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Sun, Aug. 18

Dear Abby | Dad turns sons into weapons in his bitter breakup with mom

Dear Abby: My daughter has two boys who treat her like crap. They swear, call her a b----, whore, liar and the f-word. They break things in her house and have no respect for anyone.

The problem started after she broke up with their biological father and married her new boyfriend. The father brainwashes the boys to do these things to make life a living hell with her new husband.

What I cannot understand is why my daughter goes out of her way to please these two ungrateful kids and still cannot see how they are destroying her present household. This is killing me. What can she do to solve the problem? – Angry in the West

Dear Angry: The first thing your daughter will have to do to solve her problem is acknowledge that there is one, and SHE may be part of it. Then, she will have to quit trying to ingratiate herself with the boys and act more like a parent than a doormat, which means she will have to institute consequences when her sons misbehave and treat her disrespectfully. Unless she is prepared to do that, nothing will change.

Dear Abby: My husband is a physician with a heavy call schedule. For years I have struggled with how to RSVP to invitations to cocktail parties and/or dinner. Many times I can go and would like to attend, but I can’t be sure my husband will be able to be there. Many times I decline for us both because I worry that it might be awkward for the host/hostess if I accept for myself, but say I’m “not sure” for my husband. How would you handle this? – Really Wants to Go in Kansas

Dear Really: If I wanted to attend the gathering, I would call my hosts and explain that I would love to come but couldn’t guarantee my husband would be able to because of his practice. Then I would add that he might drop by later (if that’s feasible). Gracious hosts will welcome you.

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.

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