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Worried family members seek advice for man being harassed by estranged wife

Posted: June 7, 2013 2:33 p.m.
Updated: June 10, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Dear Annie: My son’s estranged wife has reported him to child protective services six times and to the police for various things she’s invented over the past three years. Due to her false accusations, he has been arrested three times. He has been found innocent of all charges, but she persists.

She charged him with violating a restraining order and appeared in court last week flanked by bodyguards supplied by victim services.

This charge was thrown out. My son has never touched her, but she has convinced many people that he is dangerous.

She is such a good liar that she actually believes her own stories, which makes her even more convincing.

My son has become so paranoid, he barely leaves his house. He is so depressed that he can barely function and is unable to work. She is slowly killing him. Is there anything he can do besides continue to defend himself?

The lawyers’ costs have become a nightmare for our whole family. There must be something more we can do besides waiting for her next dramatic step. -- Worried Family Members

Dear Worried:

He also can search for a divorce support group in his area or online and get into low-cost therapy for his own well-being. He needs to get his life back.

Dear Annie:

When she first got engaged, she announced a small wedding, and I offered to make silk flowers.

I do this professionally and had most of the supplies.

Months later, it turned into a huge event. I also was in the middle of a major move. I agonized over finding the exact color and got frustrated when I needed to do more flowers than I had originally planned. I also had to buy additional supplies because what I had in mind wasn’t acceptable to the bride.

Since I had moved, I needed to find new suppliers. I spent hours running around and emailing the bride about her specifications. I knew it was going to cost me hundreds more than I planned, so several months before the actual wedding,

I opted out of attending. I was newly unemployed and simply could not afford it. But I found the perfect "bling" that the bride wanted and sent the flowers to her.I never received so much as a thank you. Her last email was, "Are you still coming?" I refused to answer. Not once did she ask, "How are you?"

So Bridezilla had her day, and now my friend is not speaking to me. Was I wrong not to attend? I told my friend I wasn’t coming. -- The Friend Who Wasn’t There

Dear Friend:

However, when the bride asked whether you were coming to the wedding, it was rude of you to ignore her email.

Perhaps if you apologize first, the friendship can recover.

Dear Annie:

I am a widow, and after a lifetime of having someone with you, it is hard to do things by yourself.

I prefer having someone I know go with me, but no one wants to be bothered taking me anywhere, so I sit at home. If she would take her mother-in-law to these places, Mom could see how much fun it could be, perhaps make a friend and then take it from there on her own. -- Fort Myers, Fla.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmail box@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

To "Frustrated Daughter-in-Law," whose mother-in-law doesn’t get out and do things, has it ever occurred to her to ask her mother-in-law to go with her to these places?
You are never obligated to attend a wedding unless you are a participant. And your flowers were a lovely gift for which the bride should have thanked you and over which she undoubtedly drove you nuts.
My dear friends’ daughter recently married.
Your husband may need to go on the offensive. What his ex-wife is doing is harassment, and he should ask his lawyer about suing her.

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