Dear Margo: A Very Odd Way To Leave a Family

Patching up a family after a disappearing act. Margo Howard’s advice

A Very Odd Way To Leave a Family

Dear Margo: I have just begun an entirely new stage in my life and am feeling caught between the old and the new. First of all, I married very young (at 21), three months into an accidental pregnancy. I stayed with my husband for 16 years while we raised our son, although my husband and I never got along as well as we did prior to our marriage. After we married, there was virtually no romance and very little sex. I dropped out of college to get married, which I regret to this day.

Last winter, I met a man through a friend and became infatuated. I had an affair with him for four months before I found out I was pregnant again. He wouldn’t hear of ending the pregnancy. I didn’t know what else to do, so I left my husband and bought an apartment with this man in another state. I did not tell my husband or my son that I was leaving and have not spoken to either of them since.

Last week, my son called me. I ignored that call and the next eight (he doesn’t give up easily), as I was unsure how to handle the situation. And that’s why I’m writing. My son and I have always gotten along pretty well, though he tends to be a little unstable at times and is rather anxious. Should I let my son back into my life, or is he better off not knowing what happened? — Starting Again

Dear Start: Outside of an abusive situation, I have never heard of a woman just disappearing, with her husband and teenage son having no idea where she is or why she left. I think they are entitled to know you have walked out for good, are not coming back and are not in harm’s way. I assume your son has your cell number, which you apparently didn’t change, and I wonder why your husband has not phoned you at all.

I not only think a divorce is in order, but a reconnection with your son is a must. If you find him “a little unstable” and anxious now, imagine the scenario if he never gets any answers. Your “solution” to your troubles strikes me as irresponsible and selfish. No child could be “better off” not knowing why his mother left him. I suggest you answer the phone — or better yet, call him. — Margo, depressingly

Way Too Young To Give Up

Dear Margo: I’m writing to you because there is no one I can objectively talk to. I’m a 51-year-old gay male, and I’ve never successfully dated or been in a relationship. To make a long story short, I once heard that a man in his early 50s in the gay world might as well be 80, and evidence seems to bear that out. I’m lucky that I have friends and this city has a large gay population. I wonder whether I would be wasting my time trying to date anymore. It does seem very late in life to be doing that. — Probably Done in Denver

Dear Prob: If this letter had come from a 51-year-old straight female, I would say the same thing: One is never too old to meet a romantic partner. I am somewhat curious as to why, when you were younger, there were no “successful dates,” so you might want to review that situation and take an honest self-inventory. As with both men and women, gay and straight, not every middle-aged single is looking for a cupcake (my designation for someone younger and hot looking). Just put yourself out there with activities and affinity groups, and be an interested listener. Forget what you “once heard,” and decide your quest is not Mt. Everest. It is merely to find a comfortable companion. — Margo, optimistically

* * *

Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via the online form at Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.


Every Thursday and Friday, you can find “Dear Margo” and her latest words of wisdom on wowOwow

Click here to follow Margo on Twitter

64 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Lila says:

    LW1 – worst mom ever to write to Margo. Gee, I ditched my family without so much as a glance in the rear view mirror, and now my teenage son is trying to reach me, so I’m ignoring the calls and hoping he’ll go away.

    You never loved your first husband or child. Why didn’t you give the kid up for adoption, ditch the boyfriend, finish college and enjoy life? If it sounds callous, compare it to establishing a family and then one day, running off without a word.

    And something else I will never understand. You don’t have sex with your husband but go at it like crazed weasels with your lover – golly, what could possibly go wrong? All kinds of contraceptives on the market but apparently you couldn’t be bothered.

    All-around FAIL.

    • avatar LuckySeven says:

      Amen! It’s not like she didn’t know this could happen–she’d already done it once before! If this had been written by a nineteen-year-old, I wouldn’t have been surprised, but this woman must be 37 or 38. Grow up, already!

    • avatar aud-ball says:

      With all due respect, we don’t know all the facts. if she truly has no reason and did it, sure.. but i can’t believe anyone would just do this for no particular reason.

      i am one to reserve opinion untill I get ALL the facts, and there are just too many holes in this story.

      and yes, i would be of the opinion, if her son was unstable to the point of violence, i can understand why she would leave.    blood isn’t thicker then water when it comes to life and death.  no one is obligated to martyr themselves.      

