DEAR ABBY: I've been dating a great guy for a year and a half. For eight years before we met, he dated a woman with teenage daughters. He never had children, so they are as close to his own kids as he will ever have. He was recently invited to the graduation party of one of the daughters. It will be a weeklong trip, since they have moved across the country. He intends to stay awhile and visit with the girls and his old girlfriend. I'm grudgingly OK with that.
The part I'm having real trouble with is that he told me he won't call or text me the entire week that he is gone. He has apologized in advance but says he wants to concentrate on the girls and have a break from everything. We usually talk every day, and this seems extreme, especially since he will be spending a week with the woman who broke up with him and left him heartbroken (his words). He realizes his behavior isn't normal and assures me we are OK, but I'm so hurt. Am I right to be this upset, and how do I get past this? -- SILENT TREATMENT IN ILLINOIS
DEAR SILENT TREATMENT: I understand why you would find it upsetting that your boyfriend of a year and a half has unilaterally decided to go radio silent under these circumstances. It is a radical change of his behavior pattern, and I'm sure most women would be at least taken aback. Before he leaves, request that he send you a text confirming he has arrived safely, and another telling you when he has started back and expects to be home.
The way to "get past this" is to stay very busy in his absence. Make plans with friends during the evenings so you won't be sitting alone at home, stewing. And when he returns, do NOT give him the third degree.