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by Abigail Van Buren

Sister's Generosity Is Tainted by Way She Earns Her Living

DEAR ABBY: My letter to you is the first time I have shared my problem with anyone. When I met and married my husband of 30 years, we each had been divorced for more than 10 years. He had adult children with families of their own; I had none.

For several years I acknowledged their special occasions with cards and small gifts, never receiving any notice or thank you unless I had my husband ask if they had been received. I finally stopped.

Although they always celebrate their father's special days, I have yet to be remembered on mine. They send any special news or pictures addressed only to my husband.

I recognize I cannot change the situation, but my question is how do I manage my growing resentment toward not only his family but my husband as well? As you can guess, we are elderly. I don't want to spend my last years feeling this bitterness. -- WANTS PEACE OF MIND

DEAR WANTS: Obviously your husband's children never really accepted you as part of their father's life -- and he didn't rock the boat. It's a shame that you waited 30 years to say what's on your mind. If you hadn't, your husband might have stood up and insisted that "the kids" show you some respect and courtesy.

Bitterness is a waste of time. If your marriage has been a happy one, dwell on that instead of nursing resentment.