Dear Abby: My mom divorced my dad more than 20 years ago. She remarried three years ago. She sent my sister and me a text the week of her wedding saying she was keeping the wedding small and only for those she felt would be comfortable there. They eloped midweek with my aunt and uncle standing beside them. The man my mom married makes her happy, which I am glad about.
Her new husband has six adult children with whom they spend a lot of time. Is it odd that we haven’t yet met his kids? I understand COVID kept us from having a picnic to meet one another, but there’s still no plan for us to meet the family our mom spends most of her time with.
I did say something to her, and she offered to go to counseling. I’m hurt. I feel abandoned, and I’m becoming resentful. Am I just a spoiled adult child? How can I support my mom in her marriage and continue to have a relationship with her without feeling left out?
Perplexed Adult Child
Dear Perplexed: Yes, it is odd that you haven’t met your step-siblings. Very odd. Are there any issues between you and your mother that you didn’t mention in your letter? That she would offer to go to counseling with you when you told her you felt abandoned indicates that there may be some. It could benefit both of you to talk with a licensed marriage and family therapist. Please don’t wait. And, perhaps in the future, instead of waiting to be invited to some sort of meet-and-greet, you should consider issuing the invitation yourself.
Dear Abby: I have been married more than 20 years to a very kind man, but the only thing he can talk about is cars and trucks. They are literally his only hobby. He spends most of his free time cleaning, polishing and talking about them. He prioritizes them way above me, and has for most of our married life.
I do think there is a bit of OCD going on here, but he refuses help. We have been to several counselors, but he denies the obsession and we get nowhere. I’m getting older and I’m not sure I can take much more of this. When we occasionally watch a movie, he spends it pointing out the vehicles and has no clue what the movie is about. Traveling was spent pointing out all the vehicles on the road, not the sights.
He retires soon and has zero other interests. I need more in my life, and I’m seriously thinking being alone would be better than listening to car and truck history until my dying day. Please help.
More to Life Than That
Dear More: I agree there is more to life than this. But try explaining that to a car “enthusiast.” By now you should have realized that you can’t change your husband. You can, however, develop more of your own interests and spend time with like-minded people. The same is true for travel if you join a group. It seems you could use a dose of outside input and intellectual stimulation. Go for it.
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.