GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Lifestyle

July 25, 2013

Readers take Abby to task for being too easy on dad

:Dear Abby: I have read you for years, and I must take issue with your answer to “Needs the Right Words” (March 17). He asked about his son and his son’s half-brother visiting his beach house. (He didn’t want the half-brother included.)

While you addressed the writer’s needs, and yes, he is entitled to his feelings, I think you should have taken this a step further.

Once you become a father, it is not all about “you” anymore. The 12-year-old boy is now, and forever will be, his son’s half-brother. Unless this man wants to distance himself from his son and cause permanent damage to their relationship, he needs to get some therapy so he will be able to think of that boy in a different way and can deal with him in the future. He is NOT in a “good place” as he stated if seeing this boy causes such an emotional issue. The two boys seem to have a good relationship, and a future with his son will — and should — include the half-brother, even if the visits are short ones.

Someday that boy will be a grown man, and he will recognize the kindness shown to him. The boy is not responsible for his mother’s behavior and the father needs to realize that.

:Deborah In Chandler, Ariz.

Dear Deborah: You are right. It would have been better for all concerned if I had been harder on the father and more sensitive to the feelings of the boys involved, which many readers pointed out to me:

Dear Abby: Tell that man to get a psychotherapist! The child isn’t responsible for his mother’s behavior. The man needs to expand his heart. When he’s an old man he will never regret hosting the boy, but he WOULD regret having hurt a child and perhaps alienating his own son in the process. You called that one wrong, Abby!

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