DEAR ABBY: My mother raised my two nephews because of their parents’ drug addiction. They are now adults (21 and 25). As a result of these circumstances, Mom was never able to be a fun, doting grandmother to her other grandchildren. My nephews needed stability, and I helped often. I lived three minutes away, so I, too, was an important adult in their lives while they were growing up.

I feel my children were robbed of an opportunity that others take for granted. Although they saw their grandmother regularly, she had little left for my kids and her other grandchildren. She was often tired and frustrated, and never took my kids to the park or baked cookies. It had to be a special occasion just for her to baby-sit.

She recently mentioned that when she passes away, she will leave more to the grandchildren she raised than to the others. I feel this is unfair. I expressed that she has other grandchildren and things should be divided equally among them. Am I wrong to feel this way? — LOOKING AHEAD IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR LOOKING: I don’t think so. However, your mother’s assets are hers to dispose of as she wishes. While you and I might disagree with her reasoning, I don’t think it should be allowed to become a bone of contention.

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DEAR ABBY: I have been dating a guy, ”Dustin,” for 10 years. We lived together for two years and broke up, but then we got back together. Dustin lives with his mother and always has, except for two marriages that lasted eight years each.


I don’t understand why he always goes home to his mother. When he stays the night with me, he has to go ”check on her” the next morning. He stays at her house Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The rest of the time he’s here with me, but before he goes to work, he has to go check on her.

Abby, there is nothing wrong with her. She drives, gardens, cooks and is very much on the go. Can you help me understand this? — COMING IN SECOND IN TEXAS

DEAR COMING IN SECOND: I’ll try. Dustin may feel the need to stop by to see if his mother is well, to change clothes before heading to work, or because he has always done it, and old habits die hard. He may also like the way his mom fixes breakfast.

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DEAR ABBY: I’m a 28-year-old man who works hard at a full-time job and no longer lives with his parents. I’ve always been fairly independent and able to support myself without any problems.

When an unexpected expenditure came up, my family offered to help me pay for it and sent money. After debating it with myself for a few days, I accepted it. How can I reconcile taking their gracious gift when my independent nature was telling me not to? I don’t want to come off as a mooch. — OUT ON MY OWN IN PHILLY

DEAR OUT: Here’s how: Remind yourself why you decided to accept the money, and realize that if your parents had considered you to be a ”mooch,” they wouldn’t have VOLUNTEERED to give it to you.

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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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