Parents make surprising choice following divorce

Published 8:48 am Monday, July 31, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

DEAR ABBY: I am 49 and have been divorced for 20 years. When we first separated, my ex moved in with my parents while I struggled to raise my four kids. He stayed there for seven years. He moved out until a year and a half ago. Again, my parents have allowed him back in!
While I understand that they shouldn’t have had to cease contact because of the divorce, I don’t feel it’s right for him to be living there. This has caused an ongoing rift between my family and me because I have let them know that it hurts me.
My parents pretty much told me my feelings don’t matter. I was homeless living in my car for a few weeks while it was bitter cold and snowing. But I’m not supposed to be upset that he’s nice and warm, eating prepared meals, showering and using their vehicles for next to nothing? He has had a full-time job for 10 years.
I feel my parents are disrespectful, hurtful and rude toward me. What are your thoughts about what I should do or how to handle this? – PERTURBED IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR PERTURBED: My thought is that when you and your ex-husband divorced, your parents sided with him, and you have every right to your feelings. Being told that your feelings do not matter had to have been devastating.
The way to handle this would be to stay as far from your parents as possible and figure out how to have a rewarding life on your own. Take that path – and spend as little time as possible looking backward because you really have no other choice. Success would be the best revenge.
DEAR ABBY: I’m 26, and I have never been in a long-term relationship. I have used dating apps and have dated several times, but nothing seems to stick after the third one. This year, I have put myself out there more by going to Meetup groups and to religious services.
When I browse Instagram or Facebook, I see content that makes me feel guilty and disappointed. It’s depressing to see people I know getting engaged or married. When I was in high school, most of my classmates went to prom, while I stayed at home.
I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll never find a good quality life partner or if I’m meant to be single forever. I’m afraid there may be something wrong with me. What can I do to move forward? – UNCOUPLED IN MINNESOTA

DEAR UNCOUPLED: You may be focusing too much on your goal and not enough on enjoying the experience. Dating is a sifting process. It can be tedious and depressing, and it doesn’t always result in meeting Prince Charming. Because you haven’t yet met The One doesn’t mean the alternative is winding up in a convent. Move forward by teaching yourself to enjoy the present, and you may find you have better luck.
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.
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.)

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox