finally has to accept the consequences of his bad behavior.
Taking him in and bailing him out is not the answer. It also helps no one when you have long conversations with the women who call you, so protect yourself by cutting them short. Considering the kind of man your son is, thank your lucky stars that he has no children - yet.
DEAR ABBY: My father recently moved to an apartment with no storage and I was left with 10 large boxes of memorabilia. Going through these boxes brought many tears of remembrance and new insights into the lives of my parents and grandparents.
My problem now is what to do with these things; I can scan photos and letters, but what about Great-Grandma's wedding dress (stained and moth-eaten), Mother's christening gown (too frail to use again) and the dear soft curl of hair from my uncle who died in childhood?
I don't have much storage room, and I'm not certain my children would even care about these things. Yet it doesn't seem right to throw them in the garbage. I wonder what other people do with treasured items that have no value beyond sentiment.
- Soft heart/practical head in Tacoma
DEAR SOFT HEART: Do not automatically assume that your children would have no interest in the contents of those 10 boxes. ASK them. However, if they say no, then contact the state historical society or a local theater troupe and inquire if they would have any interest. You may be pleasantly surprised to find some of the items would be welcomed.
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I are having a disagreement about laundry. When you buy new clothes that are still in the plastic wrapping, should they be washed before they are worn?
- Jim in New Jersey
DEAR JIM: It's a personal choice. Some garment manufacturers recommend that certain items be laundered before wearing. However, if they don't, I don't!
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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