      • avatar stateoflove_N_Trust says:

        We have enough facts here. She wrote the letter about herself. She did not say her husband was abusive or indicate that there was a reason other than no romance and little sex. If there was a better reason, why wouldn’t she state it? That is a good indication that there is no better reason.

        If the son is abusive, then she has an obligation to get him help. This is a minor that we are talking about. I can understand leaving a husband and not looking back, but not your minor child.

      • avatar Carrie A says:

        With all due respect, do you not ever watch the news (or reality TV)? People do dumb, crazy things all the time and they don’t need a reason. And if you have a child that’s unstable it is not being a martyr to get them help it’s called being a PARENT. I don’t know why so many people these days think it’s acceptable to have a child but not take any responsibility for them. She owes her son a lot more than just leaving without a word and I hope she seriously considers adoption because her second child deserves a lot better mother than her.

  2. avatar Maggie Tenser says:

    LW1’s son is unstable and anxious? Having a self-involved mother who failed to reach the emotional maturity of an eleven year old does tend to do that to a kid.

    I’m actually really hoping that this letter is somehow a fake, because the idea of a mother screening her child’s calls for no better reason than he’s inconvenient to her and then faulting him for his persistence (as if he were a bad date who can’t take a hint), depresses me.

  3. avatar Kate Olsen says:

    OMG – I so wish you were not pregnant – You do not deserve it.  You have deserted one child and made his life hell – what makes you think you are fit to raise another.  What kind of mother monster are you that you can just “disappear” from your child’s life with no remorse.  Is it his fault that you had very little sex with his Dad and there were problems.  NO – any decent mother would have taken her child with her or at least talked about it before disappearing and not answering calls.  You are despicable and I hope you rot in hell.  I hope the current boyfreind takes the new baby and runs for the hills as you are not fit to be around children.

  4. avatar Constance Plank says:


    I must admit that I want this letter to be a fake. Ick. If it’s true, shame on you! I don’t give an airborne-rodent’s posterior about your relationship with your husband. How can you not care about your child!


    I rather hope this is a fake letter, too. Love is difficult any way you look at it. You have to take chances with your heart, and you have to be honest. So, why do I have happily married gay men in my life? I guess they were courageous.

    Love hurts, love requires changing, love requires risks. But you get back much more than you give. I feel sorry for you, because you aren’t brave enough to seek love! Oh, and you’ll never be younger than today!

    Constance in the Sierra Foothills of CA

  5. avatar impska says:

    LW1: Well, I don’t think it’s any mystery why your son is unstable and anxious – you sound like you might be a horrible person.

    Also, you seem to be a slow learner. You got married young because you were pregnant and ended up unhappy. So you have an affair, get pregnant and … move in with the guy because you’re pregnant? Somehow the only two options were a) terminate the pregnancy or b) leave your family without a word and move in with your boyfriend?

    Did the fact that history is repeating itself escape you?

    Maybe you should consider disappearing from this baby’s life too – you know, before this one gets too attached.

  6. avatar toni says:

    Something about LW1’s letter struck me as fake. Several others seem to have felt the same thing…

  7. avatar Briana Baran says:

    I rarely hope that a letter is a hoax. I’d like to believe L#1 is a complete fabrication…but something about the whole depressing, sordid, lifeless tone of the author just rings so true.

    What should you do? I’m not certain anyone on this site, including Margo, has an adequate response for you, but I can make a suggestion. Call someone who is actually a person capable of empathy who truly loves your son, and explain to this person what you have done, leaving out any reasons/excuses for your actions, because if they have even a modicum of humanity, they’re not going to buy your brain-dead rationale. Ask them to explain to your child what you’ve done…they’ll do a better job of it than you could do with a teleprompter, or a ventriloquist with his hand up your butt. Then leave your son alone. He doesn’t need someone like you in his life.

