Abby: After remarriage, widow cuts ties with stepfamily

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: Our father died nine months after his diagnosis with cancer. Within six months of his funeral, our stepmother of 20-plus years had begun a new relationship. She sold her and Dad’s home and belongings and moved across the country, leaving behind her children, stepchildren and grandchildren.

Although she promised to keep in touch with everyone, she hasn’t. She has made no effort to reach out to her stepfamily over the last year and a half, not even her grandchildren. We are perplexed, as she claimed our father was the love of her life and she dearly loved her grandchildren.

A few of us tried contacting her in the first six months after she left, but she usually responded only to texts, and then with one-word answers. We realize she has moved on, but how could she cut all ties with those she supposedly cared for?

We feel abandoned and betrayed. We supported her decisions and her remarriage. Please advise.

Baffled Out West

Dear Baffled: Since you haven’t had any meaningful contact with her since her remarriage, I suspect that her new husband has something to do with the silence. He may be controlling or discourages contact because he is threatened by the idea that she had a full life previously. It may also be that she prefers to devote her time and efforts to him and his relatives rather than dwell in the past.

I wish I had more information about her, but even without it, my advice is for you all to move on. It’s impossible to maintain a relationship with someone who doesn’t want one.

Dear Abby: My gentleman friend and I live together. We have acquired a dog and cat. I pay for the cat’s food, vaccinations and litter. He pays for the dog’s food and vaccinations. He accidentally slammed the door on the cat’s tail. Part of it had to be amputated, and the bill for surgery, drugs, cone, etc. came close to $400. Neither of us is hurting financially. Who should foot this bill?

Mother Of Fur Babies

Dear Mother: I not only think your “gentleman” friend should foot the bill, I think he should have VOLUNTEERED to do it.

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