DEAR ABBY: As for “Baffled in Iowa” (Nov. 4), it appears the letter writer’s boyfriend is in danger.
As you mentioned, the guy her friend got involved with is “more than a little controlling.” This woman, once located by social services or the police, needs at least a welfare check, that is, a serious look at her situation by a well-educated professional who is familiar with this type of situation.
This is exactly the kind of thing that could lead to “Baffled’s” boyfriend losing her identity and losing all finances to what appears to be a well-to-do con artist. You could also imagine her being killed for insurance money.
Yes, she is an adult who “has the right to make her own decisions.” But from what we know about this woman, she may not be able to make her own decisions and be completely under the control of someone she’s only known for a short period of time.
This woman’s situation is more than a little concerning. As a residency-trained, board-certified emergency medicine physician, I’ve seen similar situations that resulted in identity theft, loss of all possessions, and even murder. My wife has a master’s degree in social work and has dealt with similar scenarios with clients that have led to terrible results. We are deeply concerned for her boyfriend’s physical and emotional safety, as well as her financial well-being.
EXPERIENCED IN COLORADO
BEST EXPERIENCED: Other readers wrote to express similar concerns. They suggested that the friend’s new “boyfriend” could be a narcissist, sociopath, or domestic abuser.
They recommended that ‘Baffled’ contact her local Family and Children’s Services Department to report possible elder abuse. Adult protection can also help with this. And guidance from the National Domestic Violence Hotline (thehotline.org; 800-799-7233) should be sought because the woman’s abrupt major changes — selling her home, moving in with her husband, taking out life insurance and disconnecting from friends – are several red flags.
DEAR ABBY: Several years ago, my ex and I went through a contentious, bitter, and lengthy divorce. She has foreign nationality and returned to her home country a few years later.
Our son, now an adult, soon followed her. I hope to visit him there in a few months. My son and my ex expect me to visit her too. I don’t want to see her. After all, we are divorced.
How do I respectfully let our son know that I don’t want to see his mother? And how do I tell the ex?
NOW SOME DADDY IN WASHINGTON
BEST NOW SINGLE DAD: Tell your adult son that while you look forward to seeing him, given the circumstances of the divorce, you would rather not have contact with his mother.
Hopefully it won’t affect his willingness to see you. However, if that’s the case, you need to decide if seeing her is a price you’re willing to pay to see your son. (And make that “family reunion” short and sweet.)
Dear Abby was written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.