DEAR ABBY: Three years ago, after 36 years of marriage, my wife suddenly died. Not quite a year later, my oldest son also died unexpectedly.
A year after my wife passed, I began dating, and last Valentine's Day I became engaged to a wonderful woman. Now my daughter, whom I was very close to, says she is done with me. On advice from my Christian counselor, I confronted her, and she gave me a laundry list of reasons. Most had to do with me not spending as much time with her. Although she didn't say it, I think the real reason is she thinks I'm being disloyal to her mom.
She says she wants me to be happy, but apparently only as a lonely dad and grandad. She has never met my fiancee, but my other son has. He likes her and is happy for me. My daughter has now blocked me from her social media accounts, where I could at least see pictures of my grandsons, and won't answer my calls or texts. The only way I can see them is at public events, like ballgames.
I asked her to see my counselor with me, but she refuses. Everyone says I need to give her more time and continue to pray. I've been praying, but it's been months now, and I miss my relationship with her and her family. It's like losing more family members. Abby, what else can I do? -- PUNISHED IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR PUNISHED: Do not put your life on hold waiting for your daughter to relent and allow you and your fiancee into her life. I wish you had expressed more clearly what your daughter meant when she said you hadn't spent enough time with her. Did she mean after her mother's funeral, or that you spent less time with her than you did with her brothers?
Continue to remember her at Christmas and her birthday, but what you must do now is keep moving forward. Recognize that it's better to live your life on your terms rather than someone else's. Marry the woman you love. Enjoy the time you spend with her and your son and other family members who are happy for you and less manipulative than your daughter. Que sera sera.Read more in: Death | Family & Parenting | Love & Dating
DEAR ABBY: When a person is thoughtful enough to take a dish of food -- a lunch-type dish or dessert -- to the office, and brings metal forks to eat the food with, shouldn't the people partaking of the "gift" return the utensils so the person who brought them can take them home? Must I put up a sign at the table asking that all utensils be returned to me? What's the best way to handle this? It's really a problem in some office situations. -- WONDERING IN THE SOUTH
DEAR WONDERING: One would think that if someone brings metal utensils to a gathering that the recipients would have enough common sense to ask if the giver wanted them returned. Because your co-workers don't seem to have common sense, the next time you bring food to the office to be shared, make the announcement or bring plastic utensils with you. That should solve your dilemma.Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Work & School
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