Dad can’t be thanked enough for help­ing daugh­ter pay bills

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - COMMUNITY - Abi­gail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been mar­ried just over a year. It’s the sec­ond mar­riage for both of us.

Since our wed­ding, my fa­therin-law con­tin­u­ally “re­minds” us that he helped my wife fi­nan­cially af­ter her di­vorce. He does it be­cause he wants us to con­tin­u­ally ac­knowl­edge that fact.

I have of­fered to write a cheque and pay him back for all he did for her dur­ing that time, but he re­fused be­cause he doesn’t want the money; he wants the ap­pre­ci­a­tion. To him what that means is when he calls on the phone, we an­swer. When he and his wife drop by, we are home, etc.

I feel that since I have of­fered to pay him back and he re­fused the money, the slate is wiped clean. Your thoughts? — NOT SON-IN-LAW OF THE YEAR

DEAR SON-IN-LAW: Your fa­ther-in-law re­gards his gen­eros­ity as a means to con­trol your wife — and you by ex­ten­sion. You are not re­quired to an­swer your phone if you pre­fer not to talk at a par­tic­u­lar time, and you cer­tainly do not have to en­ter­tain him and his wife at the drop of a hat.

The next time the sub­ject comes up, ex­plain that to him, hand him a check and let the chips fall where they may.

DEAR ABBY: My best friend is preg­nant. Her hus­band is a lazy jerk who, dur­ing her last preg­nancy, caused her to mis­carry. It hap­pened af­ter he in­formed her he was fil­ing for di­vorce and mar­ry­ing a mail-or­der bride.

I can’t bring my­self to be happy for her. What do I do? How can I be happy for the per­son who means the most to me, but will prob­a­bly lean on me for more sup­port than I can or want to give? — BEST FRIEND BLUES IN KEN­TUCKY

DEAR B.F.B.: Friends do lean on each other for sup­port, but you can only do what you can do. Frankly, I am sur­prised that she’s still with the hus­band who treated her so shab­bily. Help her in those ar­eas that you can but, ul­ti­mately, un­der­stand that she is re­spon­si­ble for her own choices. If she needs more help than you can give her, en­cour­age her to reach out to a pro­fes­sional.

DEAR ABBY: A col­league of mine was let go a few days ago and it shocked us all. I imag­ine it was even more shock­ing to her. She seemed to have a good deal of re­spon­si­bil­ity out­side of her nor­mal role, and from what we saw, she was ex­cel­lent at her job.

We weren’t close friends out­side of work, but we would text each other now and again and I con­sider her some­one I would like to keep in touch with. Would it be in­ap­pro­pri­ate to text her and of­fer my con­do­lences? — ETI­QUETTE AD­VICE IN CAL­I­FOR­NIA

DEAR ETI­QUETTE: You are en­ti­tled to a per­sonal life out­side the of­fice. I don’t think it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate to reach out to her on your own time. As long as you don’t dis­cuss it at work, it is your busi­ness and no one else’s.

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.

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