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by Abigail Van Buren

Co Ed's Rocky Freshman Year Leaves Her Down in the Dumps

DEAR ABBY: I am the mother of two young children. Three years ago I divorced my husband of eight years. My mother does not accept the divorce and still views my ex as a family member. She's planning a family reunion for my father's 80th birthday and has told me she's inviting my ex, which will be uncomfortable since I am attending the party with my boyfriend of two years.

My mother's unwillingness to accept my new boyfriend in my life is hurtful, and it is affecting my relationship with her. How can I sustain a relationship with her if she doesn't accept that I have moved on with my life? -- IRRITATED IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

DEAR IRRITATED: You have moved on with your life. But in the eight years you were married, your mother grew attached to your former husband. I assume that you and your ex have a civil relationship, if only for the sake of your children. So go to the reunion with your boyfriend. Give your parents every opportunity you can to get to know him, because the more they are exposed to him, the greater the chances of their accepting him.

P.S. Wouldn't it be lovely if your ex were to bring a date? Why not call him and plant the idea ...