Life with wife, baby and dis­abled teen over­whelms man

Chicago Sun-Times - - ENTERTAINMENT - Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at dear­abby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. Mom On The Side­lines Non­be­liever in Ge­or­gia

Dear Abby: Our youngest son re­cently mar­ried a woman who has an 18-yearold 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 daugh­terin-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-month-old 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.

Dear Mom: 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 a 31-year-old wait­ress and proud athe­ist. I’m one of the least judg­men­tal peo­ple I know. Who other peo­ple love or how they choose to wor­ship isn’t im­por­tant to me.

I have a reg­u­lar cus­tomer who comes in to the restau­rant about twice a month. He’s a pas­tor and one of the nicest guys I think I’ve ever met. He’ll of­ten bring along peo­ple from his con­gre­ga­tion and buy them din­ner. He coun­sels new fam­i­lies and tries to teach them the ways of the world. He coun­sels an­gry teenagers, and they lis­ten to him. I have tremen­dous re­spect for him.

The prob­lem is, ev­ery time he comes in, he tries to get me to come to his church. It’s some­times an hour­long con­ver­sa­tion. At first I was po­lite about it and just said no thank you. Re­cently it reached the point where I said firmly, “I don’t need your church.” Abby, he still per­sists!

I don’t know what to do any­more. I wouldn’t feel right kick­ing him out of the restau­rant. Is there a mid­dle ground?

Dear Non­be­liever: The pas­tor may be an evan­gel­i­cal, who feels that it is his duty to “spread the word.” The mid­dle ground, since he seems un­able to ac­cept your po­lite re­fusals, is to have an­other wait­ress serve him in­stead of you, if that’s pos­si­ble. If not, ask your man­ager for guid­ance.

To or­der “How to Write Let­ters for All Oc­ca­sions,” send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $7, to: Dear Abby — Let­ter Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.

OUR SON 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.

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