Jealousy creates a barrier between biological siblings

Published 8:24 am Thursday, December 31, 2020

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DEAR ABBY: I’m an American man who was adopted as an infant. Several years ago, I found my birth parents. They are not from America. My mother came here to give birth and left. Sometime later she married my father and had more children. I’m in touch with the entire family, but mainly my birth parents.
My biological siblings are jealous of my success in life and make it plain they don’t approve of much that I do. They also make sure I know I’m not REALLY part of the family because we didn’t grow up together (although we are, by blood, 100% siblings).
I deal with this the best I can, but now I’m getting flak from them because of my political views. (They saw a photo of me at a political fundraiser.) When my sister turned 40 this year, I sent her a card, a Facebook post and a text message. I turned 50 at the same time and heard not a word from her.
Although my siblings are not Americans, they feel the need to trash our country, our government and our way of life. I’m tempted to cut ties with them. There is little respect coming my way, and I think I’ve had enough. I value your opinion, which is why I am writing to you now.
BTW: I had an amazing set of (now deceased) parents and wonderful siblings growing up. I just wish I had a better relationship with my biological family. — DISAPPOINTED AND EXCLUDED

DEAR DISAPPOINTED: Your family is the family that raised and nurtured you. I, too, am sorry you don’t have a better relationship with these jealous, judgmental people. You are related by blood — nothing more. They do not have the right to criticize your political views or your lifestyle, any more than you have the right to criticize theirs. (And I doubt you would.) Because you are neither respected nor included, you have every right to back off and head in a different, more positive direction. Frankly, I suspect you will feel better as soon as you do.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a 26-year-old male in a long-distance relationship with my girlfriend, who is 18. I love her to the moon and back, but I feel like she only stays with me because I can buy her things. She gets upset with me when I don’t get them for her. She says I value my mother and others before her.
I love her so much, and I want to marry her. I’m a minister at a church. She thinks she should take priority before my bills and taking care of my mother, who can barely walk. What do I do? — UNEASY IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR UNEASY: From what you have written, it appears you are involved with an 18-year-old self-involved gold digger who does seem to be with you only because of what you give her. She hasn’t yet learned (1) That a gift should be voluntary and appreciated, rather than extorted, and (2) the way a man treats his mother is the way he will treat his wife.
Since you asked my advice, here it is: Close your wallet and ditch this “girl.”
DEAR READERS: Well, 2020, a year like no other in recent memory, has drawn to a close! I join you tonight in toasting a 2021 that will be less challenging for all of us. If you’re celebrating this evening, please take measures to protect your health and the safety of others. — LOVE, ABBY
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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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