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Mom takes son-in-law’s side in daughter’s custody battle

Abigail Van Buren
Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I got divorced a year ago. Before it became final, there were many court appearances. My husband told my mother we were divorcing because I was unfaithful, which is true. What he didn't say was I felt neglected, abandoned and unwanted, all things he knew because I had discussed them with him and he ignored me.

Either way, she is MY MOTHER, not his, and she showed up with him to a couple of court dates to vouch for him to have custody of our kids! I was sad, mortified and angry. It happened with no warning. Mother and I had not severed contact. As a matter of fact, she had recently spent a week with me and our kids in our home.

Our relationship had never been great, but now it's over. It has been a year since we last spoke, and I feel no remorse, no sadness, no regrets, only anger that she turned against her own daughter. Regardless of what I did, I am her child. As a mother, I would never betray my children, no matter what they did. I was awarded full physical and legal custody of both of them, by the way. Is there something wrong with me for not feeling sad or missing her and being so angry after an entire year has passed? — NUMB IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR NUMB: Wrong? In your words, your relationship with your mother had never been great. That she appeared in court as a surprise witness for your husband must have been a terrible shock. I assume your mother has not tried to apologize for what she did. If that's true, there is nothing wrong with your justifiable anger unless it's eating at you and negatively affecting your quality of life. If that is what's happening, talking with a licensed psychotherapist will help you straighten out your thinking.

DEAR ABBY: In 2014, my family found out that my father was having an affair. He had been with his wife for 24 years. We all bit our tongues as he moved "Jasmine" in with him and then moved her family into their small, one-bedroom house as well.

Since he got involved with Jasmine, he has started smoking again and lost a lot of weight. We hardly see or talk to him these days. Everything he does she must approve. We know he isn't happy, but he won't admit it to any of us. (We heard it from a couple of his close friends.)

My wedding is coming up in 2021. My fear is that Jasmine will somehow prevent him from going. How can we all approach this subject with him without upsetting him? If he isn't there to walk me down the aisle, it will be a sad day. — LOST IN COLORADO

DEAR LOST: I don't think that at this point you (all) should approach your father about this. Instead, try befriending Jasmine, which will enable you to keep a closer eye on him and his health. If you can manage that, she may be less likely to prevent your dad from walking you down the aisle. In the meantime, cross your fingers and hope your dad comes to his senses and finds the courage to move the woman and her family out of his home and out of your lives.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact her at Dear Abby, P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069, or visitDearAbby.com.