Abby: Man is slow to join wife and daughters after move

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: My four girls and I recently moved from Texas to Florida to help out my in-laws. My husband, “Jeff,” made a big deal about not wanting to move without a job, so he stayed behind.

Now I feel like a single parent, and even though I hide it from my daughters, I am depressed. I haven’t been able to find work, and Jeff says he doesn’t want to come here for several more months.

My husband and I have been together 14 years, and this is tearing me up. He seems to be treating this issue as a joke. I suspect he likes not having the responsibility of a wife and kids. Our youngest is 6 months old and she’s growing up without her daddy! Please help.

Lonely And Depressed

Dear Lonely: How long has this been going on? Three weeks? Three months? Tell your husband that because you can no longer tolerate being separated, you are going to move back to Texas. Be sure to mention that the responsibility of helping HIS parents should not be yours alone. Your concerns about your baby girl are valid. She should be bonding with both of her parents right now — and the separation may make it more difficult for her.

Dear Abby: In February, we lost my 14-year-old niece to suicide. It has been very hard on the family, especially her father, who is my brother. The two of them were inseparable.

Her mother has been playing the “perfect mother” card since then, even though all they did was fight. Her latest move has the entire family appalled. “Mom” is planning a birthday party for my niece, with a DJ and everything, even though she never had one for her while she was alive.

We are all worried about my brother’s state of emotional well being and how he will respond once he finds out. How do I approach her with my concerns and put a stop to the party?

Appalled Aunt in The East

Dear Appalled: You shouldn’t and you can’t. Have a talk with your brother about this and suggest grief counseling for himself and his wife, if they haven’t already had any. The poor woman may be planning to have the party out of guilt because she didn’t host one while her daughter was alive, or because her relationship with the girl wasn’t a good one. She may also be unable to accept that her child is gone and not thinking rationally. What a sad situation.

DEAR ABBY: I get more and more receive emails using the closing salutation “Best.” I feel this must be incorrect. Shouldn’t it be “Best Regards” or “Best Wishes”? What is accurate?

Tandi in New Haven

Dear Tandi: Closing a communication using “Best” is a shorthand version of saying “Best Wishes” or “Best Regards.” It’s acceptable in less-than-formal communications, and is sometimes used when someone feels that ending their email without it would seem too cold.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.