Q: I have been divorced for a year and have two boys, ages 8 and 9. During this time, my ex-husband has introduced three different women to my children and recently introduced them to a new girlfriend he has been seeing for a few weeks. The first day that they met the girlfriend, he had the children spend the night at her place. The woman has a 9-year-old son of her own.
I do not find this appropriate. When I confronted my ex, he insisted that there is no problem with it. How long do you recommend someone wait before introducing children to the person he/she is dating? Am I wrong to be concerned about this? — Caring Mom in Kansas
A: Unless your ex is trying to teach his sons that relationships are revolving doors, he should slow down the traffic. They need to spend time with their father, not their father plus one. Occasionally having a female friend join him and the boys is all right, provided they understand she’s just a friend. But he shouldn’t have been diluting the time he was spending with the boys during this first year to the extent that he has because it sends the wrong message.
Q: My lesbian friend, “Giselle,” broke up with her significant other, whom she met over the internet. They have actually never met in person because her girlfriend, “Samantha,” lives in Canada, but Giselle says they were soul mates. Samantha has moved on and now has another sweetheart, but Giselle won’t move on.
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It has been many months and Giselle is still trapped in this bubble of sadness. She won’t stop talking about how much she loves Samantha. I kept reassuring her everything would be OK and maybe she would find somebody else like her internet friend did.
After a few months, she became angry with me and accused me of not being supportive of her trying to get Samantha back. She also accused me of not understanding “what girl-to-girl love is,” which makes no sense, considering that I’m bi.
This has been going on for nearly a year. Should I back off, or must I continue to be supportive of something I know can’t happen? — Trying to Be Supportive
A: Giselle is angry at you not because you haven’t been supportive, but because she’s upset her feelings for Samantha aren’t returned. This is called “displaced anger,” and you happen to be the nearest target. Your life will be a lot more pleasant if you step out of the picture until Giselle figures out for herself that her romance has fizzled and decides for herself to move on.
Q: My son was cremated as he had requested, but he also asked that his ashes be spread far away from home, which would require us to take a long trip to do. Would it be disrespectful not to accommodate that part of his request? If we did that, we would have no part of him near or with us. Do you have an opinion? — So Far Away
A: Yes, but first allow me to offer my condolences for the loss of your son. If you feel the need to have his cremains physically close to you, do what will bring you comfort. Divide the ashes, keep some of them and honor his wishes with the rest.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.