DEAR AMY: I’m 62, and have been single for the past 27 years, with occasional relationships. I’m quite independent and if the relationship was no longer working (for whatever reason), either he or I ended it with not much fanfare involved. This spring, I met a man who lives only a few blocks away from me. At first it was working quite well. Then he started getting angry with me for absolutely no reason. He started demonstrating terrible jealousy. I would leave the relationship, he would apologize, I would forgive him, and then it would happen all over again. I learned that his ex-wife of 35 years will not engage him in conversation, and his children and grandchildren barely spend time with him. He told me that his ex-wife accused him of stalking her after the divorce. I finally had to break it off, with no hope of reconciling. I have since stopped all communication, although he continued to text me, begging me to give him another chance. Yesterday my sisters and I noticed him walking up my driveway. He placed an envelope on my car windshield. Once he was gone I opened it and he was returning a clip I had left at this house, along with a note that stated, “I miss you and if you gave us (me) another chance I know things would be different.” Is this stalking? Am I in danger? Should I start restraining order proceedings? Should I reach out to his ex-wife and see if he’ll eventually get over it?
Grandma with a Stalker
DEAR GRANDMA: You are not being stalked — so far. Currently, you have a case of a neighbor walking up your driveway and leaving a note on your car.
However, given this man’s history — both his reported history and his behavior toward you — I agree that you should be wary.
If you genuinely think it would be helpful, you could contact his ex, who might provide some insight.
Install a “No Trespassing” sign in a visible spot at the end of your driveway. If this man comes on to your property again and it makes you uncomfortable, you could send him a letter via priority mail: “I have posted a ‘No Trespassing’ sign at the edge of my property. Please do not come on to my property or contact me again.”
If you see him on your property and/or if he contacts you after this, you should look into legal remedies.
DEAR AMY: I come from a family that travels a lot. Each time one of us is on the road, my mother insists that we call her halfway to the destination and again once we get there. She will map out exactly how long it should take us to get from A to B with no traffic, extra stops, going the speed limit, etc., and if we don’t call at the time she thinks we should have completed the trip, she will start blowing up our phones with multiple text messages and phone calls demanding to know where we are and why we haven’t called. My phone does not sync to my car, so I would have to physically answer her by text or phone call. We’ve explained that what she is doing is dangerous and does nothing except stress everyone out. She refuses to stop. She did this to me tonight while I was at the end of a five-hour drive that ended well past midnight. Then she had the nerve to scold me for worrying her. Your thoughts?
Stressed by Text
DEAR STRESSED: My thoughts are that your mother is going to really worry when her text-hectoring causes one of you to get into an accident, hurt yourselves, and possibly kill someone else.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “In 2015 alone, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.”
I’m not sure why your mother keeps such close tabs on her children, but you should get together as a group and resist her control.
You should not read or answer her texts or calls while driving.
DEAR AMY: I was shocked at the selfish vanity displayed by “Grandma to Be,” who believed that her stepson’s child wasn’t her “real” grandchild. My stepmother had the same attitude toward her stepkids’ children, openly favoring the child born to her biological daughter. This favoritism has affected all of the relationships of our otherwise happy family.
DEAR HURT: Grandchildren are grandchildren — regardless of DNA.