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DEAR ABBY

Surprise revelation of twins’ paternity is a family bombshell

DEAR ABBY: My son’s new wife — who has a daughter — insisted that his two children are not biologically his. After a DNA test, it turns out she was right. They aren’t. My son, my husband and I are heartbroken. His twins are 10, and they don’t understand what’s going on.

My husband and I are trying to gently remain in their lives with phone calls and limited visits. My son’s wife refuses to visit with us until we stop communicating with the children, promise never to talk about them and display no pictures in our home. She’s trying to convince our son to stop seeing us, as well. What to do? — DISAPPOINTED IN TEXAS

DEAR DISAPPOINTED: Those children, regardless of who their birth father is, were raised believing you and your husband are their grandparents. If you love them, do not knuckle under to your son’s new wife or it will be only the beginning of how she will attempt to control you.

She does not have the right to dictate who you (or your son, for that matter) see and communicate with. She also does not have the right to order you to remove any object from your home.

If your son opts to turn his back on those children, that’s a decision only he can make. If he also chooses to turn his back on you, then you raised a milquetoast instead of a man.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a married man, and I love my wife. We’re not living together at the moment due to unfortunate circumstances.

Being far away from her, I get extremely lonely. I have a co-worker who became a good friend, and I have feelings for her. I have told her how I feel, and we have hung out a few times — nothing sexual. Now she’s moving away, and I feel heartbroken. How should I deal? I’m fighting back tears for someone I’m not even with. What do I do? — HEARTBROKEN IN THE EAST

DEAR HEARTBROKEN: A relationship does not have to be sexual to be meaningful, and your co-worker was filling a space in your life that was empty. That you feel a sense of loss and sadness that she is moving is not surprising.

Not knowing the unfortunate circumstances that caused the separation between you and your wife, I can only advise you to start looking for a way to mend fences or change those circumstances so you can live together again, because clearly, you’re not doing well on your own. If that’s not possible, start giving serious thought to how you plan to live the rest of your life, because this way isn’t working.

DEAR ABBY: The other day I was on a video conference call with our boss and two colleagues. When “Joan” came on the call, “something” was hanging from one of her nostrils. She may have had a cold. I scratched my nose and mustache a few times, trying to alert her of what was happening, to no avail. She didn’t react. No one else said anything.

What would the correct protocol have been? Should I have left it alone or was I right to try to let her know? I did what I would have done in person. Should I have privately texted her? Please advise. — TELECOMMUTING WOES

DEAR TELECOMMUTING: If the person with the leaky nose had been you, wouldn’t you have wanted to know? Yes, you should have texted her.

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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS

Jazz/pop singer-actress Peggy King is 91. Actor William Katt (“Greatest American Hero”) is 70. Actor LeVar Burton is 64. Actor-rapper Ice-T is 63. Actor Lisa Loring (“The Addams Family”) is 63. Tennis Hall of Famer John McEnroe is 62. Guitarist Andy Taylor (Duran Duran) is 60. Actress Sarah Clarke (“Twilight”) is 50. Actor Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”) is 47. Electronic dance music artist Bassnectar is 43. Rapper Lupe Fiasco is 39. Pop-rock singer Ryan Follese (Hot Chelle Rae) is 34. Actress Elizabeth Olsen, below, is 32.

TODAY'S HOROSCOPE

Make adjustments that encourage a better home life. An organized household will help you reach your long-term goals. Negotiate with finesse when dealing with someone who can affect your prospects. Stick to your plans, regardless of what others decide to do. Strive for stability and security.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Spend more time taking care of personal matters. How you handle domestic responsibilities will affect the way others treat you. Be willing to compromise when faced with a dilemma.

PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) — Keep your secrets to yourself. An emotional incident can affect your reputation and your chance to advance. Look inward, then make the necessary adjustments.

ARIES (March 21-April 19) — Keep your eyes on your objective. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing; what does matter is that you take care of your responsibilities and forge ahead.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) — Update a license, contract or personal identification. Don’t take an unnecessary risk that may leave you in a precarious position at work or with an organization or group. Control your temper.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) — You stand to get ahead if you share your ideas and follow through with your plans. Be aware that someone will be eager to take credit for what you do; be prepared to stick up for yourself.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) — Put your creative imagination to the test at work, and you’ll come up with a great idea that leads to a transformation. Education and preparation will help you take on a profitable challenge.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) — Do what’s best for you. Help yourself instead of putting your time and effort into something that benefits someone else. Pledge to do your own thing and to work alongside people who have as much to offer as you.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) — Open your mind to change. Look for ways you can use your skills and knowledge to open a conversation that can lead to an exciting position. Don’t sell yourself short.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) — Be creative without overspending. You can find a way to overcome any obstacle. Laziness and relying on others will be your downfalls. Pick up the slack by doing it yourself.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) — Use your charm to avoid getting into an argument. Listen attentively, and go about your business. The less fuss you make, the easier it will be to get things done your way.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) — You’ll spin heads with your outgoing, spirited nature. Others will take notice of what you bring to the table. A romantic encounter will encourage you to nurture a meaningful relationship.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) — You will be tempted to make a change. Take precautions before you spend money. Refuse to buy into someone’s plans. Don’t settle for anything less than what you want.

NEWS OF THE WEIRD

By Chuck Sheppard

Creme de la Weird: Ending a dispute that began in 2014, Judge Luo Shengli of the Beijing Xicheng District People’s Court ruled in late December that a man identified only as Tian and his family must leave the hospital room they had been squatting in for six years. Tian had undergone a medical procedure at the hospital and spent a few days recovering there, accompanied by his family, but at discharge, Tian disputed the hospital’s bill and refused to leave, Oddity Central reported. Tian’s parents settled in with him, bringing pots and pans, groceries and other personal items from home. Over the years, the hospital took the family to court on multiple occasions and in 2019 even waived its fees in an effort to expel them, but the family countersued. In his ruling, the judge found the family was entitled to compensation of about $73,000, which they accepted, and they were taken home in a hospital ambulance.

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