DEAR ABBY: My daughter, “Maddie,” 34, just left what I thought was a great marriage. After only five years, she cheated on her husband, “Glenn.” Their 6-year-old son is crushed. I know there are two sides to every story, but our entire family loves Glenn. He’s a hard worker, but quiet and kind of a homebody.
I think poor communication and lack of excitement were her issues with him. (She refuses to talk with me about the situation, so I’m surmising based on what I know of them both.) This was their first marriage, but ever since high school, Maddie had a long string of boyfriends. Most of them seemed to be nice guys (she’s had a few duds), but when Maddie’s dad and I got to know them and became fond of them, she’d dump them.
I think Maddie is upset with me because I can’t warm up to her newest guy. When she started cheating with him, he was also married. (He’s now divorced.) He’s a good bit older than she is, and I don’t picture this relationship lasting. I have met him a couple of times and been friendly enough, but I haven’t friended him on social media. She posts photos of them together, and I rarely “like” the photos because I DON’T like them.
I hate what she’s done. It really hurts me. How can I get past this, and how should I handle what I feel is pressure from her to accept this new guy? — STANDING BY IN GEORGIA
DEAR STANDING BY: Your first priority should be to create as stable an environment for your grandchild as possible. There may have been problems in Maddie and Glenn’s marriage that you weren’t privy to. Be cordial to the new man in your daughter’s life, and in the future stop allowing yourself to become as emotionally invested with the men she dates as you have in the past. From your description of Maddie’s pattern, there may be more on the horizon.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 58-year-old man. I have a 33-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old granddaughter. My relationship with my granddaughter is nonexistent. My only relevance to her is in the role of benefactor. She promises to spend time, visit, call or write, but never follows through. On the other hand, she has no problem reaching out via cash app or any other platform for money.
Every year, in the months before Christmas, I start receiving calls or texts from her. Once the holidays are over, it’s business as usual. Going forward I plan to ignore her inquiries. Conversations with her and my daughter aren’t working. What do you suggest? — MORE THAN MONEY IN MICHIGAN
DEAR MORE: Because conversations with your daughter haven’t worked, have another one with your granddaughter. Keep in mind that at 14, she may be somewhat self-centered, but she should be told how being ignored for long periods makes you feel. Explain that you are no longer willing to give gifts of money to a person you aren’t interacting with. Then see if she follows through.
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 DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.