Ask Amy: My relationship produced a child. Should I apply now, years later?

Dear Amy: Thirty years ago, I started a romantic relationship with ‘Bonnie’. We were both married. The relationship lasted 16 years and produced one child, ‘W’.

Bonnie was very happy that I was the father of W. I was able to visit/play with W as a toddler and had two chance encounters with W as a child. After 16 years, Bonnie stopped seeing me, but we continued to talk on the phone almost every day. We talked for six years, but then Bonnie stopped abruptly.

Besides missing Bonnie, I really miss hearing about W. Bonnie knew I loved kids and did a wonderful job of keeping me updated on W’s life.

I tried to contact Bonnie, but she didn’t answer. Through social media, I see that W is doing well and seems to have a good life. I don’t know if Bonnie ever told W about me, but I imagine it’s a very difficult thing to raise your grown child when you’re still married.

W works near where I live and I would like to introduce myself. I would have preferred Bonnie to introduce me, but she seems to have closed that door. It would be very easy for me to prove that I am W’s father.

I don’t want to interfere with Bonnie’s wedding. The main thing I want is for W to know that I care. I don’t think W has the best relationship with Bonnie’s husband and I hope getting to know her would help.

Even though it would be amazing and upsetting, I wouldn’t expect W to change his life for me. Any continuing relationship will be solely at the discretion of W.

Children should know who their biological parents are, but do I have to do this?

Willing: You chart decades of infidelity and very short contact with the child you fathered — without acknowledgment, involvement or financial support — and then question whether you’re doing the right thing.

Um, not on that one. No to all of that.

Yes, “W” has a right to know his DNA heritage and you should disclose it. W also has the right to accept or reject the existence of a personal relationship with you.

And yes, this hookup could blow up “Bonnie’s” marriage and affect everyone’s lives (including yours) in potentially extremely profound ways.

I suggest contacting W via private message. (This way, you can see if the message has been opened and read.)

Include all the ways W can contact you and wait for W to decide what you will do about this potentially major life change.

Dear Amy: I work in a hospital that has a dress code that clearly states that staff should not wear perfume or cologne.

I am allergic to certain smells and chemicals and have submitted a letter from my doctor to the employee health department and the director of nursing — to no avail.

Every employee in my unit knows about my allergy and continues to wear strong perfume and cologne. It usually makes me throw up several times during my shift. I usually get short of breath, but I have a rescue inhaler and I usually recover within an hour or so. Last week, I had a swollen tongue and sores in my mouth due to exposure.

My last reaction was scary and it took several days for the sores to go away.

I love my job. I have been there for over eight years and was hoping to retire from there. (I’m 50.) What should I do?

Allergic: Your colleagues are putting your health—and by extension, your patients—at risk.

The way you describe the behavior of your colleagues amounts to workplace bullying and callous disregard for your health.

You should advance your advocacy on several fronts by contacting HR, your union (if you have one), and an employment attorney, as well as researching your rights and options through the Equal Employment Opportunity

Dear Amy:”Husband in extreme conflicthe described his wife’s advanced dementia and wondered whether he should succumb to temptation and respond to an aggressive high school girlfriend.

I couldn’t believe you told him to move on.

Upset: I advised Conflicted to avoid his old high school. I said I thought he could pursue a relationship with a kind and steady person – as long as he didn’t leave his wife.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency

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