DEAR ABBY: A friend of mine faked a pregnancy to get a man to stay with her. Once he moved in, she told him she'd had a miscarriage. She even went so far as to name this so-called baby.
He now has the baby's name tattooed on his arm! She goes on Facebook and talks about how she misses her "little baby boy," and counts every month as though it is his birthday. Every time I read it I get a sick feeling.
I want to tell this man the truth. I know for a fact she was not pregnant. I'm not sure how to go about this. If I say something, I know I will end up the bad guy. Should I mind my own business or let this man know he's living with a maniac? -- WANTS TO TELL THE TRUTH
DEAR WANTS: Your friend may have told this lie so often that she has come to believe it herself. Or, she may be acting this out in order to hang onto the man. While I don't think she is a maniac, I do think she may be unbalanced.
I agree the man has a right to know. Wouldn't you want to be told if you were him? The way to do it is face-to-face. And be prepared for the friendship to end afterward. Frankly, that may be for the best because the woman has more problems than you can cope with.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have recently moved and are now being bombarded with demands to see our home. I was brought up to believe that inviting yourself to anything, especially the privacy of someone's home, is extremely rude.
I understand our family is excited for us, and it is nice to be loved -- but our home isn't ready to be shown, and people won't give up! Telling them about the remodeling mess and that we plan to have a housewarming party in the future when everyone can see our place has been ineffective.
The times I have been unable to avoid people who insisted on coming over, they were rude and judgmental about the moving mess. Please advise me how to say "no" without offending those who are offending me. -- ETIQUETTE-BOUND HOMEOWNER IN KANSAS
DEAR HOMEOWNER: I'll offer a tip. It is amazing what a person can get away with saying if it is done with a smile. All you have to do is smile and say, "Nope. No one can see it until the unveiling." And remember, it isn't rude to stand your ground when someone is trying to encroach upon it. Even family members.
DEAR ABBY: My problem is my mother. My entire life (I am 50) she has made me choose between her and Dad for the holidays. They have been divorced for 30 years, and she still speaks ill of him. She has made every wedding or family event unbearable. It has reached the point that I feel guilty if I want to go and see him.
She is now doing the same thing with my boyfriend of four years. A lot has transpired between us, but we are on a good path and are very much involved in each other's lives. She refused to spend this past Easter with us, including my children, if he was around. I told her that it was her choice and she is always welcome to attend.
With Christmas fast approaching, I don't want all the drama and blackmail to continue. Help! -- WEARY IN WISCONSIN
DEAR WEARY: You handled Easter appropriately and you should do the same with Christmas. If your mother chooses not to attend, the choice is hers. Consider asking your father to join you if she won't be there.
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.
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- DEAR ABBY