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Health & Spirit

Doesn't Want to Share the Title of 'Grandma'

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I've been divorced for a long time. My ex-husband, "Joe," is living with "Sue." She is the one who broke us up. I don't care about that part anymore; she can have him.

I'm upset because my granddaughter got married recently, and they gave Sue a corsage, too. When I saw them give it to her, I said to myself, "What the heck?" My other daughter was with me and she said, "Get over it, Ma." I was hurt but said nothing.

After the wedding, when they were taking pictures, they said, "Let's have the grandparents." Sue walked up with my ex. Again, I said nothing.

My ex is not married to Sue, even though they have been together for a long time, which is why my other daughter said she got the flowers. Does sleeping with Grandpa make you Grandma? These are my granddaughters. I birthed their mothers. I gave up my weekends to babysit the granddaughters. I picked them up from day care and took them to my house until someone could pick them up. I was always there. Do I have to share my title of Grandma with Grandpa's girlfriend? -- Am I Wrong

Dear Am I Wrong: Love is not a finite resource. That your granddaughters show love to Sue does not mean they care any less for you.

The fact is that this isn't about you vs. Sue or even you vs. your ex. Whether or not you think it's fair, they are both going to be a part of your children's and grandchildren's lives. Now it's for you to decide how you'll behave. I suggest you try out being the bigger person. You might be amazed how much better you feel.

And remember, Sue is not the one who broke you up: Give your ex-husband the credit for that.

Dear Annie: I have been living with the same guy for 25 years. We have a 22-year-old daughter together. I am listed as a dependent on his taxes. I have not worked a job since our daughter was born. (Well, at least not a job in the sense of getting a paycheck).

This man promised me marriage and even proposed, but never went through with actually planning a wedding and getting married. He bought a condo 10 years ago, and just decided to sell it. And now he just tossed me away. Do I have any rights? -- Left Behind

 

Dear Left Behind: By default, unmarried couples don't have any rights to each other's property. Unless you two had drafted a property agreement, I'm afraid you're out of luck here.

Additionally, according to the legal resource Nolo, "In most states, neither unmarried partner is entitled to receive any alimony-type support after a breakup unless there is proof of a clear agreement to provide post-separation support."

I am sorry that your 25-year relationship has come to an end. In time, you'll feel more set free than tossed away.

Dear Annie: This is in response to "Still Missing My Sweetheart," whose friends don't ask her how she's doing. When I lost my mother several months ago, I found it very annoying when friends and relatives would ask how I was doing. How, I wondered, am I supposed to put into tiny, little words the indescribable pain, loss and sorrow that I was experiencing -- especially in a way that the other person would understand? To be honest, it was exhausting, and I came to dread seeing a loved one approaching me with that look of sympathy, knowing they were about to ask, "How are you?" -- D.

Dear D.: People struggle with what to say to someone who is grieving, and that often leads to stilted, uncomfortable conversations. Thank you for sharing your insights. I am so very sorry that you lost your mom.

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"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.


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