Two daughters make clear whose side they’ve taken

Published 8:13 am Thursday, April 25, 2024

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DEAR ABBY: I have been divorced for nine years. Before that I was a stay-at-home mom raising four children. I had an in-home business, and most of the money went to our family’s needs. 

My husband became an alcoholic 20 years into our 28-year marriage. After we divorced, my two adult daughters abandoned me because I receive spousal support from their father. Whenever I let them know how much I miss them, the only answer they give is that they will resume a relationship when I stop “taking the money.” 

My younger daughter and I were close for years after the divorce. Then, all of a sudden, everything changed, and she ceased all communication. I used to have wonderful relationships with both. They have since blocked communication with me and moved far away from me and their father. 

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I would love to have a relationship with them, but everything is a dead end. If you’re wondering, yes, the money is used for living expenses, help, etc. Please help. – INCREDULOUS IN OREGON


DEAR INCREDULOUS: So your daughters have decided to side with their drunkard of a father and are trying to blackmail you into submission. PLEASE don’t allow them to get away with it. Continue taking the alimony to which you are ENTITLED, and go on with your life. You can only hope that your daughters eventually will see the light. As I see it, you really have no other choice because, at this point, you are dependent on those funds to survive. 


DEAR ABBY: I am struggling with whether I am obligated to organize a party for our 50th anniversary. I was the main caregiver for my wife until a year ago, when I physically could no longer do it and had to put her in a board and care facility. She has Alzheimer’s, is wheelchair-bound, and must be fed and changed. 

I still work during the day, but I help put her to bed at night. On the weekends, I wheel her to a park so she can get fresh air and watch kids on the playground. She perks up when she sees me, and I always feel good when I can get her to laugh about something her goofy husband tried to do or botched.

We have five grandchildren close by, and she has two sisters and a brother and many cousins. One sister visits her often. The care facility is small, but they love parties. Anniversaries are important, but as time goes on, they seem to just come and go. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world to have shared my life with my wife. I would appreciate your thoughts. – PARTY OR NOT IN CALIFORNIA


DEAR PARTY OR NOT: If you think your wife would enjoy it, arrange for a cake and beverages and invite the relatives. Before you do that, though, ask her caregivers if it would intimidate or frighten her to have so much activity going on around her. If it would give you pleasure to do this, you have my blessing. However, please remember that it is not an obligation.


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.


For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)