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Let dad help with daughter

Also, cut ties with boss and find another job

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Dear Abby: I have been divorced for three years and have a 10-year-old daughter, "Candace," who lives with me. My ex-husband, "Chet," and I are friendly. I have a full-time job, work part time on the weekends, and go to school two nights a week. I'll get my B.S. degree next July.

Chet has offered to keep Candace on nights when I go to school. I have always been very flexible about the time she spends with her father. Mother thinks I am giving Candace the wrong message. I have talked with my daughter, and she knows her daddy and I will not be getting back together. We are only friends.

Mother says I need to prove to Candace that we are not reconciling. She says Chet shouldn't be with my daughter in my home on the nights I go to school or even on weekends when I am working.

Mother says I have depended upon others my whole life. That's a big joke. I have been on my own since I was 17. Mother thinks I need to start depending upon myself more. What do you think? — Confused Mom in the South

Dear Confused Mom: I wish all divorces were as amicable as yours. It seems you're doing everything right. I can only conclude that your mother does not want your daughter to have a healthy relationship with her father. That said, maybe it's time to discount what your mother thinks. You're a big girl now, and the important thing is what YOU believe.

Dear Abby: My boss, "Adam," is 43. I am 50. We are both divorced. We have become very close during the three years we have worked together. I have two adult children. He has none.

Adam and I spend a great deal of time together — at work and socially — but always on a platonic basis. The problem is, I have fallen in love with him. I realize that an on-the-job romance — especially between a boss and a subordinate — would be a big mistake. However, I know he cares a great deal for me, although he does not share my romantic feelings.

Abby, I am having a hard time hiding my emotions when he dates other women. It impacts my work performance. I feel it would be best for me to look for another job.

He told me that if I were a true friend I would want him to be happy and to marry someone who could be the mother of his children. I do want Adam to be happy, and I love my job, but I have deep feelings for him. He thinks it is selfish of me to want to leave. Do you? — It's Tough to be in Love by Myself

Dear It's Tough: I do not think your desire to leave is selfish. Quite the contrary. It's selfish of him to try to make you feel guilty for wanting to leave. You'd have to be a masochist to stay

Dear Abby: My husband, "Lenny," and I met through mutual friends back in 1988 and have been together ever since. We have a good life and two wonderful children.

My problem is that Lenny is a very jealous man. The other night, we were at a hockey game, and one of the guys I work with came over to say hello. I introduced him to Lenny and they shook hands. I could see my husband getting noticeably upset. Now he insists I'm cheating with this co-worker.

Several times within the last year, Lenny has accused me of being unfaithful. What can I do, Abby? I love my husband with all my heart and intend to spend the rest of my life with him. But I'm sick and tired of being wrongly accused when I'm innocent. — Sad and Mad, Richardson, Texas

Dear Sad and Mad: Your husband appears to be deeply insecure with low self-esteem. His accusations are an attempt to control.

Counseling could offer the breakthrough you need, but unless Lenny is willing to admit HE'S the one with the problem, don't count on it.

Pauline Phillips and her daughter Jeanne Phillips share the pseudonym Abigail Van Buren. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.) © Universal Press Syndicate