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by Abigail Van Buren

Stepdad Wants To Remain In The Family After The Divorce

DEAR ABBY: My mom and stepfather are divorcing. They were married for 25 years. He was always a great father figure to me and has been a very active grandfather to my children. The reason for the divorce is his infidelity and the disrespect he has shown my mother.

We are his only family, and he wants to be involved with us as if nothing is different, even showing up at family gatherings. I want to be loyal to my mother -- and I do feel he betrayed us -- but I still recognize that he has also been good to me and the kids. He doesn't deserve to be cut out of our lives. How does one handle a situation like this? -- SEEING THE BIG PICTURE

DEAR SEEING: Your stepdad may want to pretend that nothing is different, but something IS different. He hurt your mother so badly they will no longer be married.

If you want to be loyal to your mother and still have a relationship with him, then you need to have a talk with him. Explain that because he is no longer married to your mother, he will no longer be invited to family gatherings where your mother will be present. Be sure to tell him you regard him with affection, but will be seeing him separately for the foreseeable future.

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