Dear Abby: In middle school, I had a crush on a boy. He didn’t even know I existed. Through a chance meeting many years later, he noticed me, but there were complications. He didn’t know how to tell his ex it was too late for her, and it became a love triangle. She saw the error of her ways and left. He and I have been together ever since. He still talked to her as they had been friends forever, but two months ago he stopped.
Meanwhile, through all of this, she has been cyber-stalking and manipulating me. She has created multiple Facebook accounts to torture me, sent me a video of my boyfriend doing sexual things and tried to make me believe it was current. (It was five years old.)
He cut off contact with her, and it was glorious until last week, when she helped him get back in touch with his son, whom he hasn’t seen in 10-plus years. I see it for the manipulation it is, but he sees it as her redemption. He doesn’t care that it hurts me, and he refuses to get rid of her.
She has slandered me all over Facebook, and I don’t think he should expect me to be OK with this or for him to even WANT a person like that in his life. He was AMAZING without her influence. How do I get him back to that person? I miss him so much!
– Anguished in Arizona
Dear Anguished: Let me get this straight. This man cheated on his ex with you, and you expected her to play fair? I wish you had mentioned why your boyfriend hasn’t seen his son in more than 10 years. It might have been the most interesting paragraph in your letter. Were he and his ex married? Just living together while she was “in denial”?
From where I sit, she is doing everything she can to fight for “her man.” He appears to have fences to mend with his son and with her, and you may have to accept it. It looks like he has already made up his mind about that, and unless you can accept it, your romance will be over. Only you can decide whether staying with this person is worth the drama.
Dear Abby: My sister-in-law moved into the house next door three years ago. While I enjoy her company and like her as a person, I’m having difficulty expressing my frustration with one particular issue.
I have a beautiful hedge that separates our driveways and provides privacy. She regularly leaves her garbage can lids on top of my hedge as well as various other things she’s discarding (eventually). Today I noticed a large portion of the shrub showing what appears to be a chemical burn. (She has been known to use toxic chemicals to rid her yard of weeds, etc.) I don’t want to offend her, but at the same time, I’m struggling to find the words to properly address my desire for her to mind the property line. Help!
– Related to My Neighbor
Dear Related: This is something you should have addressed when the problem started. Approach her calmly and say something like this: “It bothers me that you leave your trash can lids and other items on my hedge. When you do, it makes me feel disrespected. Something you left on the hedge has damaged it. My hedge was expensive to install, and this is upsetting me. Please don’t do it again.”
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.