Abby Advice: Identity of son’s father a secret

DEAR ABBY >> Thirty years ago, I had an affair with “Roger,” a married man. We worked together and fell in love. At the time, Roger was married with three children. My husband and I were separated, and I had one son. The 15-year age gap between us didn’t matter to me. I admired him. Roger was soft-spoken, intelligent and a gentleman. He was of Christian faith, so when he decided to divorce his wife, his partners held an intervention and bought out his equity in the company, which forced him to move out of state.

Roger was a great person and struggled with the thought of leaving his family. I understood, and we parted ways. I kept informed about him as much as possible over the years but never contacted him, and we lived in different states. When he left, I was pregnant, but I didn’t tell him because so much was going on and I didn’t want the baby to be a tool. I had a son, reconciled with my husband and never told a soul. Eight years after that, my husband and I divorced.

Although I tried, I never found the courage to reach out to Roger. Five years ago, I visited the state where he lived. I even went to his office but did not reach out. I recently had several dreams about him and couldn’t stop thinking of him.

I looked Roger up online and found out he died a year ago. I am devastated and feel guilty for not giving my son the opportunity to know his father. Roger has other children. Should I let them know or should I just leave everything alone?

— Holding Many Secrets

DEAR HOLDING >> What is to be gained by making an announcement at this late date? I would, however, do another internet search to see if you can find out what killed Roger. If it’s something that could be passed down to your son, warn him. Otherwise, I’m voting for leaving everything alone.

DEAR ABBY >> Over the past two years, a friend I have felt very close to over the years has gone downhill. “Nancy” thinks her neighbors have placed listening devices in her apartment, have entered her place illegally and taken things, and are in general malevolent.

I have stepped back, but a mutual friend tells me Nancy feels abandoned and betrayed by me. I’m afraid if I reach out, I’ll be sorry. But on the other hand, I never have said goodbye.  Nancy has a therapist now. What do you suggest I do, if anything?

— Failed Friend in California

DEAR FRIEND >> If the only reason you would be contacting her is to say goodbye, I think it would be cruel. If you would like to check in and offer some warmth and encouragement, then give her a call.

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