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Wed, March 20

Dear Annie: A lying abuser

Dear Annie: Recently, you published a letter from someone whose good friend was being abused by a girlfriend physically, verbally and financially. I agree with your advice to the letter writer to keep in contact with her abused friend.

My issue is this: My boyfriend is telling his mother that I am abusing him, and I am not; he is the mean one. I am in the process of getting out of the relationship. We both have lots of ties — homes, two businesses and more. Because of what we have on our shared plate, it is easier to say that I should get out ASAP, but it’s harder to actually do it. We are in separate rooms and living areas of our large home, which helps during the breakup process.

Anyway, my boyfriend is not telling his mother that he is the abusive one. He tells her that I call him names. He doesn’t tell her my anger comes from how he acts like a bully. He busts doors all over our beautiful home, for one. Also, he recently spat out a mouthful of carrots all over the table while we were out for dinner because he was mad! I was embarrassed that he did that in public. I finished my meal and left. He since has angrily spit food all over the place twice. He calls me really foul and demeaning names — saying I’m a miserable you-know-what. I tell him anyone in a relationship with him would be miserable.

Would it be OK to spill the beans to his family about what he is really doing and has done? Or would it be best to just walk away when I am finally organized in a smart enough way to leave? I really want to spill the beans to his mother. — Apprehensive

Dear Apprehensive: Spilling the beans wouldn’t get you anything except more of a mess. Continue preparing yourself to make an exit. Seeing as you have properties and businesses together, be sure to consult a lawyer, if you haven’t already. I’d also encourage you to stay with family or friends or to get a short-term rental if at all possible. Breakups are always rough, but breaking up while continuing to live together? That’s torture.

Dear Annie: Socializing is definitely critical to the development of young children, as you said to “Concerned Mommy.” But it seems that the school is effectively meeting her son’s academic needs, and there are activities other than school in which children can interact with their peers in ways that make positive contributions to the children’s development.

Two organizations that help to produce well-rounded children are the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. The youths learn many valuable things that they might otherwise not, such as camping skills, a respect for their country, compassion for others and sportsmanship.

Other activities that can allow for socialization while also teaching useful skills often not taught in school are music (especially singing in a choir), team sports, participating in library programs and volunteering.

I would strongly urge “Concerned Mommy” to investigate such activities, whether or not she switches schools. — Scout Leader of 38 Years

Dear Scout Leader: Thank you for the on-point advice and for helping young people as a Scout leader for so many years.

“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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