Dear Abby: Recently, a member of the family suggested that my mother Google the name of my sister’s new live-in boyfriend. (Another family member said he had done it months ago.) When Mom did, she saw that he is a convicted sex offender. We were all shocked as he has been very good to my sister and other members of the family.
So far, we haven’t said anything to my sister or her boyfriend, and I am unsure what to do. I have a small child and it makes me nervous. I don’t know if my sister knows, and I don’t know how to bring it up.
I am upset with my family member because he didn’t say anything immediately after finding this information. I’m upset at my sister if she knows and hasn’t been honest with us, and I am upset with this man. What should I do?
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First let me tell you what NOT to do. Do not remain silent and stew. Tell your sister everything you have written to me and ask if she’s aware that her live-in boyfriend is on a sex offender website. If his offense concerned a minor child, it is possible that he is not supposed to be around children — and if he has been that the authorities would like to know. But first, discuss this with your sister who may — or may not — be able to put your fears to rest.
Dear Abby: I have been dating a widower for a year. While he was eager to jump into the dating pool, he still has a mini shrine of his late wife’s ashes and belongings in their house. I can’t bring myself to have dinner or sleep over there with that overt presence.
He recently told me he’s saving her remains to be intermingled with his when he dies. It was among a long list of her afterlife instructions he described. He’s in good health. I figure he has 25 years — or more — life expectancy before the big event.
Realistically, shouldn’t I expect more than second best in his world? Is there a time limit for grieving, or does the deceased get to control her hubby from the other side?
Waiting and Wondering
Realistically, this has less to do with what you should “expect” than conclusions the widower must arrive at on his own. Ask him in a nonconfrontational way how he FEELS about carrying out all of his deceased wife’s wishes — and whether he thinks it is fair to himself or you. Be prepared to discuss it without becoming emotional. His answers will tell you everything you need to know about a future with him.
P.S. If your relationship with him is good, why not focus on the present and not worry about what happens to his body when he’s gone? However, if this is a deal breaker, then don’t invest any more time.
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.