DEAR ABBY: What would you advise me to do about my daughter, who is 47 years old, twice-married, twice-divorced and has two lovely children, ages 24 and 27?
My daughter got religion and worked in her church. She organized programs and became the minister's assistant. No problem there, but one of the programs consisted of a group visiting a nearby prison to talk to the inmates and help make their lives better.She became infatuated (my word - her word is love) with a man who has been in for five years and has five years to go on a burglary charge. He's been in and out four times, used cocaine, fathered four children before he was sent up - no marriages. He is 12 years younger than she is. She has a very good job.
They plan to marry in a month or so, while he is in prison. I have asked her to wait, but she says no. I have asked her to see a counselor, but she will not change her mind. Her daughter is not happy about it but doesn't want to openly oppose her. My husband feels as I do. We are changing our will because of it.
She has told this man of all our assets, which are considerable, and she was sole heir. We have told her now that she is not in our will and told her to tell him so. She says it suits her. We are still on speaking terms and our plans are to back off, so I guess there's nothing left to do. I'd appreciate your response, but please do not use my name. - FLORIDA MOTHER
DEAR MOTHER: Your daughter is 26 years past 21 and is legally entitled to make this decision for herself.
If it will give you and your husband peace of mind, talk to your attorney about placing your estate in trust for your grandchildren when the time comes. And should this young man turn out to be a loving, responsible spouse, you can always revise the documents at a later date.
DEAR ABBY: This is in response to "Yes or No," who didn't know if she should tell her girlfriend that her boyfriend asked "Yes or No" out.
You said she shouldn't tell. I disagree. Years ago, I fell in love with a man I'll call Wayne. Several months into our relationship, my girlfriend sat me down and gently broke the news to me that Wayne had asked her out. A week later, I broke up with Wayne. Two months later, Wayne married a woman whom no one even knew he had been dating. A year later, my girlfriend and I ran into Wayne at a local amusement park with another woman with whom he appeared to be enamored. Abby, he was cheating on his pregnant wife!
I was naive, and my girlfriend's information was a real eye-opener. I am now married to a wonderful man and can never thank my girlfriend enough for telling me. It was a kindness.
Yes, it's true that rats eventually trap themselves, but usually at the expense of others. - WELL-INFORMED
DEAR ABBY: The letter signed "Seattle" hit a nerve with me. It's true, widowed women are treated with more respect and compassion than divorced women. I happen to be a widow, but I do not readily tell people because some men assume that a widow has inherited money or is sexually starved.
Most people think I'm divorced, and I prefer that designation. After four years with an assumed identity, sign me . . . ENJOYING LIFE IN TEXAS
What teenagers need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with their peers and parents is now in Abby's updated, expanded booklet, "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)