DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are in our 30s. We do well for ourselves and are generally happy. We both have siblings who have various problems -- drug abuse, emotional issues, broken relationships. Our parents pick up and travel to support them during their various dramas, but visit my husband and me only if they need a place to stay and don't want to pay for a hotel.
My parents have cited fear of flying as a reason they don't visit us much, and my husband's parents claim they don't have the money. However, their travel itineraries to visit our siblings suggest otherwise.
I haven't asked my husband's parents about this, but I did ask mine. My mother said that because we're "on a good path," they don't need to see us as often or put as much effort into us. I was shocked. How do we deal with knowing that we're less favored because we have our act together? -- THE GOOD KIDS
DEAR GOOD KIDS: You are not the only people with this problem. The same thing tends to happen in families in which there is a child with special needs. The parents expend their energy where they think it is needed most, which often results in hurt and resentment on the part of the stronger siblings.
Perhaps if you view what your mother told you less as a punishment for your success and more as a validation, it will be less hurtful and you will understand the logic. And if you feel you need more time with your parents, go visit them.