Dear Amy: Several years ago, I was physically attacked — and seriously injured — by a man I had dated, on and off, for several years. I had him arrested.
He was charged and received one year’s probation. I was granted a restraining order.
My issue is with his family. After the attack, his sisters informed me that: He was a pathological liar, he had served jail time for felony DWI, he had a history of sponging off of women and family members, and his ex-wife had divorced him because of his alcoholism.
This man frequently drove my car, and his sisters knew it. And they also knew that, due to the felony DWI, he would never again possess a driver’s license.
I saw them a number of times throughout our relationship and was friends with both on Facebook, yet neither of them ever said one word to me about their brother.
I now check their FB regularly to see if their brother is dating anyone. Because if he is, I intend to tell her everything.
So far, nothing. But I think that warning potential victims is their responsibility, not mine. What do you think?
– Seriously Concerned
Dear Concerned: I can understand why you harbor feelings of bitterness toward this entire family, but by placing responsibility for protecting women onto these sisters, you seem to be asking them basically to police their brother.
I completely agree that once they became aware that you were in a longer-term relationship with him these sisters should have notified you of his terrible track record and felony conviction.
However, the sibling relationship is vastly different from an intimate partner relationship. These sisters have never dated him (one hopes). They don’t have the option of not being related to him. He might be as menacing toward them as he was toward you. Or they might have believed that he had changed during his relationship with you.
You don’t harbor conflicted feelings or beliefs about him — as his sisters might.
You have direct knowledge of how dangerous he is, and you have access to his arrest record and restraining order to prove it.
Yes, if you become aware that he is dating someone, you should warn her. Understand that anything you commit to writing (on Facebook messenger, for instance) can be shared, so be cautious. Your warning could save another woman from harm.
Dear Amy: Through a DNA website, I recently connected with a daughter I gave up for adoption 40 years ago.
This connection has been a lovely experience, and we both look forward to many more years spent getting to know each other.
My husband and I have two grown daughters who have met this woman and her family, and everyone gets along.
The adopted daughter is very successful professionally and financially. Our two daughters are solidly middle class, as are we.
Our dilemma is: How shall we divvy up our assets in our will?
Should we discuss this with them?
– Struggling in Sacramento
Dear Struggling: It is truly inspiring to learn of a successful and peaceful family-building experience of the sort you are experiencing. Credit goes to all of you, including your adopted child’s parents, who seem to have raised a successful and well-adjusted person.
I’m amazed at how often I receive questions about how to divide assets, when the answer is always: However you want! It is wisest to discuss this with an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney who can advise you about the inheritance laws where you live.
You could make one choice now and then later change your minds and go through the process of amending your wills to reflect the change.
I am, however, of the definite opinion that you should not discuss this with your daughters during the planning phase. At this point, even though the decision will ultimately have an impact on them, your decision-making process is none of their business.
Dear Amy: “Anxious in Georgia” had a husband who was trying to gaslight her into a threesome (or his cheating) with her friend.
This made me chuckle, recalling a similar incident with a friend of mine.
The husband wanted a threesome with another woman, so my friend was recruited.
Very quickly though, the two women fell in love with each other, became a couple, and the husband was left alone.
This husband didn’t quite get what he was after.
– Still Chuckling
Dear Chuckling: That’s quite a juicy “How we met” story.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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