DEAR ABBY: I just attended my son's wedding. He married a wonderful woman, and I couldn't be happier for them. However, I was not acknowledged during their wedding reception, which deeply saddened me.
My son's mother and I divorced 25 years ago after she cheated on me with several men. I never disclosed her infidelity to my son because I didn't want to tarnish his view of his mother. During the reception, when she spoke to the guests, she made it sound like she raised our son alone. I wasn't mentioned at all during her speech, even though I had custody of him for more than a year when we first divorced. Because I was in the military and had to go on deployments, she took him for a few years after that. I also had custody of him during all of his high school years because she couldn't handle him. Although I got him through graduation, she took all the credit.
I'm deeply hurt that she didn't have the decency to mention me. If she had, I would be OK with letting the past be the past. My new daughter-in-law thinks my ex is this wonderful woman who raised my son all by herself. Although I don't have the heart to tell my son about the lies and cheating my ex put me through, I feel the need to inform my daughter-in-law of my ex's narcissism so she will understand it was I who raised him during his formative and high school years. What should I do?
-- Nonexistent Dad
DEAR DAD: One would think that before marrying this wonderful woman, your son would have told her about his history. If he hasn't, the next time the three of you talk, I see no reason why you can't raise the subject of the years he lived with you. When you do, refrain from calling your ex-wife names. From your description of her, she was behaving as she always had and thinking only of herself. You are lucky to be rid of her.
DEAR ABBY: I have a friend who calls me and talks nonstop for more than an hour. She will ask about me, but I barely get to answer before she hijacks the conversation back to herself.
Last winter, I drove 16 hours to Florida to visit family. She lives 90 miles from where I was staying. When I asked her to meet halfway for a visit, her response was, "I hope you can come here. I don't want to drive that far." When I explained that I'd driven in snow and rain and was road-weary, she made all kinds of excuses and finally said, "Well, you sound too busy." She doesn't have driving issues. She works part time 40 miles from her home. I'm really upset. Do I have reason to be?
-- Let Down in Indiana
DEAR LET DOWN: That you would be upset is understandable. The "friend" you have described is so centered on herself there isn't room for you in the relationship. Be glad your eyes are opened. Cut those hour-long phone calls to 15 minutes, if you choose to receive them at all, and free yourself from someone who isn't, honestly, much of a friend.
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.