Pricey Abby: Mother takes son-in-law’s aspect in daughter’s custody battle

DEAR ABBY: I got divorced a year ago. There were many court appearances before it became final. My husband told my mom we were getting a divorce because I was unfaithful to which is true. What he didn’t say was that I felt neglected, abandoned, and unwanted, all he knew because I’d discussed it with him and he was ignoring me.

Either way, she’s MY MOTHER, not his, and she has shown up with him on a couple of court dates to vouch for his custody of our children! I was sad, ashamed, and angry. It happened without warning. Mother and I hadn’t broken off contact. In fact, she had recently spent a week in our house with me and our children.

Our relationship has never been great, but it’s over now. It’s been a year since we last spoke and I feel no regrets, no sadness, no regrets, just anger that she turned on her own daughter. No matter what I’ve done, I’m their child. As a mother, I would never betray my children no matter what they did. Incidentally, I have been given full physical and legal custody of both. Is there something wrong with me because I don’t feel sad or miss myself and am so angry after a whole year? – NUMBER IN NEW JERSEY

LOVE NUMBER: Wrong? In your words, your relationship with your mother had never been great. That she appeared in court as a surprise witness for your husband must have been a terrible shock. I take it your mother didn’t try to apologize for what she did. If that’s true, then your justified anger is fine unless it eats you up and affects your quality of life. If so, speaking with a licensed psychotherapist will help you improve your thinking.

DEAR ABBY: In 2014 my family found out that my father was having an affair. He had been with his wife for 24 years. We all bit our tongues when he pulled “Jasmine” over and then pulled her family into their little one bedroom house.

He has started smoking again and has lost a lot of weight since dealing with Jasmine. We hardly see or speak to him these days. Everything he does has to be approved by her. We know he’s not happy, but he won’t admit it to either of us. (We heard about it from a couple of his close friends.)

My wedding is in 2021. I’m afraid Jasmine will somehow prevent him from leaving. How can we all approach this issue with him without upsetting him? If he’s not there to show me down the aisle, it will be a sad day. – LOST IN COLORADO

DEAR LOST: I don’t think you (all) should bring up your father about it at this point. Instead, try to befriend Jasmine so you can keep a closer eye on him and his health. If you can do that, she’s less likely to prevent your dad from leading you down the aisle. In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed and hope that your father comes to his senses and finds the courage to remove the woman and her family from his home and from your life.

Dear Abby was written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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