Dear Abby: My late husband’s kids and grandkids never see me — unless they want something.

They keep asking for help paying bills and only invite her to events which require gifts.

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DEAR ABBY: My husband of 30 years died eight months ago. It was a second marriage for both of us, and we each have two adult children. Since the funeral, I have seen his kids and grandkids only when they need something, like college tuition or car repairs. (I knew it would happen.) They do include me in events which require gifts, probably because I continue to be generous. Three other grandparents are very involved, which is fine, but I feel awkward and not cared about. My husband would be so disappointed. How should I handle this? — WISTFUL WIDOW IN MICHIGAN

DEAR WIDOW: Handle it by facing reality. If you are invited to an event you don’t wish to attend, send the “kid” or “grandkid” a nice card with your congratulations. If someone asks you why, be forthright. Tell the person you have realized the only times you were included are those that require gifts. Then be quiet, hang onto your sense of humor and listen. It’s important that you focus your attention on moving forward in your life and doing things that bring you pleasure. Above all, do not nurture relationships in which you feel you are not valued.

DEAR ABBY: My husband has a close friend I’ll call “Al.” (We are like family.) Over the past five months, Al has been seeing two women and sleeping with both of them. Neither one knows about the other. He admits that one of them thinks they are in a committed relationship, however, he refuses to choose between the two. He actually plans the exact same date so he can compare them!

I feel bad for them and want to tell him what he’s doing is wrong. My husband insists I shouldn’t interfere. Al keeps saying he wants us to meet these women, and I just can’t imagine keeping my mouth shut. What to do? — RIGHT OR WRONG IN VIRGINIA

DEAR RIGHT OR WRONG: Al is dishonest and lacks integrity. He may be a close friend, but that doesn’t mean you must participate in the games he is playing. A way to avoid that would be to refuse to meet them.

DEAR ABBY: One of the things I always do when I have my parents and my sibling’s family over is play the piano. My 80-year-old father LOVES to hear me play. I am an accomplished pianist and I love to play difficult pieces.

During their most recent visit, while I was “trying” to play the Warsaw Concerto for my father, my family was talking over my grand piano, my niece was chasing my grand-niece through the living room and my sister-in-law was filming me, which was chaotic and terribly distracting. I think they were rude and disrespectful. How can I get them to stop this kind of behavior without sounding like a snotty jerk? — SERIOUS MUSICIAN IN COLORADO

DEAR MUSICIAN: When you wish to perform a concert for your father, entertain your parents APART from your sibling and the kids.

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.

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