With dad out of the country, boyfriend takes on parenting
DEAR ABBY: My husband’s brother split from his wife, “Charlotte,” five years ago and now works and lives in another country. The brothers are still quite close. His schoolage daughters live nearby and are close to their cousins, our daughters.
Charlotte’s latest boyfriend (they have been dating for 18 months) has started insisting on hanging out with my husband and trying to “bond” with him. He is also jumping with both feet into the role of stepfather, especially with the younger daughter, who has just returned after living with her father for the last seven months.
It feels awkward and weird, but we are too polite to say anything to him or Charlotte because we’re afraid she’ll restrict us from seeing our nieces. What is your advice? — ANXIOUS IN AUSTRALIA
DEAR ANXIOUS: Not knowing the terms of your brother-in-law’s divorce, my advice is to consider that Charlotte has been with this man for a year and a half. He may be trying to form a relationship with your husband because he wants to bond with “the relatives.” Your husband doesn’t have to be best friends with him, but he should keep the relationship cordial — not only for the nieces, but also so his brother can stay informed about them.
DEAR ABBY: One of my co-workers constantly interrupts when I’m having a conversation with other people. It doesn’t seem to matter who I am speaking with or what the subject is. She’ll interrupt in the middle of the conversation, and everyone must stop and look at her or acknowledge her.
We are in a professional environment, and I feel her behavior is extremely discourteous. The subjects she discusses are things like the sandwiches her husband bought the day before, what they had for dinner that night or whatever is trending at the moment. She never discusses work-related issues.
This happens every day and it’s disruptive. Would you kindly share some ideas on how to deal with her interruptions? — BOTHERED OFFICE GUY
DEAR OFFICE GUY: Obviously, your co-worker was never taught that interrupting while others are talking is rude. Because it bothers you, the next time she does it, tell her it’s distracting when she breaks into your conversations and to please stop. If she persists, and other co-workers feel as you do about it, bring it to the attention of your supervisor or HR and let that person handle it. ••• To contact Abby visit DearAbby.com.