Fa­ther wishes his only child would call him more of­ten

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Dear Abby: Two years ago, my son and his fam­ily moved a cou­ple of hours away. He’s my only child. I know he’s busy with his wife, two chil­dren and his job, but I would like to hear from him more than ev­ery two weeks — or longer — just to know what is go­ing on in their lives. He told me I could call him, but I feel like I’m im­pos­ing.

I’d like to be more in­volved in their lives. I would also like to be closer to my daugh­terin-law. We have had a cou­ple of good phone con­ver­sa­tions re­cently, but I sense that she wants her own space.

I’m not an over­bear­ing per­son, and I’m work­ing on ex­pec­ta­tions vs. re­al­ity, be­ing overly emo­tional when my ex­pec­ta­tions are not met and fear of shar­ing these emo­tions be­cause I’m afraid my son and his wife won’t like what I have to say. I feel they have been push­ing me away.

What can I do, other than wait for them to call and work on how not to get upset when they don’t in­clude me? They have let the grand­chil­dren stay with me a cou­ple of weeks at dif­fer­ent times over the sum­mer. I’m try­ing to do things with friends, but I re­ally pre­fer be­ing around my son and fam­ily be­cause I feel hap­pier (or used to). It has been heart­break­ing. Work­ing On It

Dear Work­ing On It: Your son has told you it’s all right to call him, so you should. Be­cause of the bless­ing of mod­ern tech­nol­ogy, there are other op­tions as well — tex­ting, video chat, etc. If you are un­fa­mil­iar with them, make it a point to learn.

Be grate­ful your son and his fam­ily are in­de­pen­dent, and try harder to fill more of your time with hob­bies and in­ter­ests of your own.

If you do, you will be a more in­ter­est­ing per­son to be around.

Your son and his wife should not be the fo­cus of your life the way he was when he was a child and you were re­spon­si­ble for him. It isn’t healthy for you or your re­la­tion­ship with them.

Dear Abby: My fi­ance and I are in our late 20s and get into ar­gu­ments about what time to leave a party. I usu­ally need to leave around 11 p.m. or mid­night, and I think he should leave when I do.

I’m a full-time stu­dent with a full-time job, so I don’t go out of­ten. Be­tween school and work, I don’t have week­ends off like he does.

He ac­cuses me of be­ing self­ish for want­ing him to leave. He says he doesn’t want to be “lame.”

I don’t think it’s ap­pro­pri­ate for a woman to leave a party on her own. Am I self­ish? Should I try to stay up later so he can have a good time? Party Eti­quette

Dear Party Eti­quette: No, your job and your stud­ies have to be your top pri­or­ity.

Years ago, I would have agreed that your fi­ance should leave with you. How­ever, these days, women are more in­de­pen­dent. Cell­phones and ride-shar­ing have given us other op­tions.

Un­less you are con­cerned that leav­ing alone would be dan­ger­ous, don’t turn it into an ar­gu­ment if he wants to stay.

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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I KNOW HE’S BUSY WITH HIS WIFE, TWO CHIL­DREN AND HIS JOB, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM HIM MORE THAN EV­ERY TWO WEEKS. HE TOLD ME I COULD CALL HIM, BUT I FEEL LIKE I’M IM­POS­ING.

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