Dear Abby: I’m a single mom. My child’s father has refused to take any responsibility since before the baby was born. I never cut ties because I’m sure my son will someday long for and want to know his real father.
Even though he renounced his responsibility, he took it back and said he’d try to be there for my child. We are geographically many miles apart, and I no longer expect or hope for any possibility of a reconciliation – which is fine. I just never wanted to seem like someone who has been dumped, so I reason that we’re cool.
Abby, he never calls to ask how our child is. What should I do? Should I cut ties with him forever, or must I continue to be the one to message him informing him about the milestones? Should I keep this connection going or let it go?
– Confused Single Mom, Yokohama, Japan
Dear Confused: A man who “tries” to be responsible for his children pays at least token child support to ensure that they are fed, clothed and educated. Nowhere in your letter did you indicate that your child’s father has done that – or intends to.
If you want to stay in touch so your child will have an address to reach him when he’s older, I think that’s laudable. But if you’re expecting he will suddenly develop an interest – or a conscience – the pattern that has been set seems pretty well established, so don’t get your hopes up.
Time to say you’re sorry
Dear Abby: We’re in the middle of a dispute with my mother-in-law. She insisted on using place cards at our family’s Thanksgiving dinner to indicate where she wanted us to sit. I felt it was controlling because it was only a small group of people. When I asked her why she needed a seating plan, she said it would be “fun.”
While it ended up that we all sat where we wanted and everyone conversed nicely, she said her holiday was “ruined” because I ridiculed her for wanting to use place cards. What is your opinion? Would you ask your immediate family to sit in their appointed chairs, or let everyone sit where they would like?
– Musical Chairs in New England
Dear Musical Chairs: One of the perks of hosting a sit-down dinner is having the privilege of controlling the seating, regardless of whether guests are friends or relatives. That it was a “family dinner” is beside the point. For you to have made such a scene that you ruined your hostess’s evening was rude, and you owe her an apology.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 60069.