Suspicions linger about paternity of fiancé’s ‘niece’

Published 8:06 am Wednesday, October 11, 2023

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DEAR ABBY: My fiancé and I have been together nine years. During that time, we have had our ups and downs. Eight years ago, after a year of dating, we decided to move in together. The following year we got into a big argument because his ex-girlfriend was sticking her nose into our household. (She was also dating his brother.) He moved out that night, but we were able to repair our relationship and decided to live separately for a while.
A month and a half after he moved, I found out she was pregnant. Her due date was nine months from when he moved out. He swears it’s not his child and that it’s his brother’s. I have tried to let it go because I can’t accuse him of lying just because of the timing of her pregnancy.
We were engaged once before, and I called it off because of this. He proposed to me again two years ago, and our wedding date is set for next year. I don’t want to call it off again, although this is still bothering me. He knows I was hurt by an ex-boyfriend who cheated on me in the past, and I think he knows if I find out the truth, I will leave him.
He treats this child like she’s his own, not a niece. He picks her up and takes her out for dinner and to the park and other stuff he doesn’t do for his other nieces or nephews. Should I let it go, or trust my gut? – SECRET OR NOT IN NEW YORK

DEAR SECRET: Tell your fiancé you want him to consent to giving a sample of his DNA, as well as his favored niece’s, to be tested. His reaction will speak volumes. If he agrees, you will finally have the answers you are looking for. Do not go ahead with the wedding until you have that information.
DEAR ABBY: Every time my brother or another relative calls or visits, they deliver uninterruptible lectures on subjects we disagree on. There is no real conversation or exchange of ideas. I’ve told them I don’t discuss politics, etc., and interrupted their lecture (which I’ve heard many times before) to say I have to go, but they keep talking.
Once I said I was hanging up, but I’m not sure my brother heard me. He was angry and offended when I did. If I introduce a new topic in the middle of the lecture, they will morph it into something to lecture on within a minute. They never have facts or data behind their “what’s wrong with the world” views. The lectures become tense for both of us, as they try to “sell” their points of view and I become frustrated at the whole process. Any advice? – SISTER WHO’S HEARD IT ALL

DEAR SISTER: You stated that you have asked these relatives not to discuss topics that make you uncomfortable. Because they can’t resist doing it anyway, screen your calls and talk to them less often. Just because someone phones does not mean you must talk to them, but if you are trapped, tell the person you can talk only for 10 minutes. When that time has elapsed, say goodbye and hang up. If someone is offended by this, remind them that they were warned.
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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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