How can I help my hus­band after his mom dis­avows him?

Chicago Sun-Times - - ENTERTAINM­ENT - DEAR ABBY

Dear Abby: My hus­band’s mother re­cently told him he no longer mat­ters to her be­cause he is an athe­ist. His mother is sup­pos­edly a Chris­tian, but she rarely acts like one. It has left my hus­band dev­as­tated and feel­ing more lonely than ever.

I can’t find the right words to com­fort him when he’s go­ing through some­thing I haven’t got a clue about. How do I em­pathize with him to let him know he did noth­ing wrong and that he never de­served to have those words thrown at him by his own mother?

It in­fu­ri­ates me, but I don’t think it would be right for me to step in and talk to her di­rectly. How do you deal with a nar­cis­sist who con­stantly plays the vic­tim even after all the sup­port you’ve given to her, fi­nan­cially and emo­tion­ally?

Sup­port­ive Wife in Alabama

Dear Wife: I’m glad you asked. Explain to your hus­band that by emo­tion­ally abus­ing him this way, his mother is at­tempt­ing to con­trol him. What she said is de­spi­ca­ble, and if he is as emo­tion­ally de­pen­dent on her as you have de­scribed, he may need coun­sel­ing to get past this. The way to deal with her emo­tional black­mail is to dis­tance your­selves from her fi­nan­cially and emo­tion­ally, be­cause she is ma­nip­u­la­tive and toxic.

Dear Abby: When I was a lit­tle girl, my mother died of breast can­cer. I al­ways sus­pected that I might have the gene, too. To make mat­ters worse, my dad got skin can­cer a cou­ple of years ago, mean­ing my risk of get­ting can­cer is higher be­cause of both my par­ents hav­ing it.

I’m turn­ing 18 in a cou­ple of months, and I want to get tested to see what my risk is, but I’m ter­ri­fied. I some­times feel a stab­bing pain in my chest and think I feel a lump. I’m not sure if I’m imag­in­ing it due to my stress and fear or if it’s true. I don’t want to tell my dad un­til after my ap­point­ment, which I plan on do­ing alone. What do you think I should do? Should I tell him?

Afraid in Florida

Dear Afraid: Try to calm your­self. The lump you felt may not be what you fear, but a cyst. Breast can­cer in teen girls is rare, but cysts are quite com­mon. (It might also be noth­ing.) That said, be­cause of your fam­ily his­tory, you should be checked by a doc­tor.

I don’t be­lieve in keep­ing se­crets of this na­ture. If you would like emo­tional sup­port when you get the test for the BRCA gene, your fa­ther — or a fe­male rel­a­tive — would be a log­i­cal choice to go with you. Please give it some thought.

Dear Abby: I have a med­i­cal alert ser­vice dog. Peo­ple at the store won’t leave him alone to do his job, and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to be rude to these peo­ple, but my life de­pends on his alert­ing. Each time I must shop for gro­ceries, I am very afraid. Ad­vice?

No Pet­ting in Penn­syl­va­nia

Dear No Pet­ting: You are a nice per­son. Too nice, in fact. When some­one at­tempts to dis­tract your ser­vice an­i­mal, TELL the per­son em­phat­i­cally to stop im­me­di­ately be­cause he is on duty, work­ing to en­sure your safety, and be­ing dis­tracted could cost you your life. It is the truth. Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. Abby shares more than 100 of her fa­vorite recipes in two book­lets: “Abby’s Fa­vorite Recipes” and “More Fa­vorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $16, to: Dear Abby, Cook­book­let Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. (Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.)


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