Wife wants out as go-be­tween for hus­band, his mom

Miami Herald (Sunday) - - TROPICAL SUNDAY - JEANNE PHILLIPS

Dear Abby: My hus­band and I have been to­gether since we were 21, and he has al­ways had a dis­tant re­la­tion­ship with his par­ents. I en­cour­aged him dur­ing the first few years of our mar­riage to call them and visit. I stopped do­ing that af­ter his mom and I had some choice words.

The prob­lem is, when she tries to call and text with typ­i­cally no re­sponse from him, she reaches out to me. We have two daugh­ters, so I don’t mind shar­ing with her how they are do­ing. What I ob­ject to is her oc­ca­sion­ally ask­ing me to pass on mes­sages to my hus­band. I’m a work­ing mom of two, and I don’t have time to be any­one else’s sec­re­tary. The ic­ing on the cake came when she in­formed me that the fam­ily dog they’d had for 15 years passed away and asked me to tell him. I told her what time he could be reached, but in­stead of tak­ing my sug­ges­tion, she asked me again. I ended up telling him.

I’m ir­ri­tated with my­self that I can’t be frank about how she and his dad need to con­tact their son. Any sug­ges­tions would be help­ful. — Find­ing a Back­bone in Penn­syl­va­nia

Dear Find­ing: It may take courage, but the next time your mother-in-law tries to make you her mes­sen­ger, tell her that what she’s ask­ing makes you un­com­fort­able and that she needs to con­vey the in­for­ma­tion her­self — by ei­ther tex­ting her son or email­ing. If, af­ter that, she says she can’t get through to him, point out that you no longer want to be in the mid­dle. Pe­riod. And let your hus­band know what you’ve done.

Will this en­dear you to her? Def­i­nitely not. But the in­di­vid­u­als who need to heal the re­la­tion­ship be­tween your hus­band’s par­ents and their son are the three of them, not you.

Dear Abby: My par­ents

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