    Second, since your sexual partner with whom you became infatuated, and whom you have known for all of four months is horrified by the idea of terminating the pregnancy that a sub-human like you is carrying (I wonder that he’s not horrified at the prospect of having conceived a child with you, or cohabiting with you, or even having sex with you), after this child is born, give the innocent up for adoption and get your tubes cut and cauterized, since you have the responsibility of a 3 year old.

    You are either deeply mentally unstable, or just an imbecile…but either way, you’re far too irresponsible to have children in your care. If I sound harsh to others, tough. If this woman is actual, and she’s done, and is doing, what she says she has, she’s insectile vermin.

    • avatar Lila says:

      Now, now, Briana, don’t be so hard on the insects.

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        Yeah, poor little bugs. Maybe I should have been specific and referred to her as a roach. Nothing redeeming about roaches.

        But actually, only homo sapiens can actually sink quite this low.

  8. avatar NYCGirl says:

    Yep, it’s the son who’s unstable. And, I’m usually not so harsh, but, ever heard of birth control, lady?

  9. avatar dianamherrera says:

    Ugh, and I’ve been trying for a year to get pregnant and just can’t seem to do it. Why is it that the most horrible unfit people seem to be able to procreate without even trying? What a disgusting and odious woman and from the tone of her letter, she seems to think she’s the victim in this situation!

    • avatar Skyblonde says:

      I just wanted to send you virtual hugs as I have been in a similar situation. It sucks-and people like the lw make it worse. Good luck to you.

    • avatar christineb says:

      It took us a long time to get pregnant too. It’s a horrible and frustrating feeling compounded by reading about people like LW1. I am sending virtual hugs too and good thoughts that something happens for you really soon.

      I’m sure other people have told you their stories but just to share…We had just given up because my sister was getting married and if we succeeded I would be too pregnant to travel to the wedding when I found out we were. For us it seems that relaxing was the solution. I’ve heard from a few friends that it worked for them. One couple even went ahead and adopted and got pregnant within a month of bringing the baby home! Hope something works for you!

  10. avatar Obediah Fults says:

    Hey Denver! I was almost your age when I found the love of my life — or he found me — I’m not sure which way it was because fate is like that. I was closed and shut down, the same as you sound to me; resigned to living out the rest of my life as a bachelor. When Bill and I found each other, I discovered feelings I had buried so deeply and so long ago that I had all but forgotten them. Those feelings were scary to me, like a thrill-ride is scary, but I took a chance and let them play out. (I thought I could put the lid back on if things started to get carried away.) So, when I finally had to give a name to these feelings, I realized their name was “falling in love”…and I was falling head over heels! I told Bill to leave if he didn’t feel the same way because, with me, falling in love is “forever and ever, amen.” He assured me it was safe to let my emotions take over, and so I did. We’ve been together twelve years now, through good and bad, rich and poor, sickness and health. He’s bedridden now, paralyzed from the waist down, and I’m terminally ill with cancer — but we have each other. I can’t imagine what would have happened to either of us if I hadn’t opened my heart and let him in! Keep yourself available, Denver, and don’t close yourself away. Love can walk right in when you least expect it.

    BTW, Bill and I met via the Internet, which was not as respectable a way to meet as it is today. It worked for us, though. I’ll be 60 in December and Bill will be 71 in January.

    • avatar christineb says:

      What a beautiful story! How wonderful that you have each other! May you have as much good health and blessings as possible in the time you have left together!

    • avatar Jenbabs says:

      You have me all verklempt! I’m so glad that you were able to open up and find your love. :) What a beautiful story! Enjoy each and every moment that you are blessed to have one another.

  11. avatar beatrix_pierre says:

    #1 How old are you? Just like the others, I think you are fake. Are you in high school doing this as a creative writing project?

    #2 I used to live in Denver and one of my gay friends was always in a relationship. I marveled at him always going on dates. I know you don’t want to be dating anymore. You want to be with the love of your life already. Don’t give up! Put yourself out there and one day you will be glad you kept looking. Good Luck!  

    • avatar Hellster says:

      beatrix_pierre , I agree with you about the creative writing project dimension to LW#1’s tale, except that it’s not all that creative. I do, however, like this phrase: ‘My son and I have always gotten along pretty well . . . ” What a beaut.

