Long-absent dad chooses friend over his own family

Published 8:35 am Wednesday, April 1, 2020

DEAR ABBY: My father has been mostly absent from my life. We reconnected when I was an adult. I have always had feelings of abandonment, and because of this, I have constantly tried to build a relationship with him and allow him to have one with his grandchildren.
Dad met my friend of 10 years, “Danielle,” two months ago when I threw him a birthday party. Since then, he and Danielle have begun a relationship on the sly. The problem is, Danielle tells Dad things I confided to her over the years, and he is coming back to me with whatever she has told him.
Dad has been separated for 14 years, and Danielle insisted that she wouldn’t date him under those circumstances, but she did. Since the start of this, my relationship with my dad is even worse, and my long friendship with Danielle has been ruined because I know I can’t trust her. Dad spends all of his time with her and her child now and hasn’t begun to build a bond with me or his own grandchildren, which has been the story of my life, and my friend knows this. Abby, am I being selfish? What do you think I should do? — MORE THAN AWKWARD IN ARKANSAS
DEAR MORE: I don’t think you are selfish. You have good reason to be hurt and disappointed. Your father is remaining true to character, but your friend has betrayed your trust. You may need the help of a licensed therapist to move beyond this, and that is what I recommend you do.
Believe me, you have my sympathy. But you can’t change your father or Danielle. You can, however, change the way you react to them, and a therapist will help you do that more quickly than you can do it on your own.
DEAR READERS: On April 1, I like to share a few of the more offbeat letters I receive. Here are three:
DEAR ABBY: For more than 50 years, my wife has had a close relationship with a stuffed panda bear she received when she was 8 years old. His name is Daffy, and he sits by our fireplace and pretty much rules the house. She makes him “talk” and takes him places.
When I make a mistake, like not hanging up my jacket, I say that Daffy told me not to do it. She gets mad, and I get a lecture from Daffy about how he isn’t to blame and he never makes a mistake. I am joking when I blame Daffy, but my wife and Daffy don’t find it funny. Am I wrong to make a joke, or should I not blame Daffy? (Daffy told me to write this letter.) — PANDA-MONIUM OUT WEST
DEAR PANDA-MONIUM: It appears there are not one, but three “daffys” in your household. If you can’t “bear” what’s going on, stop joking.
P.S. You must think I’m daffy to believe this letter is legit.
DEAR ABBY: How do you address a letter to three doctors who are in a domestic partnership? Two are married to each other and have the same last name. I addressed it as, “Drs. Jane and John Doe and Joe Brown,” but I wanted to be sure for future correspondence. — THREE’S COMPANY IN ATLANTA
DEAR T.C.: Surrounded by so many doctors, you must be receiving excellent health care! The correspondence should be addressed to “Drs. Jane and John Doe and Joe Brown, M.D.” Joe earned his degree and deserves that title — even if he is coming in third.
DEAR ABBY: When I put my hand on my wife’s knee at the dinner table last night, she blurted out the name of another man. What do you make of this? — CURIOUS IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR CURIOUS: Unless the name she blurted was Alfredo and you were eating pasta, I suspect you may have a problem.
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.comor P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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