Woman believes mother is playing favorites

Published 8:21 am Thursday, April 18, 2024

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DEAR ABBY: I am on a limited income. My younger sister, “Tara,” is a medical professional with disposable income she spends on frivolous things. I have one son, age 13; she has three children, ages 14, 10 and 3. Tara and I live a few miles apart; our mother lives 60 miles away. My mother keeps my sister’s kids every other week. She rarely keeps my son. I must bring my son to her; she drives all the way to Tara’s house to pick up her kids and take them home. 

I have “borrowed” a rather decent sum of money from my mother. She regularly asks me about paying it back. She spends a lot of extra money on food for Tara’s kids because of their special dietary needs. Between that and all the driving back and forth, my mother has spent nearly twice as much catering to my sister as what I have borrowed in the same amount of time. 

I feel this is very one-sided and that, for some reason, my mother cares more about Tara than about me. I also feel like my son is neglected by my mother. Am I wrong for feeling like this? Should I say something or just leave it alone? – LOPSIDED IN GEORGIA

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DEAR LOPSIDED: It appears you are jealous of your sister for many reasons. Your mother has the right to spend her time and money on whatever she pleases, as does your sister. I don’t know why your mother favors Tara’s children. Perhaps it’s time to ask her why. 

As to her request you repay the money she has loaned you, I suggest you work out a repayment plan starting NOW in the hope that it will improve your relationship with her. But if that doesn’t happen, arrange for someone else to watch your son.


DEAR ABBY: When I met my husband, I felt valued. But ever since I got pregnant, he no longer considers my feelings or treats me as a priority. I have to beg for his support, but when his mom and sister need help, he is quick to help them. 

The reason I married him was because he seemed loyal and dedicated to his family, and I thought he would be that way with us. However, during the last few months of my pregnancy I have felt ignored. He is not really excited about the baby, and we haven’t bonded while I am pregnant. 

I feel like I’m the last item on his list. I am slowly detaching from him. Even if things change when the baby is here, I don’t think I’ll respect him or have those love feelings anymore. I now see him in a different light that I find unattractive. Please help. – AT A CROSSROADS IN MAINE


DEAR CROSSROADS: Before this goes any further, recognize that you have steered yourself to a fork in the road. The path you should take is the one that leads to your OB-GYN’s office. Your doctor should be told what is happening in your head and in your marriage because you could be experiencing symptoms of pre-partum depression. Do not put this off. Your baby is going to need a father, and the further you distance yourself from your husband, the less likely it will be that they have one.


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.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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