      As for Gay in Denver, I know of a man, not rich, nor handsome, but kind, chivalrous, intelligent, and funny, who met the love of his life (in Las Vegas, no less) when he was 70 and the lady was a good-looking, charming, and sexy 45. That relationship lasted a year, until she married someone closer to her age  . . . the husband died after five years, but the man and woman are still good friends, and have enriched each other’s lives immeasurably. Another man in Las Vegas met the love of HIS life online; both had been divorced, remarried, then widowed–a lot incommon, there. After 4 happy years, they are still together, still in love. Neither man was wealthy, nor an Adonis, but what both had in common (aside from the same woman) was an authentic, no-holds-barred, joy of living. Do what makes you happy (affinity groups, as suggested, are a great start), BE YOURSELF, treat those potential dates like human beings, and you, too may find your life’s love, or even (and this may be more important) your best friend. Good luck! I am rooting for you!

      • avatar beatrix_pierre says:

        Hellster, either the writer is an uncreative teen or a really dimwitted selfish woman. She doesn’t know how to deal with the situation so she simply doesn’t deal with it. Onwards and forward! Tra-la-la-la!

  12. avatar Michelles11 says:

    LW1…sounds devoid of emotion or reason.  You can be as harsh as you want, but it’s not going to help the situation.  Yes, selfish.  Yes, irresponsible.  Yes…clinically depressed??  You cannot know the number of people in my life whose spouses or familly member has just gone off the deep end.  Doing and saying completely ridiculous, selfish, hurtful things.  There is no  hope, no end to the misery, just avoidance and abandonment.  It’s sad and the ones really getting hurt are the children involved.  I hope for this letter writer’s sake that she finds the courage to take some responsibility and find her way.  Some of you have questioned the validity of this letter and I understand that.  But I seriously know too many people who have done/experienced such a thing that I can’t discount it. 

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      Clinically depressed? Maybe. But is being clinically depressed an excuse for being a pluperfect wretch, abandoning one child, and bringing another into a miserable situation? No. It. Is. Not.

      Some people on this site may collectively roll their eyes and kvetch now. Go ahead, and mazel tov to you all, kaker punum. I have clinical depression. So do a lot of people, and like me, they don’t make others suffer for it. Having a mental illness is a rotten excuse for being an irresponsible, uncaring, narcissist.

      I hope for her childrens’ sake that she either gets help, or gets out of their lives.

      • avatar Sue ZQ says:

        Yes, being depressed is no excuse for behaving badly, but that’s a lot easier to manage when you’re aware of being depressed, and are getting treatment. It’s easy to focus on her errors of judgment when she hasn’t volunteered much about her emotional state, but her story could fit with the ‘frozen feelings’ of depression.

        She needs to at least consider the possibility and run it by a doctor.

  13. avatar Cindy Marek says:

    L #1: Are you still hoping your son by 1st marriage will give up trying to contact you? I don’t understand you at all. He doesn’t deserve to be abandoned. In this mess, I feel sorry for your son; HE is being VICTIMIZED in this — including by you. There’s more I want to say, but will keep it civil.

    L #2: Being a straight woman married for nearly 20 years, I doubt there’s much advice I can give. If it’s any consolation, my sister-in-law (50 and somewhat attractive) is facing a similar dilemma; tiny dating pool. Stay in the social scene. My sister (49) did; in June she remarried, is very happy, and I think this is “the one.” She met him after 2 divorces and 2 failed romances. Never give up. :-)

  14. avatar JCF4612 says:

    LW1) Wow you are some prize. First, 21 wasn’t that young. Second, you could have gone back to school, since clearly you could use some education. I could go on. What you describe as a “new stage of your life” isn’t likely to end well. Once the bloom is off, what kind of guy sticks with somebody who behaves as you have? Call your son, so he doesn’t worry that you’re in a ditch somewhere. Then look into getting treatment for narcisistic personality disorder. I feel sorry for your forthcoming baby.

    LW2) Please get out there a make more friends. That can easily lead to romance and something wonderful.

