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by Abigail Van Buren

Husband Abused by His Wife Finds Few Resources for Men

DEAR ABBY: Our daughter is divorced with two children. She has been dating a man who has three children. Recently, they decided to move in together. All the children are first grade or younger.

What would be the proper way to handle birthdays?

If my daughter and her boyfriend were married, or even engaged, I wouldn't have a problem sending gifts to his children. But since my husband and I hardly know this man (we live in another state and have met him only once or twice), we're not sure how to handle this. Should we just continue to send birthday gifts to our daughter's kids and nothing but cards to his? Or would that look bad? What's the proper thing? -- FAIR-MINDED IN WEST VIRGINIA

DEAR FAIR-MINDED: Your daughter and grandchildren have formed a household with her boyfriend and his kids. If you're compassionate people, you will treat all of the children equally for as long as the relationship lasts. If they decide to marry, which is a possibility, you will wind up being grandparents to all of them. If they eventually separate, you will have done the right thing and lent some stability and happiness to those children's lives.