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Dear Abby: My dad just had twins with his third wife — his kids are younger than mine

Dear Abby councils a woman who is uncomfortable with her father's second set of children.
Dear Abby councils a woman who is uncomfortable with her father's second set of children.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a millennial. I am successful in my career and lucky to have a loving husband and two amazing children. I am, however, trying to remind myself to be “better and not bitter” in another huge area of my life.

The world is changing so quickly, especially in the field of in vitro fertilization. I know I have much to be thankful for, but I’m finding it a hard pill to swallow that many of our older parents are choosing to have another set of kids in their later years. My father, who is in his mid-60s, has just had twins with his third wife. His children are younger than mine.

I feel entirely replaced by his new family. Rather than being a present father and grandfather, he has nearly disappeared. I thank God that my mother is a proud and devoted grandmother to my children.

In addition to his disappearing act, Dad has decided to leave all of his assets to his third wife and the twins. They call my kids their twins’ “cousins”!

A number of my friends also have a parent who has chosen to start their lives over in this way, including their mothers, who, in their later years, have had babies via surrogate. This is so painful. How do I, and the younger generations, overcome this feeling of abandonment? — BIG SISTER IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR SISTER: I can’t speak for the others, but you are blessed with a loving husband and two amazing children. A step in the right direction would be to concentrate on those blessings you have. You are lucky at your age to still have a living father.

Parents are free to live their own lives when their children reach adulthood. As you point out, what your father has done is not uncommon. Please, for your own sake, stop blaming him and embrace the life that you have.

DEAR ABBY: For 23 years, my sister was involved with a violent alcoholic and drug addict. It ultimately ended when he chose to take his own life a year and a half ago. Their union produced two children — a boy (17) and a girl (13).

Recently, at our grandma’s memorial service and family reunion, I overheard constant negative comments from my nephew about people drinking at the event, and how we shouldn’t, because his dad was an alcoholic. No one was belligerent or ill-mannered. I only overheard these comments; I did not engage with them. My question is, should we be tempering our drinking around my nephew? — SOCIAL DRINKER IN TENNESSEE

DEAR SOCIAL DRINKER: As long as the family can handle their alcohol consumption, there is no reason to change their behavior when your nephew is around. There is, however, a genetic predisposition to addiction in some families. This is why your niece and nephew should be warned (if they haven’t been already) that this might place them in jeopardy if they choose to experiment with it.

TO MY READERS: For those who celebrate Easter, I wish you all a meaningful and memorable day. Happy Easter, everyone. — LOVE, ABBY

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at http://www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.