By Abi­gail Van Buren

Mom finds it hard to watch son in a stress­ful mar­riage

Arab Times - - NEWS/FEATURES -

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.

Abi­gail

— 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 Mom:

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 Con­fused:

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.

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