Son lives in con­stant fear for un­happy mom’s wel­fare

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT / COMMUNITY - Abi­gail Van Buren Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: My mother-in­law con­stantly talks to my hus­band about com­mit­ting sui­cide be­cause she’s not happy with her life or her hus­band. My hus­band wor­ries all the time and has of­fered to let her come stay with us for a while.

To me, this would be a night­mare.

I can’t be around her more than two or three days, and she has “hinted” that she would like to move in per­ma­nently with us. I have told my hus­band how I feel, but he’s ter­ri­fied she will fol­low through.

How can I fix this? Should I tell her how I feel? — SCARED IN THE SOUTH

DEAR SCARED: If your mother-in-law moves in with you, it will prob­a­bly spell the end of your mar­riage. She needs more help than you or her son is qual­i­fied to give. Ex­plain this to your hus­band.

His mother may suf­fer from chronic de­pres­sion or be try­ing to ma­nip­u­late her son through emo­tional black­mail. If he re­ally wants to help his mother, he will make sure she is eval­u­ated by a li­censed men­tal health pro­fes­sional.

DEAR ABBY: We love be­ing near the wa­ter, but my hus­band drags a chair be­hind our rental and sits in the sun in the al­ley with­out his shirt.

This is an up­scale neigh­bour­hood, and it’s em­bar­rass­ing to me, es­pe­cially be­cause he is in his 70s and not in shape to dis­play his stom­ach.

The neighbours laugh it off, but I have told him how I feel and pleaded with him to walk a few steps to the beach and sit there shirt­less.

He said I hurt his feel­ings and em­bar­rassed him by sug­gest­ing it.

What more can I do to make him see how in­ap­pro­pri­ate it is? — BEACH BUNNY

DEAR BUNNY: Noth­ing! If he doesn’t feel sun­bathing in the back al­ley is in­ap­pro­pri­ate and the neighbours aren’t of­fended, then the prob­lem is you, not him. He may not want to sun­bathe on the beach be­cause he is self­con­scious about his ap­pear­ance, and your com­ments didn’t help. Apolo­gies are in or­der.

DEAR ABBY: I am a tee­to­taler. As fre­quently hap­pens when a group of friends share a meal to­gether at a restau­rant, when the bill ar­rives, one of the party will sug­gest, “Why don’t we just split it?” The rest of the group usu­ally quickly agrees but left out of the equa­tion is the fact that the lone tee­to­taler did not par­tic­i­pate in the round — or sev­eral rounds — of cock­tails be­fore din­ner and ends up sub­si­diz­ing the drinkers.

If I squawk about it, I look cheap. If I don’t, I feel taken ad­van­tage of.

Please ad­vise. — TICKED OFF TEE­TO­TALER

DEAR T.O.T.: If you haven’t squawked be­fore, you should. The time to speak up would be when the get-to­gether is be­ing planned and you can talk to each of your friends pri­vately. Sug­gest the booze bill and the food tab be sep­a­rate, which would keep the math sim­ple for ev­ery­one. Or, put enough in the till to cover your cost and the tip, and let them split the rest.

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