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OPINION | DEAR ABBY: Son's career in family business comes at a cost

by Abigail Van Buren | November 11, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

Dear Abby: My ex-husband and I have been divorced 24 years. Our children are grown, so we have minimal contact.

Three years ago, our 34-year-old son went to work for his father with the promise that “someday the business would be his.” My ex isn’t trustworthy. He often lies to get what he wants, and rarely keeps promises.

Now I’m hearing from relatives that my ex does nothing but complain and belittle our son. He shares every mistake our son has made over the last three years and even information about our son’s finances. It upsets me to hear these things. What do I do? Should I tell my son what his father is saying? Do I confront my ex, even though I’m sure he will deny saying these things? Or should I just butt out since my son is an adult? — Caught In The Middle

Dear Caught: Talk to your son. Tell him what these relatives are repeating to you. It’s better than remaining silent and letting him stay in the dark. How he chooses to deal with his father after that is up to him — including telling dear old Dad he needs something in writing to guarantee he gets the business in the event of Dad’s demise. (No one lives forever.) If Dad refuses, your son will be better off looking for another job rather than waste any more of his time.

‘Dear Abby: Almost 40 years ago, I betrayed a friend. She was a classmate, and we went to the same church. Along with others, I suggested had an STD. At the time, I didn’t even completely understand what an STD was; I just went along with the crowd. I have often regretted that day. I have felt awful for publicly shaming her.

I tried reaching out to her on Facebook, but she will not acknowledge me. I really don’t blame her. Our 40th class reunion is coming up soon, and she plans to be there. With all my heart, I am sorry for what I did back then, but I am afraid she might call me out on it. What should I do? — Ashamed In Texas

Dear Ashamed: Stop stalking your former classmate on Facebook to soothe your guilty conscience. You may not have known back in high school what an STD was, but you were aware of your cruelty. Attend the reunion, and if she “calls you out,” apologize to her privately and hope she forgives you.

Dear Veterans: For your service to our nation, I salute you. My thanks to each of you on this Veterans Day. You are the personification of patriotism, self-sacrifice and dedication to our country. I would also like to recognize your families for the sacrifices they, too, have made. — Love, Abby

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles,CA 90069 or visit

www.DearAbby.com

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