The Oklahoman

Wife in new marriage seeks balance with mother

- Dear Abby Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: My mom and I have always been close, but since I got married, I have been having a hard time setting boundaries. My parents divorced when I was 12, and Mom went through a string of boyfriends – including an abusive one.

She hasn’t dated anyone seriously in the last five years. My father is a pilot. While I was growing up, it was mostly Mom who raised me. It was the two of us against the world, until I met my husband, “Eric.” We started dating four years ago and were married last summer.

Eric knows Mom and I have always considered ourselves to be each other’s best friend.

He also knows we have taken many trips together. It’s a tradition Mom was hoping we’d continue after my wedding. She has recently begun discussing a vacation, and Eric wants to tag along. She, however, wants it to be a “just us girls” trip.

I’m not sure how to handle this. Mom and Eric are the most important people in my life.

Must I really choose between one or the other? Who comes first? And how do I break the news to whoever comes second?

– Torn in Illinois

Dear Torn: You are a newlywed, married only a short time.

For your mother to expect you to leave your husband and vacation with her at this point is insensitiv­e and unrealisti­c.

When people marry, their spouse is supposed to take precedence.

Tell your mother you would love to take girls trips with her in the future, but not during the first year of your marriage.

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

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable – and most frequently requested – poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby – Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 610540447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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