Silence from daughters hurts divorced father

Published 8:07 am Thursday, January 4, 2024

DEAR ABBY: I am the father of four, two boys and two girls, ranging in age from late teens to mid-20s. I was extremely close with all of them until my divorce seven years ago. Most would say they were closer to me than to their mom.
My boys still talk to me, and we have a great relationship, but my two girls stopped talking to me. To this day, I send each of them a check for $150 on their birthdays and on Christmas. The girls sure do cash their checks, but they never send a text or email a thank you.
My feelings border on deep hurt and anger. Should I send one last check explaining how they have hurt me and tell them goodbye, or continue sending checks, hoping they’ll contact me in the future? It isn’t easy for me to afford $150 eight times a year. – DEEPLY HURT DAD IN ARIZONA

DEAR DEEPLY HURT: You have been generous with all of your children in spite of the fact it creates financial stress. Your ex may have turned the girls against you by telling them you had left THEM instead of HER at the time of your divorce.
That you have not heard from them to say, “Thanks, Dad,” is a breach of manners. It isn’t necessary to send them a letter telling them their shunning you has hurt you. They already know that. When the next gift-giving occasion rolls around, send your daughters a nice card acknowledging the special day and omit the checks. If you do, you may hear from them then.
DEAR ABBY: My co-worker sent “save the date” cards to everyone a year ago, and my husband and I were looking forward to attending her wedding. Apparently, she had a wedding planner or a friend send the wedding invitation itself via email closer to the wedding date. Everyone in the office received theirs, but I did not.
When I found out, I privately told two other co-workers I hadn’t received an invitation and that perhaps the person misspelled my name in the email, thinking they would say something to the bride or someone would follow up on the RSVP. (I didn’t want to put the bride on the spot by addressing her directly.) Well, nothing happened.
Now everyone in the office is gushing with the bride about how wonderful her wedding was, and I’m afraid she may think I didn’t care to attend and or even bother to RSVP. Was there a polite way to let the bride know I didn’t receive an emailed wedding invitation without looking desperate or embarrassing her? Are emailed invitations the “new thing” with weddings? – ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN

DEAR OUTSIDE: Some couples do send emailed wedding and shower invitations these days. A way to have handled this would have been for YOU to have been proactive and informed the bride that you had “checked your calendar” and realized that after having received her “save the date” memo, your formal invitation hadn’t shown up. That way she could have told you she’d send one immediately, or that because of budgetary considerations, she would be unable to host you after all.
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.

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