My son told me something that could change our relationship forever

Dear Abby


September 3, 2023 | 3:00 am

Dear Abby: I lost 15 years of my daughter’s life when her mother left the state we lived in without my knowledge. We had a boy and a girl during our 15-year marriage and agreed on joint custody. We weren’t supposed to move more than 50 miles from each other so the kids could be close to us.

Once my daughter was ten, I didn’t see her again until she was twenty-five. When I finally located them, I realized they had moved south. When we met again, I learned that some of my relatives knew where my daughter was, and they said nothing.

I recently had a bout with cancer. Because my son thought I was going to die, he decided to clear his conscience. He admitted that at the age of 13, he told my ex to move on and leave the state so that I could not have a relationship with my daughter. I love my kids both, but now I feel betrayed by my son. Any suggestions? – Dad is sad in the Midwest

Dear Dad: So your wife used her 13-year-old son’s advice to take your daughter and disappear, and even though some of your relatives knew you were looking for your child, they remained silent? You’ve heard of broken families, but your family takes the cake.

Was your son’s motive for asking his mother to leave while he stayed with you because of sibling rivalry? Although he was not mature at the time, I agree that from my point of view it was a betrayal. Getting over this may require several months of counseling and the help of a licensed family therapist. If that’s what you want, start now.

Dear Abby: I have a young adult neighbor who is a talented mechanic. He builds model cars and drives them on our street. His latest is a three-wheeled motorcycle, which he rides in the wrong direction without a helmet. He also revs his engine constantly. I’m worried our street will become a hangout for more motorcycle enthusiasts.

I also worry that if I tell him to stop, he will get angry. I approached him once and reminded him of the safety issues, but at the time he wasn’t racing his car. It’s even worse now because the noise is a distraction, and he passes by my house more frequently. What will the good neighbor’s reaction be to this? — Fury in Missouri

Dear Angry: Ask your other neighbors if they are also bothered by the noise. If the answer is yes, approach the young man as a group and explain that although his mechanical abilities are impressive, the noise when he starts his car engine is distracting, and he would appreciate it if he did not do this in the area of ​​your homes.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, check the noise laws in your community to see if he’s violating any of them. (The answer might be as simple as a young man installing a muffler on his bike.)

Dear Abby was written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jane Phillips, and founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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