Dear Abby by Abigail Van Buren

Type: Text Feature
Frequency: Daily
Categories: Advice, Humor, Entertainment, Lifestyle & Consumer.

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With a worldwide readership of more than 110 million, Dear Abby has a devoted following who wouldn't dream of starting each day without her. The most widely syndicated columnist in the world, Dear Abby is well-known for sound, compassionate advice delivered with the straightforward style of a good friend. Share a laugh, shed a tear or learn something new every day with Dear Abby.

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Abigail Van Buren

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips. When Jeanne was 14 and needed a little spending money, her mother asked, "How do you intend to earn it?" Her mother, Pauline Phillips, had more in mind than the usual household chores. She had recently started writing a nationally syndicated advice column under the pseudonym Abigail Van Buren. A deal was struck — the beginning of a lifelong partnership.

Jeanne began to help her mom answer some of the letters from other teens. She genuinely loved the work. She worked behind the scenes until December 2000, when Pauline Phillips recognized Jeanne Phillips as co-creator of the Dear Abby column since 1987 and officially retired.

Dear Abby is one of only three laypersons ever to be granted a prestigious Life Consultant membership in the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP), an organization of nationally respected psychiatrists dedicated to shaping psychiatric thinking, public programs and clinical practice in mental health. In addition, Phillips sat on the Board of Judges for the Talbots Charitable Foundation Women's Scholarship Fund, the Advisory Boards of the National Alzheimer's Association, the Children's Rights Council, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Kidney Foundation. She has received awards from the National Office of Drug Policy, American Academy of Dermatology for excellence in public education of dermatology issues, American Ex-Prisoners of War, Overeaters Anonymous and the national Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program.


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Meet the Cast of Dear Abby

In The News

American newspaper readers have been turning to Dear Abby for good advice and to share a laugh for more than 50 years now. Starting the day in 1956 when a California housewife persuaded editors at the San Francisco Chronicle that she could write a better advice column, reading Dear Abby has become a daily tradition passed from parent to child just as the column itself has passed from mother to daughter.

Today, Jeanne Phillips dispenses advice, offers comfort (or a reality check) and settles disputes with the same mix of wit and wisdom that endeared her mother to millions of readers and turned Dear Abby into a cultural icon. The times have changed, but Dear Abby's appeal hasn't. Nor have the issues and irritations that fill Abby's mailbox.

Cheating spouses, angst-ridden teens, bossy mothers-in-law and annoying neighbors share space with stories of everyday kindness and heartbreaking tragedy. It's Abby's unique ability to read between the lines and respond knowledgeably with compassion and humor that wins her the loyalty of her millions of fans.

In The News

  • BOY'S QUESTIONS ABOUT FAITH CALL FOR A CAREFUL RESPONSE

    DEAR ABBY: I have a question about how to handle a situation with one of my grandsons. "Rory" came to me recently to talk about religion. His mother is Christian; I am not. He asked what I thought about his mother forcing him to go to church. He has many doubts about Christianity.

    I tried to understand Christianity for more than 50 years, and about 20 years ago I found peace with the faith I now practice. My daughter doesn't want me to talk to her children about my path.

    My question is, how do I address this issue with my grandson without confusing him even more? Any help would be appreciated because I don't want to go against his mother's wishes. -- FOUND MY PEACE

    DEAR FOUND YOUR PEACE: Answer your grandson's question honestly. He asked you what you thought about his being forced to go to church. He did not ask you how you found your peace -- or if you did. Sooner or later, he will find his own peace, and probably the same way you did -- by searching for it. Do not push him -- or pull him -- in any direction and keep the peace with his mother.


    DEAR ABBY: My sister and her husband are well-to-do, but cheap. They recently invited themselves to stay three nights in our snowbird condo on their way to a vacation in the Caribbean. My wife and I hosted them, and during their stay we went out twice for dinner. Both times my sister was quick to request separate bills. In the meantime, we had provided lodging and all their other meals for them.

    I am offended that they didn't show appreciation for our hospitality by at least taking us to dinner once. I have wanted to confront my sister about my feelings, but my wife has vehemently told me I shouldn't. What would you suggest? -- UNEQUAL IN PENNSYLVANIA

    DEAR UNEQUAL: I see two ways of dealing with this. Keep your mouth shut, avoid confrontation and the next time your sister tells you she's coming for a visit, roll up the welcome mat saying you already have other plans. Or, tell your sister how you feel.

    Personally, I think it would be healthier to express your feelings, because your sister's and her husband's behavior was rude. It shows that because people have money doesn't necessarily mean they have class.


    DEAR ABBY: For many years I have been depressed about my father's opinion of me. Dad died 30 years ago thinking I was a screwup who would never amount to anything, and at the time it was true.

    Since his death I have turned my life around. I have been married for 38 years, raised a fine son and I am successful in my career.

    Still, I can't get past his feeling of disappointment in me at the time of his death. It haunts me daily that I was a loser while he was alive. Any advice to stop feeling guilty? -- REGRETFUL SON

    DEAR SON: Not everyone matures at the same rate, and you may have been a late bloomer. Try telling yourself that you are sorry for whatever your sin of omission was, and then give yourself a dose of forgiveness.

    If that doesn't do the trick, then instead of torturing yourself, discuss this with a licensed mental health professional. Remember, no one can change the past. We can, however, change the present, and by doing so, positively affect our future.


    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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

    For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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