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Posted on Sat, Mar 24, 2012 : 5 a.m.

Son's inattention threatens mom's contact with grandchild

By Dear Abby


My handsome, 21-year-old son, "Dylan," has a beautiful girlfriend and a 14-month-old child. They have been together for three years.

Dylan works out of town. He gets back late on Friday afternoons and leaves again on Sunday afternoon. The problem is, he goes to bed soon after he gets home and then goes out on Saturday, returning at about 2 a.m. or so Sunday morning. He spends very little time with his girlfriend and their child. Otherwise, he's good to them, provides a good home and most things they need. But he doesn't give them attention or love.

I'm afraid Dylan's girlfriend is getting fed up with this. She's a good "wife" and a wonderful mother, but if she leaves, I'm afraid I won't get to see my grandchild. Please tell me what to do. (Dylan's father isn't in the picture.) -- AFRAID OF THE FUTURE IN NORTH CAROLINA


Was Dylan's father ever in the picture? If he wasn't, it's possible that Dylan has no concept of how to be a good father or partner. The first thing you should do (if you haven't already) is talk to your son about this.

Regardless of how he reacts, continue to be a loving, honest and supportive friend to Dylan's girlfriend. Because your son's relationship with the mother of his child probably won't last, make sure she understands that you care about her and always want to be a part of her and your grandson's lives.


I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder five years ago. I take my medicine and have been doing fine. The only thing missing in my life is love.

I finally met a man, and we have been slowly getting to know each other over the past three months. He talked about wanting to become a couple, and so I decided I needed to tell him about my illness. He said he wants to keep seeing me, but we need to talk more before we decide on anything long-term.

All of a sudden, I feel depressed. It's not fair that this illness "chose" me. I have never done anything that could have caused this. Do you think I'm still capable of finding long-term love? Why do I feel more depressed now than I ever have before? -- ACHING IN ILLINOIS


You are probably feeling more depressed than you ever have before because you have a lot of emotion riding on this relationship, which may be threatened because of the stigma and misunderstanding by many people on the subject of mental illness.

I do think you are capable of finding a long-term partner, and I respect you for telling him the truth. What he said was not a rejection. You have known each other for a relatively short time. He wants to get to know you better, and you should allow him the time to do that. This is how all meaningful relationships develop.

P.S. If you continue to cycle into depression, please alert your psychiatrist.


As I was getting into a hot tub, a woman sitting in it said, "Are you prepared to pay child support?" When I asked what she meant, she replied, "Some women get pregnant from being in a hot tub with a man." Is that possible? -- JON IN CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA


It's an urban myth. What happened was the women became pregnant after meeting a man in a hot tub.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)