Dear Abby: We stay together to raise our child, but we’re not happy

Four years after becoming pregnant unexpectedly, woman sees many reasons to leave her daughter’s father.

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DEAR ABBY: Four years ago, I became friends with a co-worker and things took off too fast. Within a couple of months, I became pregnant. We were thrown together without really even knowing each other because, deep down, we wanted a family and decided to stick it out.

Well, it’s been a hell of a ride. I ended up having to leave because neither one of us was happy, and it wasn’t the greatest environment to raise our daughter in. I came back a few months later, and we have been trying our best to get along and be great parents for her. But our past issues with each other constantly raise their ugly heads and cause problems that make us want to split up.

I have suggested individual and couples counseling, but he isn’t into it, and it’s always a blame game between us. I’m beyond tired of it. My head says go, but my heart says stay. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. — WEIGHING THE PROS AND CONS

DEAR WEIGHING: Your child’s father may prefer to play the blame game because he’s unwilling to own up to his part in the problem. Dragging an unwilling partner to counseling would be unproductive. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go without him. If you do, you will have a clearer understanding about whether and why you should continue living together. Keep in mind that a household where there is conflict is not a healthy environment for a child.

DEAR ABBY: My mother passed away a short time ago, and my cousin immediately posted about the funeral on social media without even mentioning me in her post, or asking me how I felt about such a posting.

Have people grown so self-centered and uncaring about other people’s feelings that they think posts like this are appropriate without asking the immediate family’s feelings on the matter? It seems to me it’s a self-serving grab for attention and sympathy without any respect for the immediate family of the deceased. I really cannot find a way to forgive her actions. — HURT AND ANGRY IN THE EAST

DEAR HURT: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your mother. What happened is one of the regrettable aspects of living in the 21st century. Your cousin may be part of the generation that thinks every detail of their lives must be put online for consumption by an audience waiting with bated breath. If my guess is accurate, then I agree doing it without first running it by the immediate family was insensitive and thoughtless.

Not knowing your cousin, I don’t know whether it was a “self-serving grab for attention.” However, what’s done is done. It’s over. I hope you won’t allow this to ruin your relationship with this relative or your memories of your dear mother.

DEAR ABBY: I’ve always wondered when it’s appropriate for a couple to start giving gifts as a couple vs. individually. I’ve seen couples who start early on in their relationship and others who have been together for what feels like forever who still individually give gifts. — WONDERING IN TEXAS

DEAR WONDERING: There are no hard and fast rules about something like this. It may depend on all the circumstances involved, and also may have something to do with how independent from each other the couple is.

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.

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

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