SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

July 25, 2013

Dear Abby: Taken to task for response to dad

:Dear Abby: I have read you for years, and I must take issue with your answer to “Needs the Right Words” (March 17). He asked about his son and his son’s half-brother visiting his beach house. (He didn’t want the half-brother included.)

While you addressed the writer’s needs, and yes, he is entitled to his feelings, I think you should have taken this a step further.

Once you become a father, it is not all about “you” anymore. The 12-year-old boy is now, and forever will be, his son’s half-brother. Unless this man wants to distance himself from his son and cause permanent damage to their relationship, he needs to get some therapy so he will be able to think of that boy in a different way and can deal with him in the future. He is NOT in a “good place” as he stated if seeing this boy causes such an emotional issue. The two boys seem to have a good relationship, and a future with his son will — and should — include the half-brother, even if the visits are short ones.

Someday, that boy will be a grown man, and he will recognize the kindness shown to him. The boy is not responsible for his mother’s behavior and the father needs to realize that.

:Deborah In Chandler, Ariz.

:Dear Deborah: You are right. It would have been better for all concerned if I had been harder on the father and more sensitive to the feelings of the boys involved, which many readers pointed out to me:

Dear Abby: I almost always agree with your answers, but your answer to that letter was off the mark. It’s admirable that his son has such a close relationship with his half-brother, and not allowing the boys to do something they enjoy together for a weekend is wrong. That the writer admits he still has problems with the past is his problem, not the kids’.

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