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My husband has cerebral palsy, everyone thinks he’s drunk

DEAR ABBY: My husband has cerebral palsy. He can talk, but his speech is slightly slurred. He can walk, but he is unsteady on his feet. We like to go out and have a few drinks, but the problem is people think he’s drunk. We were chased out of our places. We nearly got kicked out of a rideshare service until I told the driver he has a disability. We were at a concert walking up the stairs (I was holding beers), and everyone was looking at him thinking he was drunk. Do you have any advice (apart from putting up a sign saying he’s disabled)? — SOCIAL SPOUSE

DEAR SPOUSE: Your husband shouldn’t have to post a sign. When you go to a bar or restaurant, tell the manager or bartender as soon as you enter that your husband has a disability that affects his balance. While this won’t work in large crowds like at a concert, it should save you and your husband any misunderstandings in smaller venues.

DEAR ABBY: I raised my daughter’s first child. “Joey” is 10 years old and has lived with my husband and me full time for four years. I love her very much and I like being her “mommy”, but I’m not good at helping her with her homework. My daughter doesn’t have time for him. She has two other children with a different father. The stepfather has no desire to be Joey’s father.

I’m everything to Joey. My life revolves around him. But, Abby, at 52, I feel like I’ve earned the right to do whatever I want at this point in my life. I feel like I would punish Joey if I returned him to his mother to raise. His biological father is not in his life, although the paternal grandparents are in contact with him. Your opinion on this situation? — LIKE A MOTHER IN SOUTH CAROLINA

DEAR LIKE A MOM: Gladly. When Joey turns 18, you’ll be 60. That’s no exaggeration. Please don’t abandon your grandson at this point. As you said, you are “everything” to him, and in this case, that’s literally true. Joey’s paternal grandparents did a terrible job raising their irresponsible son. Would you really consider handing Joey over to them to mess up? Stay the course!

DEAR ABBY: One of the last times we hung out, a friend commented on my height. She said, “I shouldn’t complain about my weight gain. I am smaller than you.” It was really rude. I thought about this comment and how to approach it for a week, and when I saw her next, I asked her not to increase my height when she complained about hers.

Instead of apologizing, she spent 15 minutes justifying what she said. But there was no real justification. Since then, I avoid it. She keeps reaching out and asking to hang out with me, but at this point, I don’t think I should. What would you do? — OFFENDED IN HAWAII

DEAR OFFENDED: I would tell him no, and I would tell him in no uncertain terms exactly why.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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