DEAR ABBY: I am 49, divorced, and partially living with a 67-year-old man. He has been divorced nearly 10 years.
He and his wife divorced because he had fathered a child by another woman. He never married this woman, but he does take care of the financial obligations for mother and child.
He and I fight a lot because of his involvement with his ex-wife and ex-mistress. We have never spent a major holiday together because his adult children have all the family dinners, and I am not "family." I share my home, cabin, family, friends and vacations with him. Yet he thinks he "owes" the holidays and birthdays to his family. Last year we planned to have his birthday party at his house. We invited his children, but not the ex-wife, ex-mistress or child. Well, no one showed up. They all blamed me for the exclusion.
I'm fairly intelligent and own my own business. Deep down, I want to get rid of him, but like the old rhyme says, "When it's good, it's very, very good -- and when it's bad, it's horrid."
By the way, he recently went on a cruise with his ex-wife, and when they go to family gatherings, they share a room. I am supposed to understand that it's "family." Well, I am sick of this sick family.
He says he would take me to family events, but the children don't want me. He says he doesn't want to hurt them any more than he already has, because the affair that produced the child lasted for 12 years of his marriage. He argues that as long as we spend weekdays together he should be able to spend the dozen-or-so birthdays and holidays with them. I think I should be included in family events or at least considered. Am I wrong? -- HAD ENOUGH IN MINNESOTA
DEAR HAD ENOUGH: I have to wonder why you want to be included at birthday or holiday celebrations with people who have made it clear they want to exclude you. Your friend is trying to keep you happy by spending weekdays with you, but -- face it -- he has too many other females in his life to concentrate on you alone. You will always be the caboose at the end of the train. Frankly, I think you deserve better.