Woman plans for Christ­mas with­out mom and daugh­ter

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

DEAR ABBY >> My just-mar­ried daugh­ter has in­formed me that we will no longer cel­e­brate Christ­mas to­gether be­cause her hus­band al­ways spends it with his mother and wants to con­tinue do­ing it that way.

When she saw my ex­pres­sion, she also told me not to look so hurt by it, be­cause if her daugh­ter (from a pre­vi­ous mar­riage) sees me up­set, then SHE might get up­set that she’s not in­vited to go to Cal­i­for­nia when my daugh­ter, sonin-law and their daugh­ter do. My grand­daugh­ter isn’t in­vited be­cause she isn’t my son-in-law’s daugh­ter.

Can you be­lieve that? When I told my daugh­ter that isn’t right and she’s putting her daugh­ter in a bad spot and that the girl will grow up with a lot of re­sent­ment, she told me not to worry about it and it isn’t go­ing to hap­pen.

Abby, what can I do? I don’t want to see my grand­daugh­ter hurt. Please an­swer soon. Christ­mas is com­ing. — Grandma Becky

DEAR GRANDMA BECKY >> I agree that you shouldn’t let your grandchild see how up­set you are. Be­cause ge­og­ra­phy pre­vents you and your sonin-law’s par­ents from cel­e­brat­ing the hol­i­day to­gether, ex­pect to make plans with­out your daugh­ter in the fu­ture. That she would al­low one of her chil­dren to be ex­cluded be­cause the girl isn’t her hus­band’s child is ab­so­lutely dis­grace­ful. Her in-laws must be ter­ri­bly in­sen­si­tive to en­cour­age it.

As­sum­ing your grand­daugh­ter lives close by, why don’t you have her stay with you while her mother is away? The great­est gift is the gift of self, and that way, nei­ther of you will be alone.

DEAR ABBY >> My par­ents have been di­vorced for 17 years, but my fa­ther ap­pears to have trou­ble let­ting go. Some ex­am­ples: Although he never wore a wed­ding ring, he does wear a wid­ower’s band, and he tells peo­ple he “lost” his wife. Re­cently, he talked to my brother about get­ting a tat­too of my mother’s name. Suf­fice it to say, my brother told him it was in­ap­pro­pri­ate.

My gen­eral pol­icy has been to let Dad cope how­ever he likes. I live 400 miles away and my brother still lives phys­i­cally close to him. I un­der­stand that di­vorce can be trau­matic, hav­ing lived through theirs as a child as well as my own. Is there any way I can help Dad cope with this?

He is hav­ing health prob­lems now. I think they are forc­ing him to con­front his own death, but this has been go­ing on for more than a decade. Lately, I find my­self rolling my eyes and laugh­ing it off. But pri­vately, I worry this could be a sign of some­thing worse be­cause it ap­pears to be es­ca­lat­ing.

Are there re­sources for cop­ing with di­vorce? He won’t con­sider ther­apy — I’ve tried. — Wor­ried daugh­ter in New Jersey DEAR WOR­RIED DAUGH­TER >> While I have heard of wi­d­owed in­di­vid­u­als switch­ing their wed­ding band to the right hand, the con­cept of a “wid­ower’s band” is new to me. Your fa­ther may be ashamed that he is di­vorced, which is why he prefers to im­ply that he’s wi­d­owed.

I agree with you and your brother that the idea of him tat­too­ing your mother’s name on his body would have been in­ap­pro­pri­ate. I do think that you should dis­cuss your con­cerns about your dad’s men­tal health with your brother be­cause you say his pe­cu­liar­i­ties seem to be in­creas­ing, and he may need a phys­i­cal and neu­ro­log­i­cal eval­u­a­tion.

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