Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: My husband’s parents divorced 50 years ago when he was a newborn. Both remarried within a few years. My husband was raised by his mom and stepdad. His mother and father had little contact after their divorce. Because of that, my husband does not have a close relationship with his biological father, who made little effort to be in his life or the life of our children.

Recently, both of my husband’s stepparents passed away. After their passing, his mom and dad decided to get back together. They told us recently that they plan to remarry. My husband is having a hard time with their reunion. He feels they are rebounding from the death of their spouses. How can he learn to accept a relationship he doesn’t agree with but ultimately has no control over? — HISTORY REPEATS IN THE SOUTH
DEAR HISTORY REPEATS: Unless his mother and biological father can resolve the issues that drove them apart in the first place, their remarriage isn’t likely to be successful. Suggest to your husband that he withhold judgment until he sees how the reunion works out. If he sees his mother is happy, he must accept that although he and his birth father may never be close, this was her choice.
DEAR ABBY: Shortly after my daughter’s surgery, I got a text that I had received a food delivery gift from a friend. The text came from the delivery service, with a photo of the package sitting at the front door. The trouble was, it wasn’t MY front door — the package had been delivered to the wrong address.
What would be the polite way to address this? Of course I want to thank the gift-giver, but should I let them know I never actually got the gift? I’d feel bad having them put even more effort into their gift, as I know those delivery services can be a real hassle. And I wouldn’t expect them to buy it again if, say, the food was redelivered correctly later, but cold. Thanks for your advice. — GIFT GONE IN ILLINOIS
DEAR GIFT GONE: Notify the delivery service of the screw-up. Then let your friends know you are grateful for their thoughtfulness, but do not want them charged for something that was misdelivered. They may want to dispute the charge on their credit card.
DEAR ABBY: My niece just had a baby. She’s going to marry a man who has two children. I will be sending money to her child on birthdays and Christmas. Should I do the same for her husband’s children? — UNCLE J. IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR UNCLE J.: That would be a lovely gesture. If you didn’t, it could cause resentment when the children become old enough to realize they were being treated as “less than.”
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.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)
(EDITORS: If you have editorial questions, please contact Clint Hooker,
1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106; 816-581-7500

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