Mom must bear son-in-law for the sake of daugh­ter

Austin American-Statesman - - THE PLANNER - Jeanne Phillips Dear Abby

Dear Abby: I’m not proud to write this, but I don’t like my son-in-law. I think the feel­ing is mu­tual. He’s ar­ro­gant and thinks he knows every­thing.

My daugh­ter and I had a close bond be­fore she mar­ried him. That quickly changed. She barely comes to my house any­more, and I don’t see my grand­kids as of­ten as I’d like. I don’t have a car (I’m work­ing on that), and I rely on them for trans­porta­tion. I don’t like go­ing to their house be­cause I don’t feel wanted.

I tol­er­ate my son-in-law be­cause I know my daugh­ter loves him and I try hard to stay out of their busi­ness. What ad­vice can you of­fer me? — Wish­ing Things Were Bet­ter

Dear Wish­ing: Has it oc­curred to you that your daugh­ter may be hurt or un­com­fort­able be­cause she knows you dis­like her hus­band? If he makes your daugh­ter happy and is a good fa­ther to your grand­chil­dren, give him points for that, and be glad you aren’t the one who has to live with him.

You don’t have to love him, but you must main­tain a cor­dial re­la­tion­ship if only for your daugh­ter’s sake. Keep work­ing on get­ting that car so you’ll have your own trans­porta­tion when you need it, and your visit won’t be per­ceived as an im­po­si­tion.

Dear Abby: My son is an­gry to the point of rage that my daugh­ter is dat­ing his best friend, “Ron.” He says his sis­ter “be­trayed him” be­cause when she and Ron broke up, she promised never to date an­other of his friends again, but went back to dat­ing Ron. He also blames my hus­band and me for en­cour­ag­ing them. They are only 18 months apart in age.

We have shared that we un­der­stand his feel­ings of loss re­gard­ing his friend, but we don’t think there’s any­thing wrong with her dat­ing Ron. I don’t think any­thing will make him feel bet­ter ex­cept them break­ing up again, and that doesn’t look like it will hap­pen.

My son is 22 and my daugh­ter is 20. This is ru­in­ing the once close-knit fam­ily we had. Any ad­vice you can of­fer would be ap­pre­ci­ated. — Mess on the East Coast

Dear Mess: Your son may be 22, but he needs to grow up. If he val­ues his friend­ship with Ron, he will have to ac­cept that he can­not con­trol the love lives of oth­ers, and the per­son he is pun­ish­ing with the stance he has taken is him­self. It’s time for you to step back. You and your spouse will be bet­ter off if you stop al­low­ing your adult son’s tantrum(s) to af­fect you.

Dear Abby: While din­ing in a fancy restau­rant, I no­ticed a woman sit­ting a few ta­bles away who had a num­ber of tat­toos on her arms and else­where. When she came by, I po­litely asked her what one of them meant. My wife was furious! Did I do some­thing wrong? — In­quir­ing Ques­tion

Dear In­quir­ing: Tat­toos of­ten have deeply per­sonal mean­ings to the wearer. Al­though some in­di­vid­u­als might wel­come the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plain them to a stranger, oth­ers would not be­cause the tat may com­mem­o­rate a very per­sonal — or sad — mile­stone. Your wife may have be­come up­set be­cause she felt the ques­tion was pre­sump­tu­ous.

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