Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: I’m a 45-year-old woman who has been dating “Ben” (53) for two years. We have known each other for more than 20. He treats me like a queen. Prior to our dating, he had a girlfriend he used to confide in me about. I was very jealous of her. She knew we were friends, so she made a point of posting lots of pictures of their PDAs on his social media, since we did not follow each other.

Fast-forward two years: Abby, I cannot stop obsessing over her! I think about her constantly and compare myself to her. I stalk her social media page. Ben has never given me a reason not to trust him, so why am I still bothered by her?
She has moved on and is in another relationship. How can I finally quit obsessing about her and move forward? I don’t feel this way about his other exes, but for some reason, this one gets under my skin. I don’t want him to find out what I have been doing. I really need help. Any advice? — INSECURE IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR INSECURE: In light of the fact that your boyfriend’s ex is happily in another relationship, this obsession is really a waste of your time and energy. Although you may still feel threatened, the woman is no longer your competition. Whether your issue is insecurity or lack of self-esteem, it’s time to wake up and recognize that BEN CHOSE YOU OVER HER. If you can’t accept that and relax, you may need to discuss it with a licensed psychotherapist for help to stop cyberstalking her. She may be a part of your boyfriend’s past, but please do not continue making her part of your present.
DEAR ABBY: We have three grandchildren, and we feel strongly about the importance of a college education. When the first one graduated from high school, we gave him $500 for graduation, plus an additional $1,500 to be used for college-related expenses. He had already indicated that he was enrolling in college.
When the second one graduated, we gave him a $500 graduation gift. Because he had committed to joining the Navy, we assured him that he would also receive $1,500 if and when he enrolled in college. Since then, we have been accused of not respecting his career choice, showing favoritism and other accusations too numerous to list here.
Are we ogres for wanting and encouraging our grandchildren to attend college? We’d like your opinion. — WELL-MEANING IN THE WEST
DEAR WELL-MEANING: Your mistake has been not taking into consideration that your grandchildren are individuals. Your second grandson is likely to find his career path as part of his military service. One could argue that you are favoring the grandchild who is following the career path you are biased toward, and from that perspective, it does appear you are playing favorites. You may want to rethink what you are doing. Your Navy-bound grandson may have a need for that money at some point.
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.
To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)
(EDITORS: If you have editorial questions, please contact Clint Hooker,
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