Mom’s chil­dren are slow to em­brace new hus­band

Austin American-Statesman - - MONEY & MARKETS - Jeanne Phillips Dear Abby

Dear Abby: I lost my hus­band a few years ago and am now re­mar­ried. Some of my adult chil­dren, although they did not want me to be alone and they “say” they are happy for me, have been slow in wel­com­ing my new hus­band.

I in no way ex­pect him to be a re­place­ment for their fa­ther. I only wish they would wel­come him into their lives as they would any­one else’s spouse. They don’t have to love him. I ask only that they re­spect him and ac­knowl­edge that he’s part of my life now. Wish­ing him a happy birth­day and happy hol­i­days di­rectly would go a long way to mak­ing him feel ac­cepted, as would more gen­eral com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

He has tried on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions to show an in­ter­est in their lives, but he re­ceives lit­tle ac­knowl­edg­ment in re­turn. His chil­dren have wel­comed me into their lives. This has strained and changed my re­la­tion­ship with my chil­dren.

I just want a fam­ily again. Is it ask­ing too much of them to ac­cept my hus­band as part of the fam­ily and to treat him that way? — Miss­ing My Fam­ily in Florida

Dear Miss­ing: Have you told your chil­dren that the cool re­cep­tion they have given your hus­band is harm­ful not only to him but also to you? If you have and they are still un­able to warm up to him, it’s time to con­cen­trate your ef­forts on building closer relationships with those rel­a­tives who are will­ing to be more wel­com­ing.

We can’t change other people. We can, how­ever, change our­selves, and by do­ing so, change the way we RE­ACT to them.

Dear Abby: I have a fam­ily dilemma. We em­ploy our 16-year-old niece to watch our boys, ages 8 and 10, dur­ing the sum­mer and school breaks. We pay her well to come to our home and watch them eight hours a day.

My prob­lem is, her younger brother is my son’s best friend. He gets in­vited to their house for a sleep­over the day be­fore we need a sit­ter, and both boys go. Then the next day their mom says our niece watched them, and there­fore she should get paid for that day, too. The mom is there all day.

To me, a cousin sleep­over isn’t some­thing that should be charged for. Their chil­dren have come to our house for years for sleep­overs, and I never charged them.

Is this OK? And if not, how do we refuse? We have al­ready told her we prefer the boys to be watched at our home, so they re­ceive one-on-one time. What do you think about this? — Cousin Sleep­over

Dear C.S.: What do I think? I think you have been taken ad­van­tage of. A baby sit­ter is hired when there is no adult in the home to su­per­vise the chil­dren. If your nephew’s mother can’t be home when your boys have been in­vited for a sleep­over, the per­son who should pay for the baby sit­ter is her — not you. If you want to put an end to this, tell the woman ex­actly what I have told you.

Dear Abby: Iama step-grand­fa­ther. Must I go to a grand­child’s church per­for­mances even though I’m an athe­ist? — Com­mand Per­for­mance in Ore­gon

Dear Com­mand: If you want a close and lov­ing re­la­tion­ship with your grand­child, you should ab­so­lutely be present to en­cour­age and sup­port that child!

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