Dear Abby: I’m a 13-year-old girl who has been trying to give my father a second chance. I was taken away from my parents when I was 8 because they were on drugs. I haven’t seen my father for three years, but now he’s living with my grandparents and me.
He has been very “hand-sy” with me – giving me massages, kissing my cheek – and this all makes me very uncomfortable. I thought it was because he hasn’t seen me in a while, but today as I was leaving, he slapped my butt. Now I’m scared. I spend a lot of the day at home with him alone. Any advice?
– Worried in Delaware
Dear Worried: Your father has lost three years with you. He may not realize that his “little girl” is no longer a child. That is why it is important that you TELL him what he’s doing makes you uncomfortable. You should also tell your mother and grandparents about what’s happening and that it scares you. You do not have to tolerate unwanted contact, and if it persists, report it to a teacher or counselor at school or contact me again.
Thanks for the advice
Dear Abby: I wrote you a short time ago about my marital problems, but I have to share this with you! My husband, who walked out on me, went to a counselor for a session. Then we went together, and he learned a few things about me and himself.
He is coming back, and we are going to work harder at our marriage. We both recognize there were places where we needed to work together more, that he doesn’t need to be afraid to talk to me and I can be pretty understanding.
I know you always recommend talking to a counselor before doing anything rash, and you are so right. It made all the difference.
– Grateful Wife in Arizona
Dear Grateful: I’m pleased counseling helped to open the clogged lines of communication between you and your husband. While it may seem expensive, it’s far cheaper than a divorce can be, both emotionally and financially.