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OPINION | DEAR ABBY: With unsupportive mother, less time probably good idea

by Abigail Van Buren | August 29, 2021 at 2:08 a.m.

DEAR ABBY: I divorced my cheating husband, but my mother keeps inviting him over to her and Dad's house. Not only does she invite him, she's now inviting one of the women he cheated on me with! She tries to justify it by saying she isn't going to keep him out of our daughter's life. Our daughter lives with my parents -- but she's 23 years old. Am I wrong to be angry and for telling my mom SHE was wrong for choosing him over me? Our daughter is an adult and can go to visit her father.

-- Cheated on Again in Colorado

DEAR CHEATED ON: Your mother entertains your husband and his "lady" friend (I use the term advisedly) because, for whatever reason, she can't let go of the relationship. Your feelings are justified. When the good Lord handed out mothers, he should have chosen one more supportive. This is why it's important for your emotional well-being that you move forward with your life. You can't control your mom, but you can control how much time you spend with her.

DEAR ABBY: Our family does not have a relationship with my son, "Josh." My sister occasionally asks me if I have heard from him and, when she does, she refers to him as "your son," never by his name. I can't imagine myself referring to my niece as "your daughter." I refer to her by her name. My sister is sensitive and doesn't take criticism well, so I don't know of a polite way to tell her how this offends me. It implies detachment, disinterest, distance.

-- Disengaged Aunt

DEAR DISENGAGED AUNT: You say your family has no relationship with Josh. Your sister's refusal -- or inability -- to refer to him by his name doesn't just "imply" detachment, disinterest and distance -- it shouts it. It would not be out of line to tell your sister the next time it happens that you find it "hurtful" and ask her to please use Josh's name in the future.

DEAR ABBY: I got very sick in 2014 and spent six months in the hospital. I'm almost 100% recovered now and I'm grateful to all of those who supported me during this journey. Some family members helped out monetarily -- some in a large way, and others, small. I'm working part time and feel I should pay them back, although none of them has ever said a word about the money. What do you think?

-- Grateful Guy in Illinois

DEAR GRATEFUL GUY: Talk to your relatives. Tell them that although you are working only part time now, at some point you would like to repay their generosity. Some of them may agree; others may refuse. But there is more than one way to repay a "favor." Bear that in mind should a need of theirs come to your attention that does not involve money. And another thought: If you haven't written these generous people thanking them for helping you when you needed it so much, you should.

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

Print Headline: With unsupportive mother, less time probably good idea

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