DEAR ABBY: I've been the stepfather of two girls for 18 years. They are 22 and 24 now. My wife and her ex-husband adopted them at birth. When they were 2 and 4, he had an affair and left them for a woman who had two children.
Why do these two girls look at him as their dad when I have been the one who has always been here for them? They have never shown me much respect, yet the man who adopted them and then left them and their mother for another family they regard as their dad and respect him. -- HURT AND FRUSTRATED
DEAR HURT: You have my sympathy. This may have happened because their mother never explained to them that the person who left them failed to fulfill the father role he had promised, and the man who raised them -- you -- is their dad. She also failed to insist they treat you with the respect you deserved. If there is blame to be laid, I blame her for this, not them.