  15. avatar aud-ball says:

    lw2 – it is NEVER to late to find love!  :)   get out there and go for it!   Volunteer, get a hobby, go to a church, go to a library,  go dancing, to travel, join a dating website,  enjoy life.

  16. avatar mmht says:

    “I have just begun an entirely new stage in my life and am feeling caught between the old and the new.” Maybe because you never finished the old one, you just ran away. Words can not describe how low I think of you. I have heard of women leaving their husbands for abuse, I have heard of women walking out on their family because they couldn’t handle it, but I have never heard of a woman simply disappearing and then hiding from her son and acting as if he’s no more to her then a 3rd cousin twice removed looking to find out some family genealogy. You should not be having children, you have clearly proven that you are not mother material and can not handle the responsibilities of raising a child until adulthood. The fact that you are already pregnant and another child who is unfortunately stuck with you as a mother is sickening.

  17. avatar wendykh says:

    Wait. New boyfriend decided there would be no abortion so she says okay George and moves to another city without a word and ignores all attempts at contact? Is anyone else smelling either an abusive situation or ….something?

    And why do people act all shocked a woman won’t have sex with her husband but will with a lover? He probably smells better and has better technique. Just because a woman likes sex doesn’t mean she likes it with EVERYONE. That said, no one should ever be having extramarital sex without serious birth control in place, as in an IUD or permanent means. Pills etc simply are not reliable enough and can be easily sabotaged through human error. Ideally they wouldn’t be having that kind of sex PERIOD but hey I’m trying to do some harm reduction here.

    And Denver you’re nowhere near too late :-) I know lots of older gay men in my ville who are dating after the end of long term relationships (or being widowed :-() and they’re fit and happy and healthy and looking to have fun, without all the drama of youth. Go for it!

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      She didn’t say that she “wouldn’t have sex with her husband”. What she intimated is that the romance was gone (if there ever was any), and along with it, the sex. I am inclined to wonder just how long she knew her husband before she got A): pregnant, and B): married, and whether the sex was any good, or there was any love and true romance to start with. She stays with him for 16 years of what sounds like utter boredom.

      Then she meets a man through a friend, starts an affair, and after four whole months is pregnant. That doesn’t sound like a woman in an abusive situation to me. She sounds apathetic, irresponsible, and as if she’s waiting for the excitement to kick in through some miracle of fate. “I didn’t know what else to do, so I moved in with him” doesn’t sound fearful, it sounds dim and careless. Also, note that her husband has made no effort to contact her, but their son has.

      Also note that this is the second time that she has met man, gotten pregnant. There is no indication that she stopped the sex, or that the husband was a lousy lover. Maybe SHE kept commenting on the ceiling paint (and maybe that was the only acceptable position for her), and was limp, apathetic and dull. Her husband may have stuck around for his son’s sake, but decided that trying to get excited over a corpse was not very fulfilling. Her new lover may be less than talented, but if she is as well, what do either of them care?

      People are very inclined these days to see abuse in EVERY situation in which a woman leaves one man for another under strange circumstances. There is also a definite inclination to always blame the man. I think LW1 is just vaguely waiting for someone to tell her what to do so that she doesn’t have to make the effort.

      Just helpin’ out the devil again. Today’s cookies are chocolate macaroons.

      • avatar Lila says:

        BB, I was assuming that the sex with her husband was so infrequent that it’s a foregone conclusion that the new child is the lover’s.

        As for husband not trying to contact her – I guess if my spouse just disappeared one day, I would assume some kind of accident or foul play, and report it. If investigators then told me he was found and was fine, the only reason I would try to contact him after that would be to serve the divorce papers.

        • avatar Briana Baran says:

          O, yes, definitely the second child is the second man’s. What I was saying is that she’s done the same thing with two different men.

          I completely agree with you in regard to the husband not contacting her. In addition, if he was abusive, it’s very likely that he would have found a way by now, especially since their son has her phone number. Abusers are so often compulsively possessive; if they can’t have “it”, no one can. Moving to a new state often only escalates their need to wreck havoc on their escaped victim.

