Mom must bear son-in-law for the sake of her daughter

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

DEAR ABBY: Iím not proud to write this, but I donít like my son-in-law. I think the feeling is mutual. Heís arrogant and thinks he knows everything.

My daughter and I had a close bond before she married him. That quickly changed. She barely comes to my house anymore, and I donít see my grandkids as often as Iíd like. I donít have a car (Iím working on that), and I rely on them for transportation. I donít like going to their house because I donít feel wanted.

I tolerate my son-in-law because I know my daughter loves him and I try hard to stay out of their business. What advice can you offer me? -- WISHING THINGS WERE BETTER

DEAR WISHING: Has it occurred to you that your daughter may be hurt or uncomfortable because she knows you dislike her husband? If he makes your daughter happy and is a good father to your grandchildren, give him points for that, and be glad you arenít the one who has to live with him.

You donít have to love him, but you must maintain a cordial relationship if only for your daughterís sake. Keep working on getting that car so youíll have your own transportation when you need it, and your visit wonít be perceived as an imposition.

DEAR ABBY: My son is angry to the point of rage that my daughter is dating his best friend, ďRon.Ē He says his sister ďbetrayed himĒ because when she and Ron broke up, she promised never to date another of his friends again, but went back to dating Ron. He also blames my husband and me for encouraging them. They are only 18 months apart in age.

We have shared that we understand his feelings of loss regarding his friend, but we donít think thereís anything wrong with her dating Ron. I donít think anything will make him feel better except them breaking up again, and that doesnít look like it will happen.

My son is 22 and my daughter is 20. This is ruining the once close-knit family we had. Any advice you can offer would be appreciated. -- MESS ON THE EAST COAST

DEAR MESS: Your son may be 22, but he needs to grow up. If he values his friendship with Ron, he will have to accept that he cannot control the love lives of others, and the person he is punishing with the stance he has taken is himself. Itís time for you to step back. You and your spouse will be better off if you stop allowing your adult sonís tantrum(s) to affect you.

DEAR ABBY: While dining in a fancy restaurant recently, I noticed a woman sitting a few tables away who had a number of tattoos on her arms and elsewhere. When she came by, I politely asked her what one of them meant. My wife was furious! Did I do something wrong? -- INQUIRING QUESTION

DEAR INQUIRING: Tattoos often have deeply personal meanings to the wearer. Although some individuals might welcome the opportunity to explain them to a stranger, others would not because the tat may commemorate a very personal -- or sad -- milestone. Your wife may have become upset because she felt the question was presumptuous.

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.