Mother fears past abuser has targeted son

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DEAR ABBY: I have a son from a previous relationship, and have been in a relationship with a man I’ll call Bryan for a year. Not long ago, Bryan confided to me that he and his brother had been molested by a female relative. I don’t know her. I have only met his parents.

This female relative has been asking about my son on social media because she has seen him in pictures with Bryan’s family. I want to tell her to back off, but so far, I have held off. I’m afraid if I do, I will cause problems because his parents don’t know what I know.

My protective instinct has become very alert. I may be wrong, but I feel like she sees my son as a future target. What should I do? — MAMA BEAR

DEAR MAMA BEAR: Listen to your protective instinct. Talk with Bryan and tell him the woman’s questions are of concern to you, that you don’t want her to have any information about or contact with your child, and then make sure your wishes are respected. If she receives any message to back off, it should come from him, not you.

DEAR ABBY: On behalf of all new moms, please help with this question. Why does every woman in the world, it seems, feel entitled to ask new moms if they are breastfeeding their babies? How should new moms respond politely to this question? If you say yes, you may or may not be lying. If you say no, you will be judged. If you give an evasive answer, people will assume you are not and you will be judged as well. It seems to me that all substances excreted by the body should be off limits in social situations. — MY BUSINESS IN TEXAS

DEAR MY BUSINESS: Judgmental people can get to you only if you allow it. While there are valid reasons why babies should be breastfed, it isn’t always possible, and women should not be quizzed by strangers about whether they are.

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My mother used to advise readers who were put off by prying questions to say, “If you will forgive me for not answering that question, I’ll forgive you for asking.” Even though you asked for a polite retort, in a situation like this, MY response would be, “If that were any of your business, you would already know the answer!”

DEAR ABBY: A couple years ago, when we moved to a home with more privacy than our previous home, my husband decided to walk around naked all the time. It’s not that I’m a prude, but I don’t find his furry 60-year-old body attractive in broad daylight. Quite the opposite, in fact.

I have asked him many times to please put something on, and he either ignores me or gets mad. I avert my eyes when he’s sashaying by me. Is there anything else I can do to reason with him? — SEEN ENOUGH ALREADY

DEAR SEEN ENOUGH: Probably not. Since you can’t change him, why not join him one day a week? You have nothing to lose but your clothes — and it might solve the problem.

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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