DEAR ABBY: I divorced my abusive ex-husband and am happily remarried. I have a son and daughter from my first marriage. They saw a lot of physical and emotional abuse when they were young. I stayed in the marriage to keep the family together until I realized my children were being hurt in the process. My son witnessed more of the abuse than my daughter.
My son has constantly brought up the past and has never been able to make a decent living. He's married with three children, and they have lived with his mother-in-law for years. I have apologized many times for what happened in the past and asked for forgiveness. I don't know what else I can do.
I always send birthday and holiday money telling them that I love them, but for some reason they have stopped answering my calls or responding to my texts. I call them three or four times a year. They used to call me when they needed money, but now they don't call at all. Should I stop sending birthday checks? They missed Mother's Day and my heart is broken. I don't know what I've done wrong. -- PAYING FOR THE PAST
DEAR PAYING: You will never know what you "did wrong" unless one of your adult offspring decides to tell you. I hope you realize that you are being abused again, this time by two passive-aggressive adults. You are not the reason your son lives with his mother-in-law. As to your daughter, who knows her reason for radio silence?
Please stop flogging yourself. Start living your own life. Bind up that broken heart and focus on happiness with your new husband because, as things stand, you're not going to find much with these two. Send cards if you must, but omit the money. If you do, I'm sorry to say you may hear from them sooner.Read more in: Family & Parenting | Marriage & Divorce | Abuse | Holidays & Celebrations