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I’m not supposed to tell them their daughter is pregnant

DEAR ABBY: My granddaughter “Anabelle” is expecting a baby in five months. We would like to be happy and excited for her and her husband, except for one problem. She had a falling out with her parents over planning her wedding, among other things.

Her grandfather, my husband, walked her down the aisle because all parties involved were still angry. Her parents and sister were not present, although she and her sister had recently reconciled.

I think my son and his wife would also like to reconcile, but Anabelle remains adamant that she doesn’t want to see them. Like most families, there is a history of hurt feelings on both sides.

Our problem: Anabelle asked us not to tell her parents that she is pregnant. I think it’s wrong, but I respect his wishes.

I know that if I tell them at this late date or if they find another way, they will understandably be hurt and angry and may want to “kill the messenger”.

I feel stuck in the middle of this heartbreaking situation. Worrying about this makes me sick. Should I share this news or remain silent?


DEAR RELATED: Although the break in your family is regrettable, the news of this pregnancy does not belong to you. If your granddaughter wanted to keep the secret, she shouldn’t have shared it and put you in the middle. If you’re wise, you’ll stay out of it.

DEAR ABBY: You printed a letter from an individual whose defaulting old friend abruptly changed his will (“Promise Withdrawn in Texas”, August 27). Due to the change, the entire estate of the senior will go to their live-in caregivers. The writer said he was surprised the 90-year-old reneged on his oft-repeated promise to name the person in his will.

Your answer to the writer was to talk to the elder and ask him why he changed his will. This is reasonable advice, but your response should also have recommended a referral to the author’s local Adult Protective Services office.

Elder abuse is rampant in the United States. It is not uncommon for caregivers, parents and other trusted associates to prey on seniors for financial gain. This can happen in many ways, but social isolation, dependence on others, failing health, and cognitive decline can leave older adults vulnerable to abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Adult protective services typically use trained investigators to detect exploitation and refer crimes to law enforcement. One might reasonably suspect exploitation when a nonagenarian suddenly changes a will to exclude a long-time friend. Journalists can call local law enforcement, their state’s office of Adult Protective Services, or the US Administration on Aging. As you said, there is no time to waste.


DEAR ATTORNEY: Thank you for sharing your perspective and expertise on the subject of elder abuse. I appreciate it, and I’m sure my readers will too. People should consider the possibility of being exploited in similar circumstances, which unfortunately can happen more often than we realize.

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 PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

California Daily Newspapers

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
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