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Mother's aid of abuser is a betrayal

Dear Abby: I recently ended my 11-year relationship with my high school sweetheart, "Kent." During the two years we were engaged he had become a cheating, abusive alcoholic.

My problem is my mother. She hired Kent while we were together. I asked her to let him go, but she refused. She's the closest thing to family Kent has left. She feels she can "help him get on his feet." I have a restraining order against him and feel his employment with Mom is in direct violation. I cannot forgive her for this betrayal, and I will no longer have a relationship with her. The person who should be there for me -- my mother -- is not. She thinks she's doing nothing wrong and refuses to accept that she's enabling Kent. Please give us some advice.

-- Lost in Connecticut

Dear Lost: That a mother would provide "aid and comfort" to a man who cheated on her daughter and was so physically abusive that it required a restraining order, indicates she may have as many problems as he does. I don't have the power to make her see the light any more than you do. I do have some advice for you. Get professional counseling, go on with your life and do not look back.

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Looking back with regret

Dear Abby: What causes someone to do everything he or she can to keep from being happy? I had the chance to have a wonderful life and career, but I did everything I could to sabotage myself. Now, at 55, I'm looking back on an empty and meaningless life.

What is my problem?

-- Regretful in Mississippi

Dear Regretful: Nobody is born with a blueprint for life, and everybody makes a mistake they regret. You made your choices and second-guessing them now is counterproductive. The trick is to not repeat those mistakes and to stop looking backward when you should be taking the life lessons you learned from them and moving forward.