Annie's Mailbox

She’s pregnant again by abusive ex

December 1, 2010

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Q. I am a 22-year-old single mother. Two weeks ago, I left my boyfriend when he began to be physically abusive in front of our child. We currently are under a court order to have no contact with each other, but I keep in close touch with his parents.

I recently found out that I’m pregnant. Should I tell my ex’s parents so they can inform him? I’m not sure if I’m going to raise the child myself or give it up. Right now, I’m not financially able to care for a second child.

CONFUSED SINGLE MOM A. Your ex has the right to know he has fathered another child, but you do not have to inform him until you have a handle on what you plan to do. Please discuss all the pros and cons with someone who will help you decide what is best for you and your child. We recommend Planned Parenthood ( or 800-230-7526). They will provide counseling, prenatal care, and referrals to adoption agencies if you choose that route.

Q. When I was mowing last week, I noticed that somebody had already mowed part of our swale on the street behind our house. Our grass is always mowed on a timely basis, so it wasn’t a message that our grass was overgrown. Also, there are vacant lots on both sides of our backyard, and neither of those swales had been mowed — just ours.

This has happened before, and I discovered that the mowing was being done by a neighbor with whom we are barely acquainted. I wrote him a polite letter asking him to stop mowing our swale. A few days later, he came over and said he meant no harm, and the mowing stopped — until last week.

I am annoyed about the trespassing and concerned about our possible liability if this neighbor hurts someone or damages property. Also, I have not been working for the past several months and am home alone all day. I wonder if this neighbor keeps track of my comings and goings in order to mow while I am out and wouldn’t see him.

I think this should be reported to the police so we have a record in case something goes wrong. My husband says getting the police involved might make matters worse.

NERVOUS A. We suspect your neighbor has a power mower he likes and simultaneously believes he’s doing you a favor. Still, good neighbors respect one another’s boundaries. Have your husband speak to the neighbor and make it clear that he is creating a problem, and if he doesn’t cease and desist, you will be forced to report it. If you have a homeowners or neighborhood association, ask for help in resolving this.

Q. I read the letter from “Lonely but Afraid,’’ the 21-year-old virgin who is afraid to seek out relationships. She may be likelier to meet someone who would take the time to get to know her if she joined a church group, or several. If her church does not have an active social group for young people, she should look around at larger churches in the area.

SANDY OUT EAST A. Thank you.

To all our Jewish readers: Happy Hanukkah!

E-mail your questions to, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 West Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.