Wife disappoints family with transcontinental birthday
Dear Amy: My son and daughter-in-law seem to have a lovely relationship. They are on the same page in regard to childrearing, values, etc. However, I feel that my son shoulders more than his share of the relationship. I always thought this was a mutually accepted situation.
Recently my daughter-in-law turned 40. She chose to spend this special day with her friends in NYC (they live in LA).
My son and grandchildren were very sad about her choice.
My question: It breaks my heart to see my son hurting in this way. He’s such a good person.
I want him to feel supported by us, but I don’t want to stick my nose in where it isn’t wanted.
My question: Should I just stay out of it or is there something constructive to say? — UPSET MOTHER
Dear Upset: I’m not sure what you mean when you say that your son shoulders more than his share of the relationship, but yes, it is wisest for you to stay out of this.
You don’t mention your own marital history, but in many functioning marriages, power and responsibility shifts back and forth, based on whatever life stage the couple and their children are in.
I would also say that a spouse who decides to celebrate a milestone birthday literally a continent away from her family is making an unfortunate statement about where she really wants to be (at least on that particular day), but I can also imagine many situations where that choice would be absolutely fine with everyone.
A wise parent expresses sympathy (“Oh, I’m sorry you’re feeling that way...”), but not judgment (“What kind of monster would leave you and the kids...”). Unless there are clear signs of abuse or neglect, you should let your son experience this in his own way and work things out without too much involvement from you.
Dear Amy: I can’t believe you actually had to counsel
“Sale of the Century” to return to a Target store and pay for an item they had (accidentally) not paid for.
In this politically correct world, people don’t even know how to do the right thing.
Dear Disturbed: I’m not sure what political correctness has to do with this, but even though most of us know what the right thing to do is, we don’t always do it (including me). That’s what makes ethical dilemmas so interesting.
Dear Amy: I disagree with your answer to “An Older Lonely Heart,” the woman engaged to a widower with a 10-year-old daughter.
I agree that bereavement counseling would be helpful for the 10-year-old, but think that sleeping with the girl and her dad should not be out of the question.
There are many societies where the whole family sleeps in one room, and making the transition into this family by sleeping together may be a helpful step. As the girl becomes a teen and wants to have friends stay over, having her design a room of her own would be the next transition to independence.
Dear Rae: This father and his young daughter are sharing a bed. The primary reason this fiance should not co-sleep with them is that she doesn’t want to.