Dear Abby: In leaving wife, man also abandons his stepkids

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DEAR ABBY: My stepfather, “Ron,” and my mother finalized their divorce a month ago. He has been part of my life for 19 years, since I was 10. He was a grandfather to my two boys, and because he adopted me when I was 17, I took his last name.

My problem is that two years ago, when Ron left Mom, he cut off all contact with me and my boys. No calls, texts, messages. Nothing! I am still coming to terms with all of it, and it’s hard to explain to my 7-year-old where his grandfather is.

Ron was a father to me after my biological father passed away. It’s painful to think that he may not have loved me or my boys like I thought he did.

How can a father/grandfather do that so easily? What’s worse is his children (my step-siblings) have also cut us off. I have no idea why.

My husband thinks I should contact him, but I don’t think I should have to beg someone to be in my life, especially if it’s a parent/child situation. What are your thoughts? — LEFT IN THE DARK IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR LEFT: Ron may think that because he and your mother are no longer married, your loyalties lie with her and you don’t want him in your life.

I agree with your husband. Reach out to him and your step-siblings. Tell them you and your children love them and still want them to be part of your lives. They may need the reassurance. And if they still prefer to have no contact, you will know you did everything possible to keep the relationships intact.

DEAR ABBY: I have been seeing a woman for a year, and everything seemed pretty sweet. She told me when we met that trust is important to her as she has had issues in past relationships, including with her ex-husband, who was seeing an ex without disclosing it to her.

This week, I saw a series of texts pop up on her phone from someone I have never heard her mention. When I asked about it, she said they were from an “old friend.” I found it troubling and asked her more about it. She then mentioned she had been in a romantic relationship with him many years ago. She also disclosed that the text exchange was started because she told him (via text) that she had dreamed about him the night before.

She assured me her dream was not romantic or of a sexual nature, and her intent in reaching out wasn’t romantic. Despite this, my suspicion meter has gone through the roof, and I’m having a hard time trusting her story. I find this especially baffling given her history. Am I overreacting? — LESS TRUSTFUL NOW

DEAR LESS TRUSTFUL: If everything has been going well in your relationship with this woman for a year, why are you looking at text messages that pop up on her phone? Although not all people would text an ex about his/her appearance in a dream, she can text whomever she wishes, and she shouldn’t have to account to you for it.

The two of you need to have a serious conversation about the parameters of your relationship. The problem may be your insecurity, and if you are going to have a successful outcome with anyone, you had better learn to control it.

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 an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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