Sisters’ quarrel puts mother in a tough spot

Published 8:52 am Monday, December 13, 2021

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DEAR ABBY: My two daughters are not speaking to each other. “Amy,” the older, claims her sister started it. “Lisa,” the younger, claims Amy took Lisa’s son out to dinner and never told her. (This happened while he was living with me — another long story.)
Amy has had us at her house for Christmas for the past seven years. Lisa wants to have Christmas at her home this year. She told her aunt that if I don’t go there for Christmas, she will never speak to me again. I have tried hard to get Amy to make up with Lisa. I think Lisa wants things to go back to the way they were. (Amy doesn’t know what her sister said to their aunt.)
It feels to me like Lisa is asking me to pick which daughter I love more. How can I handle this without losing a daughter? — IN THE MIDDLE IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR IN THE MIDDLE: Handle this by telling Amy that because you have celebrated Christmas at her home for the last seven years, you will be spending this one with Lisa. And if she gives you an argument, tell her that from now on you will be alternating celebrations with her sister because you do not want to be forced into the position of having to choose one daughter over the other.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 68-year-old man, married for 45 years. I have cheated on my wife for most of them. Am I sorry about it? No.
My wife shut me out of her life 25 years ago. She has her bedroom, and I have mine. Why did I stay with her? We had adopted two babies 30 years ago, and I wanted to give them an education and a good start in life, which is what we did.
How do I treat her? I treat her well, I think. I help her with the housework, keep our home in good condition inside and out, and she has her own car. I take her out for dinner once a week and we go dancing every Saturday night at the club. I’m a moderate drinker and nonsmoker. I bathe four or five times a week. So, tell me, Abby. What’s WRONG with me? If you decide to print my letter, perhaps I’ll have an answer. Thanks, Abby. I enjoy your column very much.
P.S. Would I cheat on my wife if the opportunity presented itself in the future? Darned right I would! — NO REGRETS

DEAR NO REGRETS: If you are asking me what’s wrong with you for staying in your marriage, my answer would be that you did it for three decades for the sake of your children. I would add that since they are now all adults, it may be that you eventually adjusted to the lack of intimacy with your wife, so you substituted women who were available.
However, if you are asking me why your wife shut you out of her life 25 years ago, the only person who can answer that question is her. It may not be too late to ask.
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.
Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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