DEAR ABBY: I’m recently divorced. We have two wonderful children ages 6 and 11. I try to spend as much time with them as possible because it’s important to me, even if it means spending time with my ex-wife.

The woman I am dating is also divorced. She has a bad relationship with her ex and doesn’t think I should spend any time with my ex, even if it’s for the sake of the kids. An example: My daughter’s birthday is coming up, and it is my ex’s day with the kids. However, we will be going out for a birthday dinner, and my girlfriend doesn’t think I should go.

I’m not torn about going to dinner. I am torn about how to deal with the new girlfriend regarding my relationship with my kids and ex-wife. Any suggestions? — JEFF IN MICHIGAN

DEAR JEFF: Yes, and I sincerely hope you will take this to heart. What you have described is a huge red flag. Lose this girlfriend now. She appears to be both selfish and insecure, and she will worsen your relationship with your ex and destroy your relationship with your children if she can.

DEAR ABBY: My partner and I have a long, loving relationship. But there’s always been this one little problem. When we’re out in public, I ask him to “please pull up your pants” and “please not put your hand down your pants.” He gets upset that I call him out on it, but it’s embarrassing for me, and I feel like it should be for him, too. How can I stop him from letting his pants be a problem? (They are nice slacks with button, zipper and belt!) — JANE DOE IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR JANE DOE: Buy your partner a pair of suspenders and insist that he wear them when he’s out in public with you. (It should lessen his need to put his hand down his pants, a habit that should have been “discouraged” before he entered kindergarten.)

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I are expecting. We were both raised Catholic, but neither of us feels any affinity for the church or its teachings anymore. We had a Catholic wedding more for others (primarily family) than for ourselves.

The question is, do we have our baby baptized? Neither of us really wants to, but we’re afraid of the reaction from our families. We would just go along with it, but if we do, it means getting involved with a religious group we care little for, and worse, lying about it. What do we do? — DO WE OR DON’T WE

DEAR DO WE OR DON’T WE: You and your wife are both adults. How you choose to raise your child should not be dictated by anyone but yourselves. If you choose not to baptize your offspring in the Catholic religion, then “to thine own selves be true.” If your child later decides to adopt a Christian religion, he or she can be baptized then.

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