Re­tired man gives his own gen­er­a­tion the silent treat­ment

The Oklahoman - - LIFE & STYLE - Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: My hus­band, who is re­tired, now prefers to talk ex­clu­sively to peo­ple un­der 21.

He says he is “men­tor­ing” them, though I haven’t seen any in­di­ca­tion of this.

He says he has no in­ter­est in talk­ing to peo­ple our age, so when we get to­gether with our friends, who are mostly our age, he says prac­ti­cally noth­ing.

When I asked why, he said he prefers to im­part his knowl­edge to younger peo­ple.

I have sug­gested that he vol­un­teer with younger peo­ple, but he wasn’t in­ter­ested — he just wants to hang out with them.

I’m not sure what to do. He seems de­pressed if they don’t re­spond to him in the way he would like. Mostly they show lit­tle in­ter­est in be­ing with him.

What, if any­thing, should I do about this? It has been go­ing on for more than two years now.

— Con­cerned in the Mid­west DEAR CON­CERNED: I feel sorry for your hus­band. He may avoid com­pan­ions his own age be­cause they re­mind him that he, too, is get­ting older.

It’s no won­der young peo­ple don’t re­spond to him.

I can imag­ine few pas­times less ap­pe­tiz­ing than so­cial­iz­ing with some­one who “im­parts knowl­edge” by talk­ing down to them.

They might find him more ap­peal­ing if he asked them ques­tions and lis­tened to what they had to say.

Con­sider talk­ing to him about your con­cern that he is so­cially iso­lat­ing him­self from con­tem­po­raries, be­cause the longer he con­tin­ues, the less wel­come he will find him­self.

How­ever, un­til he comes to that re­al­iza­tion and de­cides to fix it, do not ex­pect any­thing to change.

DEAR ABBY: My hus­band and I are proud par­ents of two adult daugh­ters.

They both grad­u­ated from a lo­cal univer­sity. Our rule was if they were to com­plete their ed­u­ca­tion lo­cally, they had to con­tinue to live at home.

Now, our god­daugh­ter “Jus­tine” is in com­mu­nity col­lege and plan­ning to trans­fer to a four-year col­lege next se­mes­ter.

I was told re­cently that she’s been try­ing to con­vince her boyfriend to get a place to­gether.

Jus­tine’s par­ents would pre­fer she re­main at home, but won’t fight her if she moves in with her boyfriend.

I’m pretty sure they’ll con­tinue to fund her ed­u­ca­tion as best they can un­til she grad­u­ates.

We have been con­tribut­ing fi­nan­cially to­ward our god­daugh­ter’s ed­u­ca­tion.

My hus­band and I feel that it’s a waste of money just so they can “play house.”

She has a good re­la­tion­ship with her fam­ily and can come and go as she pleases.

I’m afraid they will run into money is­sues and use the money we give her to live on in­stead of for school, which is not OK with me.

Plus, I don’t think I should do any dif­fer­ent for her than I did for my own chil­dren.

I’m afraid if I let her know how I feel, it will strain our re­la­tion­ship — per­haps even the one we have with her par­ents. Should this be my con­cern or should I let it go?

— Her God­mother DEAR GOD­MOTHER:

It’s time for an hon­est con­ver­sa­tion with your god­daugh­ter, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you in­cluded her par­ents.

Ex­plain that you would be un­com­fort­able sub­si­diz­ing her if she lives with her boyfriend be­cause it’s not how you raised your chil­dren.

You have al­ready contributed gen­er­ously to her ed­u­ca­tion.

TO MY MUS­LIM READ­ERS: It is time for the break­ing of the Ra­madan fast. Happy Eid al-Fitr.

— Abby

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. or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.


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