By Abigail Van Buren
Mom finds it hard to watch son in a stressful marriage
Dear Abby: Our youngest son recently married a woman who has an 18-year-old disabled daughter, “Lauren.” The girl’s mental level is between that of a 2- and 4-year-old. There have been physical confrontations between my new daughter-in-law and her disabled daughter, which are becoming more frequent now that they all live together. Our daughter-in-law refuses to pursue facilities for Lauren, saying she is waiting for her to be transitioned into a group home and feels much guilt in doing so.
Lauren is currently in a day program, which doesn’t seem to be helping her. She has definite behavioral issues and has been put on a higher level of meds that haven’t helped. Psychologists, counselors and school staff are noncommittal about offering any help and haven’t advised on how to address this.
My concern is, my son and his wife now have a 6-monthold son, and I worry about the baby in this home environment. Our son loves his wife and thought he could handle the challenges that come with living with Lauren. He now says he thinks it is best to end the marriage, but he’s uncomfortable about giving an ultimatum to his wife. He has a high-pressure job, and his new home environment is taking a toll on him, physically and mentally. Any advice for him is appreciated.
— Mom on the sidelines I appreciate your concern for the well-being of your son, but if you are smart, you will remain supportively on the sidelines and not insert yourself into this sensitive situation. If your son feels so pressured he’s considering ending his marriage, he should be telling his wife about it and not his mother.
Dear Abby: I’m 17 and don’t know what I want to do with my life. When I was younger, I was sure I wanted to go into the field of law. It was something my parents also wanted me to do.
I go to a very rigorous high school that’s known for being challenging, and haven’t been doing well grade-wise since I started. I used to be a straight-A student but have been getting B’s and C’s lately. This year in particular has been difficult because my parents are getting divorced.
I’m not sure if I want to be a lawyer anymore or even continue my education after college. When I talked with my parents about it, they got very mad and insisted I finish my education, become a lawyer and get a job. They don’t want to give me any other option. Can you give me some suggestions about how I can not be so confused anymore?
— Confused in Michigan This is something you should discuss with a counselor at your school. While I concur with your parents that it is important to complete your education, there are other ways to do it rather than become a lawyer. I say this because in some states there is a glut of law school graduates who, after all their effort and accrued student loan debt, cannot find jobs because there are no openings available for them.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.