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Dear Abby 5/26

Son is irked his dad's name is being used illegitimately

DEAR ABBY: My dad's first wife, "Peggy," got pregnant while he was overseas in World War II. When he came home, he divorced her and tried without success to get custody of their two kids. Peggy went on to have three more kids out of wedlock with three different men. She had sex in front of the kids, misspent their child support money — you name it. She also put Dad's name on all of their birth certificates.
    All of this came out when Dad sued her over child support, and it's recorded in court transcripts. Peggy told all the kids that he was their dad, turned his own two kids against him and generally made his life hell.
    Dad married my mom after his divorce and was a great husband and father up until his death. I recently found out that the illegitimate kids have been using my dad's name to establish false legitimacy and respectability all their lives. Should I confront them and ask them to stop? Their mother died last year. -- RICHARD IN CORSICANA, TEXAS
    DEAR RICHARD: What on earth could you possibly have to gain by confronting them? None of this is their fault. They may be living completely respectable lives. If your description of their mother is accurate, don't you think they have suffered enough without your attacking them and saying they have no right to use the name they've been using since birth?
    As long as those people are not using your father's last name to defraud anyone, they have a right to call themselves anything they please. Your efforts would be better spent on living a happy and useful life, and bringing as much honor to your own name as you possibly can. I see nothing positive to be gained by what you have in mind.

    DEAR ABBY: I am a 14-year-old girl. I have this boyfriend I have been dating for over a month. His name is "Travis," and he is 15 — about to turn 16. Travis has had other girlfriends before me, but he said that nothing happened between them. He calls me about four times a week, and I talk to him at school daily. He keeps giving me the impression that he wants to move our relationship further.
    When I told one of Travis' closest friends, I was informed that he had said that to the last three girls he had. So now I suspect that he has had sexual relationships with all of them. I would do anything for Travis, and he would do the same for me. But I am not sure I want to have sex with him — at least not yet.
    I don't know what to do. My sister, "Tess," who is dating one of my friends, told me to just go along with it. But I don't know if I would be doing the right thing. I want Travis to be happy, but I don't want to get hurt in the process. Please help. -- LOST AND CONFUSED IN LAKE CHARLES
    DEAR LOST AND CONFUSED: Travis may be the nicest boy in the world, but look at the last three girls he "had." He's not with any of them, is he? That means your boyfriend has a short attention span, and more than a girlfriend, he wants a challenge.
    Please do not listen to your sister's advice and "go along with it" to make him "happy." There are three sad girls standing in the background who tried to make him happy. I predict that trio will soon become a Greek chorus, and you do not want to be part of that crowd. Trust me on that. And strictly limit your "alone time" with him.

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