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Dear Ann Landers: I married for the second time 13 years ago. All of our children were grown and out of the house when I married "Louis." Unfortunately, it has been a nightmare dealing with Louis' 14-year-old grandson, "Jeb."

Louis' daughter (Jeb's mother) is 36 years old and an alcoholic. Her teenage children have been shuffled about and have lived in abusive home situations. Their father lives in another state and has no interest in the kids. Jeb's mother is now in an alcohol-treatment center for the umpteenth time. Her 16-year-old daughter is living with her grandmother, but Jeb is staying with friends. No one in the family wants him.

Jeb is a troubled boy. He has threatened his grandmother, which is why she refuses to take him in. He cannot get along with Louis, and having him live with us is out of the question. We tried it for a year, and it was impossible. I want to be supportive and help this boy, but frankly, he makes me nervous, and I am afraid of him.

Please help us, Ann. I want this boy to have a decent life, but I have no idea how to help him do this. Jeb cannot live with his friends forever, and it breaks my heart to think of him out on the streets. Should we be looking into foster care until his mother is out of rehab? Even if she eventually takes him back, I doubt that she will stay sober for long.

I worry about this boy and would appreciate any advice you can give me.

-- A Troubled Stepgrandma in Tulsa, Okla.
Dear Tulsa: Jeb is in desperate need of professional help. Counseling, plus well-monitored medication, could make a world of difference in this boy's life. Make an appointment with a psychiatrist or a psychologist who can give you some guidance on what should be done about this lad. You could save him -- and what a star in your crown that would be.

A not-so-slow learner

Dear Ann Landers: I read the letter from the divorced woman who was in love with a married colleague whose marriage was in terrible shape. You told her to keep her distance until the man was legally free.

How right you were. I was in a similar situation several years ago. It took my guy nearly three years to end his marriage, and during that time, he turned to me for comfort. He said he loved me and that we would be together as soon as he divorced. He asked me to marry him, and I said I would.

Two weeks after his divorce was official, he told me he wanted to date other women. I was devastated. I thought he was my soul mate. He said we could still be friends. I figured he needed time to sort things out, and if I stayed close, he would come back to me.

That was two years ago. I finally stopped seeing him and am still trying to recover from the heartache. I realize now that women must stand on their own two feet and not depend on a man to make them happy. Please print this letter for other women who need to see it.

-- A Slow Learner in Mid-America
Dear Mid-America: You call yourself a "slow learner." Well, that's not all bad. Some women never learn. They keep banging their heads against the same old wall. Congratulate yourself on waking up at long last, and go on from there. No situation is a total disaster if you learn from it.

Gem of the day

The pen is mightier than the sword, and considerably easier to write with.

-- The Late Comedian Marty Feldman
Problems? Dump on Ann. Write her at The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240.

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