    • avatar Hellster says:

      I picked up on that, as well, wendykh; the BOYFRIEND wouldn’t hear of an abortion? What is wroting with this picture?

      • avatar Hellster says:

        Sorry, that should be “wrong” with this picture. Since the stroke, my typing is not what it once was; however, I could have lost a lot more than just my ability to type!

  18. avatar JET says:

    LW1 – After you call your son, you need to call a therapist. You seem to be lost in life and you might benefit from a few counseling sessions. You seem to be letting “fate” steer your life around in a very passive aggressive way in my opinion and it might be time for you to rethink a lot of things in your life.

  19. avatar mac13 says:

    A couple of things bother me with LW1. I am wondering if her son had her phone number or called all his mom’s friends and finally got it. Maybe from that “mutual friend”. I also wonder why there wasn’t a missing persons report filed. Surely a parent or a sibling was alarmed enough to contact the authorities. Plus, her husband never called? The police haven’t contacted her to make sure she is ok? If this letter isn’t fake, she isn’t the only brain dead person.

    • avatar Lila says:

      mac13, I was also wondering about a missing persons report. I wonder – if the missing person is an adult, and the authorities find her and discover that she is fine, can they even report anything more than that back to the spouse / parent / whoever? I don’t know how that sort of thing is handled.

      Anybody know what the police tells the family, if the missing adult is found to be fine and just doesn’t want contact?

      • avatar Lila says:

        OK, found the answer (Wikipedia… where else):

        “… those over the age of majority can be “voluntarily missing.” Barring evidence of criminality or being a danger to oneself, privacy and confidentiality laws generally protect the rights of those who elect to remain out of contact with family or friends. If an adult unreported missing person is located in such an instance, the police are not obligated to inform the family of the missing person’s whereabouts.”

        So – we don’t know from the letter but it’s possible the husband went through the missing-persons report, was told she was fine, and realizing she was gone by her own choice, wrote her off.

  20. avatar mac13 says:

    LW2. Hmm. Take stock of what you have to offer. Then find a way to accentuate that. Whether it be kindness to animals or a great story teller; whatever. If you project your good qualities, when you do find someone they will be attracted to the good things about you. It isn’t all about age or looks.

  21. avatar Deborah Key says:

    Done in Denver –

    You only need one! Stay involved with friends. Volunteer in activities that interest you. You will find people you have things in common with and that helps. And as Obediah mentioned, don’t rule out the internet. I’ve had friends who met on the internet and then turned out to have friends of friends in common.

  22. avatar lebucher says:

    LW#2, I am a straight female but I have to say, don’t give up.  Put yourself out there.  Network with friends who might know someone who might be interesting to you.  I had all but given up also, when at age 53 I met my love, thanks to a friend who knew us both and thought we’d be a good match.  It’s been wonderful ever since, and I think I have finally found the man I should spend the rest of my life with.

  23. avatar Carib Island Girl says:

    LW1 – you are one of the most horrid people I have ever seen. You didn’t want your husband or son and wonder why he has problems with stability? Now you are pregnant with yet another unwanted child (gee, this should turn out great!) and let your BF decide for you whether to keep it. You seem incapable from learning from your mistakes and are completely self-centered. YOU made the decision to have your son, now you deal with it like a decent person. I can’t remember the last time I read such a disgusting letter.

  24. avatar R Scott says:

    LW1 – Please follow Margos’ advice. I would like to add that you’re a big hot mess and I feel sorry for your new man and baby. Sheesh, you’re one cold bitch.

    LW2 -I’m gay, older than you and I live in Denver. Stay interested and interesting. Take care of your appearnce (yeah, you need to) and stay in engaged with life. I’m having the time of my life and no shortage of men for dates or …………….

    • avatar David Bolton says:

      LW1: Your situation is so screwed up, it can’t be fixed. Don’t contact your previous family any more—you’ll be doing them a favor.

      LW2: The best sex I ever had was with a 65 year-old man. I have thought about him QUITE often.

