DEAR ABBY: When I was an unmarried 18-year-old, I had a child out of wedlock. Unsure that I could provide for him, I chose to place him for adoption so he would have a chance for a better life. This year, we connected through DNA. The reunion has been great, even though I choose to remain in the background because his mother is still living.
Would it be appropriate this fall and winter to include him in my holiday festivities as long as it doesn’t interfere with the time he should be spending with his family? And, after his mother passes away, what role should I play in his life? His father is deceased, and he and his adopted brother are estranged. — BIO MOM IN TEXAS
DEAR BIO MOM: Your son should have told his adoptive mother about the reunion, regardless of who initiated it. I think it would be better for everyone if she was included. A way to do that would be to thank her for taking such good care of your son and helping him to become the man he is today. I do not think secrecy is healthy. If it backfires, there will be deeply hurt feelings because of the subterfuge. At this point in your son’s life it’s too late for you to be his mommy. However, you CAN be a good friend, since his only family now is the woman who loved and raised him.
DEAR ABBY: I have been dating a man for almost three years. He’s retired; I’m still working. He refuses to stay with me during the week because I need to go to bed early. I see him only on the weekends. Am I wrong for wanting him to stay with me during the week? I feel like we really don’t have a relationship. My previous boyfriends would stay with me every night. Am I doomed with this man? By the way, he’s been married four times. — WANTS MORE IN MICHIGAN
DEAR WANTS MORE: Wake up. The man you have been dating isn’t going to change. He has struck out at marriage four times and may have “plans” during the week that do not include staying with a “Sleeping Beauty.” If you want more companionship than what you’re getting, you are going to have to seek it elsewhere.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter is getting married. Her father and I never married, but legally he’s listed as her father. For the past 40 years she has used my last name. Well, her wedding invitation arrived today and her father’s name is on it. Mine isn’t even mentioned!
My parents and I raised her. Her dad was around but never an active father. I raised her, but he gets the glory and the privilege of walking her down the aisle? She says I’m being “a wacko.” Must I accept this and let it go? I feel so hurt that I really don’t want to go to the wedding. — LOVING, LEFT-OUT MOM
DEAR MOM: I understand your feelings. If you haven’t asked your daughter why she chose to do this, you should. At the least, you deserve an explanation. Please understand that if you refuse to go to her wedding, it could create a permanent rift. There may be grandchildren and milestones you also could miss. Of course, the decision is yours to make, but since you asked me to weigh in, I’m suggesting you take the high road, attend and support your daughter on “her” day.
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.
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