DEAR ABBY: I am a divorced father of a son, 18, and a daughter who is 13. I share joint custody with my wife and spend time with them every week, depending on their schedules. My ex and I get along.
When it's time to celebrate one of our kids' events -- birthdays or graduation -- I ask if she wants to have a party for them and she tells me she doesn't, but then my kids ask me why I'm not going to be there!
We were married for 16 years, and I was always there until the divorce, which was her idea. When I ask her about these get-togethers, she says it was just her family and my kids' friends.
How should I handle not being invited to these events? It hurts me that I'm not allowed to be there for them. I am my children's family, too, and so are my parents, brothers and sisters, who would also like to attend. Should I just have a second party and not include their mother? Please tell me the best way to handle this. -- HURT IN KANSAS CITY
DEAR HURT: Regardless of how civilized your divorce may have been, and how respectfully you and your ex treat each other, perhaps you should accept that she and her family may no longer wish to socialize with you and the former in-laws. Not only would hosting your own party enable you to include whoever you want on the guest list, but I'm sure your kids would be delighted to "double their pleasure." You have come up with the solution to your own problem.