DEAR ABBY: I am a 57-year-old man who has been divorced for eight years. (My ex-wife was the one who filed.) I recently reconnected with my ex-wife's sister, "Edith," whom I hadn't seen in years. We began a friendship, which has evolved into a serious relationship.
My ex is having issues with our romance and has been trying to turn friends, our grown children and our parents against us. Is there any reason why we should not pursue this relationship, because "we're upsetting my ex-wife's family"? -- TWO LOVERS IN NEW YORK
DEAR TWO LOVERS: When your wife left you, she lost the right to dictate what you should do with your life -- including whom you date or even marry next. I sincerely hope your friends and family don't let her get away with it. Now go and have a good life, because you and Edith deserve one.
DEAR ABBY: Ever since I can remember, I have felt like my mother hates me. Growing up, my two brothers got whatever they wanted while I had to beg for things I wanted. Neither one could do anything wrong in my mother's eyes, but whatever I did was wrong.
She still treats me this way as an adult, and it's making me depressed. I have medical issues that she refuses to believe I have. What can I do to make my mother like me? -- DEPRESSED DAUGHTER IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR DEPRESSED: It would be interesting to know what kind of a relationship your mother had with her own mother, because it's possible that she's repeating a pattern she learned when she was a child.
I'm sorry you are hurting because of the way she has treated you, but it isn't possible to "make" somebody have feelings that just aren't there. What might help you is to discuss your dysfunctional relationship with your mother with a licensed mental health professional.
DEAR ABBY: I have a friend who calls 20 times a day. If one of my kids asks me something and I ask her to hang on while I respond, she hangs up on me.
I think it's rude of her to just hang up. I feel it would be different if she called only a few times a week for a few minutes, but that's not the case. She feels I am being rude to ask her to hang on, and that my kids should either wait until we are finished or come back to talk to me later. Am I wrong to be upset? -- HOLD ON JUST A MINUTE
DEAR HOLD ON: No, you are not wrong. Your children are trying to be cooperative and respectful. It is your friend who is being unreasonable.