Crush on mother-in-law’s new husband stirs family tension
DEAR ABBY: My son and his wife have been together 10 years. They met and fell in love young. They are only 25 and have two beautiful children.
I remarried three years ago, and my son’s wife was instantly attracted to my 54-year-old husband. It’s always uncomfortable for the two of us when they come to visit. She stares at him throughout the entire visit, tries to either sit right next to him or directly across from him, and expects a hug every time they arrive and leave. (We finally put a stop to it because she would wait to hug him last and then hold him extra long.)
My husband confided that he’s flattered a 25-year-old gives him that much attention. Three years of this can be very wearing. Anything I can do and NOT lose my son? -- AWKWARD IN THE EAST
DEAR AWKWARD: Tell your son that it appears his wife has a crush on your husband, and that while he is flattered that someone so young would find him attractive, her behavior makes both of you uncomfortable. Then let him explain to her that it is time to cool her engines.
DEAR ABBY: I have been best friends with a woman for 30 years, but lately our relationship has become strained. If I do something that irritates her, she gives me the cold shoulder and won’t return my phone calls. When she eventually calls back, she’s distant and cold.
I was out of the country for an extended period, and when I returned, she was upset with me for not phoning her. Now she’s upset with me because my husband and I missed an important milestone because of a family emergency.
I am tired of her passive-aggressive behavior, and I have come to realize that our lives have taken us in different directions. Mine is family-oriented. Hers is not because she has no children. Am I wrong to feel this way? -- FRUSTRATED IN NEW MEXICO
DEAR FRUSTRATED: No, your perception is accurate. Your “bestie” appears to be unusually high maintenance. Rather than allow her to make you feel guilty, realize that not all friendships last forever, and this one may have run its course. Talk to her and express your feelings about this, but be prepared for the fact that it will probably end your relationship.
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I are in our 60s. We have been married for some time and are very open-minded. She keeps insisting that she does not remember her first sexual experience. I would be curious to understand why in the world, unless someone was inebriated, the person would not recall this huge milestone. -- BEWILDERED IN THE WEST
DEAR BEWILDERED: Not every question needs an answer. If your wife’s first experience was unpleasant or traumatic, she may have repressed the memory. Or she may simply prefer not to discuss it with you. My intuition tells me that you will have nothing to gain by continuing to push her. If you do, it not only won’t bring you closer; it may do the opposite.
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.