DEAR ABBY: I’m in a seven-year relationship with a beautiful woman I love and would do anything in the world for. I feel she would do the same for me. She has a dog, “Preston,” who she loves and who has been with her since puppyhood. At 16, Preston is failing badly and is on his last legs. There is no doubt his time is coming.
We had planned on meeting my son and grandchildren for a family celebration after a seven-hour drive. Her plan was to accompany me, but now, because of Preston’s condition, she has changed her mind. I understand that. However, she’s now angry that I am going alone.
I spend every day with her and go out of my way always to support her. She has no grandchildren, having lost her only daughter two decades ago. I will be gone for only a weekend and return in plenty of time to be with her afterward.
I haven’t seen my three granddaughters in a year, and who knows when I will again. Should I feel guilty about leaving her and the dog? I am stuck in the middle here, and am going to upset her or my son’s family no matter what I do. — MAN IN THE MIDDLE
DEAR MAN: You stated that your significant other’s only child died 20 years ago. It is possible that puppy Preston became like a child to her, and losing him is causing her to revisit the loss of her daughter. If there is any way to manage it, postpone the visit with your son and his family until later in the year, after Preston’s passing, or have them come to you. If that’s not possible, because it’s only a weekend, go see your son and your grandkids but remain in contact with her from afar during the visit.
DEAR ABBY: My first husband was abusive, and I divorced him after less than four years of marriage. We had two daughters. In 2016, I remarried, this time to a loving, caring man. My oldest daughter was my maid of honor. A year after our wedding, she married her soul mate. Her father and I, including our current spouses, paid for their reception.
Since 2017, this daughter has continually asked us for financial assistance. At first we helped, but after a terrible argument, we drew the line, and she decided to sever our relationship completely. She sees us occasionally during holidays and is cordial, but she doesn’t call or text for my birthday or Mother’s Day, which is very hurtful.
I don’t know where to turn, except to pray. I don’t want to be estranged anymore. I miss her terribly, but do not want to be financially taken advantage of any longer. Any advice would help. — HEARTBROKEN IN DELAWARE
DEAR HEARTBROKEN: Would you really like to receive birthday and Mother’s Day greetings knowing they didn’t come from the heart and that you were paying for them? This is what your daughter’s actions have revealed. You have not caused this estrangement; she has, because you turned off the spigot.
I’m sure you are hurting, because that is what your daughter intends. Since prayer hasn’t helped you cope with this, consult a licensed mental health professional, and I suspect you will have better results. You have my sympathy.
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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