  25. avatar susan hiland says:

    LW1: I’m thinking we are looking at a stone cold psychopath. Her behavior is not normal by any measurement of the word. I think everyone has said it but I’ll say it too letter writer you are a bitch, and a few other words I can’t even think of! Save everyone your kind of “love”. And as for your son you owe it to him to be honest-tell him you don’t give a fuck about him or his father and you are a selfish, egotistical bitch who can’t possibly be bothered to “mother” him any longer. Your poor family doesn’t need the likes of you in it. Leave your new boytoy and go live on a mountain, there you can’t do anymore mental damage to others than you already have done. Bitch!

  26. avatar Frau Quink says:

    Ltr. 1: Is this for real? You should beg your son on your knees to forgive you.

  27. avatar Randy Portwood says:

    LW #2: I am a gay white male who has been in three relationships, two of them long-term. I have no idea where LW #2 is getting his information from when he states a gay male in his 50s may as well be in his 80s. I have found that I merely attract an entirely different age group of men, that’s all. (Men in their 30s to 60s.)

    My third relationship was with a man who was emotionally and verbally abusive, and when that relationship ended in 2000, I didn’t think I could trust someone again, nor did I think I could trust my own judgment when it came to selecting a partner. But that all changed in October of last year when I met my current partner. At the age of 53, I am in my fourth relationship with a man who is loving and honest, and who makes me feel cherished. So, if I can meet someone wonderful at the age of 53, I know LW #2 can meet someone wonderful at the age of 51! Get yourself out there!

  28. avatar BeanCounter says:

    My speculation on the gay guy?   HE is the one looking for a cupcake, or the perfect guy he’s attracted to.   Not the other way around.   People that are picky will always blame other people’s perception of him, instead of his affinity for a “10 out of 10″…just sayin’….

  29. avatar Belinda Joy says:

    Letter #1 – Of all the letters of the last couple of years I have read from Margo, this letter takes the cake!

    This letter writer is such a horrible, horrible person I am stunned by the ignorance she confesses to.  If I were giving you advice I would say DO NOT respond to your son. As Margo and many others that post on this site often say, sometimes our friends and associates are more like family than our own blood relatives.  You didn’t care whether he and your ex didn’t know if you were alive or dead before, so why suddenly care? You are still a horrible person, the deed was done. The moment you snuck out of their lives under the cloak of darkness, you showed your true colors. In this instance I can only pray that his father and his friends can fill the void of a selfish, irresponsible, adulteress, flake that is masquerading as a mother.

    You sicken me!

    Letter #2 – I am always confounded by people over the age of 50 that lament about not being able to find love. Men over 50 say it. Women over 50 say it. Gays and Lesbians over 50 say it. If we are all looking for love, wouldn’t it stand to reason we would find it? 

    This letter writer needs to decide to put himself out there. Not just physically, but emotionally….be open to meeting a man for a relationship. I happen to believe we pass people everyday that could be our soul mates, but because they aren’t the right height, weight, race, age…..we look beyond them. The best advice I would give this man is be aware of your surroundings and really look at people that come into your space.          

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      “Men over 50 say it. Women over 50 say it. Gays and Lesbians over 50 say it.”


      Gays and Lesbians are Men and Women too

  30. avatar hillidaa says:

    I, too, think LW1 is fake, but for a different reason. Imagine it had been written by a man instead, whose wife/girlfriend were pregnant. Then, it seems more likely (sadly enough) to have completely ditched his family. How many times have you heard of Dad walking out the door and never coming back?

    I wonder if this is an attempt to test the response to a woman trying the same thing…

    • avatar blueelm says:

      Not a bad thought, but after 16 years?

      This lady behaved like people expect a lot of men do, it’s true. Not that many men actually behave this way though. It’s pretty unfortunate and there’s probably something wrong with the ones who do. I don’t really think it’s normal for anyone. Just the negative stereotype for men makes people more likely to blow it off and more likely for men to think of it as normal even if they wouldn’t be that way themselves.

  31. avatar J. Smith says:

    LW1 may have a form of mild mental retardation. The red flag for me is her statement “He wouldn’t hear of ending the pregnancy. I didn’t know what else to do, so I left my husband …..”

