Stepson’s crimes are more than stepmom can tolerate

Published 8:24 am Friday, January 26, 2024

DEAR ABBY: My 30-year-old stepson, “David,” is a convicted sex offender, currently serving a 15-year sentence for possession of child pornography and having inappropriate conversations with a preteen that almost went further. This was his third arrest for the same thing. David is also mildly autistic.
I am beside myself. Because of David’s autism, his family looks the other way about his crimes. They all send him money, call him, buy him things, etc. I have kids of my own, and, frankly, the whole situation makes me want to vomit. I hide how I feel and try to be there for my husband because he loves his son, and it pains him to see David in prison. He also has been wonderful to my kids and raised them like his own.
I’m dreading what is going to happen when David is out of prison. He has nowhere to go, and I know he’s going to want to live with us. I am 1,000% against this, and I truly believe it could happen again.
My kids will be adults soon and away at college when he’s released, so I can’t use that as an excuse for him not to live with us. I also don’t want my home address on the sex offender registry. The street where I live is full of children. What can I do?
I don’t want to lose my husband over this. I love him with all my heart, which is why I can’t tell him how I feel. Every time David speaks with his dad, he tells him he wishes he were home with him. Please help! – STEPMOM WHO’S DREADING IT

DEAR STEPMOM: It is time to have an honest talk with your husband about this. When a sex offender is released from prison, there are stipulations in place. One of them is being forbidden to live close to young, vulnerable children. Because your street is populated with them, David may not be ABLE to live with you. This is something you and your husband need to be communicating about as David’s release draws nearer, because it will have an impact on your lives.
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DEAR ABBY: My wife and I are part of a three-couple group who enjoy dining out as well as entertaining in our homes. However, while my wife and I and one other couple serve as hosts, the third never invites us into their home. They often suggest a menu or an occasion for us or the other couple to serve when we host.
This has gone on for at least five years. Both wives (who do most of the work for whatever in-home event there is) don’t seem bothered by it, but it irks me. Is there a way to kindly suggest the third couple host without causing a problem? — FAIR IN SOUTH CAROLINA

DEAR FAIR: There can be several reasons why people behave as this couple does. They may not be confident in their cooking skills or the appearance of their home. However, they SHOULD attempt to make up for it in other ways such as offering to bring food or beverages, or by doing the cleanup after the dinners. I see nothing wrong with asking the couple the reason for their reluctance, as long as it is done privately.
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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 P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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