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Professionals show concern for the woman’s safety and life

Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: Regarding “Confused in Iowa” (November 4), it seems that the letter writer’s friend may be in danger. As you stated, the man her friend has been involved with is “more than a little controlling.” At the very least, this woman, once identified by social services or the police, needs a social check, that is, a serious examination of her situation by an experienced professional who is familiar with this type of situation. This is just the kind of thing that could result in “Confused”‘s friend losing her identity and losing all finances to what she appears to be a well-to-do crook. One could even imagine her being killed for the 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 any of her own decisions and be totally under the control of someone she has only known for a short time. This woman’s situation is more than worrying. As a residency-trained and board-certified emergency physician, I have witnessed similar situations resulting in identity theft, loss of all property, and even homicide. My wife has a masters degree in social work and has gone through similar scenarios with clients that have resulted in terrible results. We have serious concerns for the physical and emotional safety of your friend, as well as her financial well-being. – COLORADODEAR EXPERIENCE: Other readers have written to express the same concerns. They suggested the friend’s new “boyfriend” could be a narcissist, a sociopath, or a domestic abuser. They recommended that “Bewildered” contact her local department of Family and Children’s Services to report potential elder abuse. Adult protective services may also be able to help. And guidance from the National Domestic Violence Hotline (thehotline.org; 800-799-7233) should be sought, because the woman’s sudden and major changes — selling her home, moving in with the man, taking out a life insurance policy and ceasing contact with friends — are more red flags.** ** **DEAR ABBY: A few years ago, my ex and I went through a contentious, bitter, and protracted divorce. She is a foreign citizen, and returned to her home country a few years later. Our son, who is now an adult, soon followed suit. I hope to visit him there in a couple of months. My son and my ex expect me to visit her too. I don’t want to see it. 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 SINGLE DAD IN WASHINGTONCARO NOW SINGLE DAD: Tell your adult child that while you look forward to seeing him, considering the circumstances of the divorce, you prefer no contact with his mother. Hopefully, it won’t affect his willingness to see you. If so, however, you’ll need to decide if seeing her is a price you’re willing to pay to see your child. (And make that “family reunion” short and sweet.) ** ** ** Dear Abby is 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. ** ** ** For everything you need to know about wedding planning, she orders “How to Have a Lovely Wedding”. Send your name and mailing address, plus a check or money order for $8 (US funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, PO Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping is included in the price.)(EDITORS: If you have editorial questions, please contact Clint Hooker, [email protected])COPYRIGHT 2023 ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106; 816-581-7500


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