    I know someone who was born with some mild brain damage, and her responses are a lot like this woman’s. She eventually became estranged from both her children. It’s sad, because this condition is not something she can control. But it’s very difficult for those of us who have to deal with her. Alternative paths of action do not exist for this woman. Her brain is capable of seeing only one option at a time.

    I feel sorry for LW1’s son. Even if she phones him, the prognosis for them having an even halfway-decent future relationship ranges from dim to non-existent.

  32. avatar Lym BO says:

    Actually, my grandmother did exactly this in the early 60s. Her husband had a chronic disease & was 6 years older. (I know nothing about their relationship). She had an affair with a guy at work, became pregnant & they took off to another state. She was 46 so guessing she thought she couldn’t get pregnant. She wasn’t heard from for a year then appeared back on the scene for a visit with a baby. My grandpa was devastated & actually lost his will to live & died a few years later (in his 50s). My dad was hurt deeply. He was newly married & had just finished college. His sister was also newly married & had a baby on the way when she took off. When I first met her at age 6 she introduced us as the Smiths from another state, not her family. I guess she didn’t want anyone to know her grandchildren were close to the same age as her child. (ANd that she was old enough to have kids in their 30s) My dad went into her store & asked one of her close friends of 10 years “Where’s my mom?” . The friend was confused bc he had no idea she had a son. Things seem to get better over the years. My dad & his sister visit her at least once a year (she still lives far away). My uncle (the love baby) was murdered a few years ago related to drugs. At that time, my dad & his sister learned she had planned to leave everything to this son. (another blow as their relationship had mended tremendously over the years) She has now changed her will & is leaving everything (which isn’t much) to her very successful children. She is now in her 90s.. The strangest thing is the family acts like it never happened. It simply isn’t brought up. I did learn from another cousin their work place was quite the “swinging”, happening place in the 60s.I have half a mind to ask her more about it all, but am not that close…
    Point is .. it does happen. As far as I know she has never apologized for leaving her children wondering where she was for over a year. Her second stallion hub & she divorced about 16 years later. He had left young children behind (900 miles away). The one child moved down to be with him as a young adult & remains close to him. It sure is odd. We are upper middle class.

  33. avatar blueelm says:

    I’m just really interested in the psychopathology of LW1. There’s clearly a disorder there somewhere. The combination of complete selfishness, lack of forethought, carelessness, short sighted goals, and inability to relate to others is stunning. Wonder if she’s a psychopath. Congrats lady, you’d make a good case study!

    • avatar Lym BO says:

      I’d go more along the lines of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. OR more likely Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Likely she has a combo of a few different diagnoses. She does convey some guilt so psychopath seems out. RAD would be one who doesn’t inherently know wrong from right, but can learn the difference and apply in life if taught. The point of the letter is the writer trying to determine whether she is right or wrong by not having a relationship with her eldest child. She truly doesn’t seem to know. RAD.
      I would also guess she loves advice sites because she learns a lot about correct human behavior from them.

  34. avatar blueelm says:

    By the way, my opinion is that the missing info (why she could be gone for a while without the police being involved, etc.) is due to the fact that the kinds of problems that this person seems to have would mean that this family has been dealing with her for a long time. I would guess running out for a long while might even be familiar. There might be other things going on as well that aren’t being written (drug addictions, hospitalizations, that time she decided to go to Denver) because there clearly seems to be more going on than is being stated. Either this is fake, or this person is kind of a failure at most of the important parts of being human, which is just sad.

  35. avatar Eaups87 says:

    Margo was right on the money when she signed the letter “Margo, depressingly”. This is such a depressing situation! I’m not even admonishing her for having an affair. But instead of facing your part in this – you run away and refuse to take calls from your CHILD? If it is indeed an abusive situation, what kind of person leaves their child with the abuser? I can’t believe she put that her son was “a little unstable at times and very anxious”. Well, we can’t pick the kids we get and I can’t imagine his mother disappearing would help to soothe his nerves. I also can’t imagine what kind of man would want to be with a woman who could so easily walk on a family after 16 years. I hope that she shapes up and at least gives her child some closure if she’s not going to “let him back into her life”.