DEAR ABBY: Parental alienation is a topic I have never seen addressed in your column. It is a problem with many divorces involving children. I think my brother is a victim of it.

He lives in a different state than his little boy, but pays child support.

Abby, his ex continuously harasses him via text messaging and late-night phone calls, accusing him of things she thinks happened when they were together. You’d think she hasn’t moved on, but she has a new husband!

She agreed that my brother could call his son twice a week, but she rarely answers the phone during these scheduled “visits.” She is now trying harder to keep my brother out of his son’s life. She even told my nephew that the presents my brother sent him for Christmas came from her new husband!

My brother can’t afford a lawyer right now, but he is moving to Florida in the near future and I would like to help him resolve this issue. What are your thoughts on parental alienation? – FRUSTRATED SIS IN FLORIDA

DEAR FRUSTRATED SIS: The kind of anger, selfishness and vindictiveness you have described are unhealthy for everyone involved. Obviously, your former sister-in-law has not moved on. She’s still stuck in trying to retaliate against your brother. She’s expending the energy and attention she should be devoting to her new marriage and new husband to punishing her last one.

And as for your nephew, when a child grows up believing his father thought he was unimportant and expendable, it can negatively affect his sense of self-worth. There is an effective resource available to your brother – the Children’s Rights Council (CRC).

For many years this organization has worked to prevent children from being victimized by their parents’ divorces, something which happens all too often. The CRC has 57 chapters in 37 states, and its Web site is Its president, David L. Levy, J.D., is a nationally known expert on children and edited “The Best Parent Is Both Parents” (Hampton Roads Publishing). Please advise your brother to contact this group.

DEAR ABBY: I met a woman online and have had several dates with her, including hikes to beautiful locations where I took some pictures of her with her camera. Now she has posted them on her dating profile.

I’m a little peeved about seeing photos I took displayed on her profile – presumably to attract other men – but I don’t feel we’re close enough yet to ask her to take them down. Am I being too sensitive? She says she wants to continue dating others. Can you tell me what you think would be an appropriate response from me, if any? – SHUTTERBUG IN KINGSPORT, TENN.

DEAR SHUTTERBUG: You and this lady have just met. If she wants to continue dating others, that’s her privilege. That she is using pictures you took of her as part of her profile was a compliment to your skills, but also a signal that she is not particularly interested in you. An appropriate response would be to tell her she hurt your feelings, and for you to continue dating other women because this one does not appear to be “The One.”

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.