Friend lets woman take the fall for her divorce
Dear Abby: “Darlene” and I have been friends for 40 years. She moved to Arizona with me in the ’80s from Michigan. Her boyfriend drove out and convinced her to return to Michigan and get married, which she did, but she’s always hated Michigan. She raised two girls. I was always called “Aunt” and was considered close.
Years passed and the marriage was struggling. I invited Darlene to come and visit to get away for a bit. She fell right back in love with Arizona. She expressed her unhappiness in the marriage, and I told her that if she ever needed a place to stay, she could live with me. She came out for another visit, found a job and decided to stay.
Her girls, now in their early 20s, were shocked and hurt by their mom’s decision to divorce their father. One of them blames me, blocked me on Facebook and no longer talks to me. It has been three years, and when Darlene’s daughter comes to visit, I have to stay away. Darlene refuses to talk to the daughter to smooth things out between us. I think she should do something to defend me. Am I wrong? — Wrongly Blamed in the West
Dear Wrongly Blamed:
No, you are not wrong. You did Darlene a favor by welcoming her to Arizona, but you were not responsible for her divorce. It appears no good deed goes unpunished. She should not be letting you take the heat for the fact she left her husband.
Darlene should have explained to her daughter the marriage was an unhappy one for a long time, and regardless of where she chose to live afterward, it wouldn’t have been near their father. Darlene and her daughter owe you an apology. Because you are required to stay away when Daughter visits, perhaps it would be better if Darlene found another place to live rather than your home.