Dear Annie: I am 40 years old and have been married to "Rick" for 19 years. We have four beautiful daughters.
For years, Rick wanted a son. I thought he had accepted that it wasn't going to happen, so I didn't protest when he formed a friendship with a 10-year-old fatherless neighbor boy. "Drew" is now 13, and he's a great kid, kind, respectful and helpful.
Rick and Drew are always doing stuff together, going to ballgames, riding bikes, playing basketball. At first, I thought it was great, now I have some some concerns. About a year ago, Drew started stopping by on his way to school to get his "morning hug" from Rick. I used to think it was cute, but now it's just annoying. Then Rick insisted on including Drew in every family outing. When he wanted to invite him along on our vacation this summer, I put my foot down.
But here is the real problem: Two weeks ago, our oldest daughter said that she and her sisters believe Dad loves Drew more than he loves them. She said she's been spying on her father, and he is always hugging Drew and kissing him on the mouth, and when I'm not home, they go into our bedroom and lock the door.
I confronted Rick, and he admitted to the hugging and kissing. He even confessed to taking Drew into the bedroom and locking the door, but insists they were only talking.
Is it possible that my husband and this boy are having sex? - Worried Wife
Dear Worried: It is more than possible. It is likely. Even if they aren't sexually involved, this is a worrisome situation and not healthy for anyone. You must insist that Rick and Drew separate physically, as well as emotionally. No more morning kisses, no more outings alone, no more trips to the bedroom. The two of them can't be left alone This may be traumatizing for Drew, so Rick can explain, in your presence, that he needs to spend more time with his daughters. You might contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (bbbs.org) so Drew can find a more suitable father figure.
If Rick refuses to cooperate, are you willing to turn him in to the authorities as a suspected pedophile and let them investigate? Would Rick be willing to get counseling as a condition of remaining in the marriage? We know such a reality is hard to face, but please act on this immediately. You may be the only person who can protect that boy.