For over 20 years, my mother-in-law has shown a blatant favor with my husband’s younger brother. Some people, including her own mother and her my father-in-law, have tried to discuss it with her, but she refuses. My husband accepted that there was nothing he could do to change her behavior.
Abbey, she recently suggests that on a rare occasion when we meet her (once every three to four years) she is “worried” about the intellect of the children participating in the AP program. I started writing snide comments.
My husband accepts her lack of affection and never ceases to contact her, but I find it difficult for her to be around because she is just cruel. I want to discourage her from visiting us in her future. Is it wrong to feel like me?
— Proud wife and mom
no. Mother-in-law rarely sees her grandchildren, but she is likely to find a way to make her grandchildren feel “less than”, so be sure to keep her away from her grandchildren. If you think someone is polluting their food, you won’t wait and see. Well, the same is true if someone is trying to lower their self-esteem with snide comments.
My husband and I have been married for 35 years. Five years ago he lost the ability to play sexually. I admit that it wasn’t a priority because I’m getting older and have health problems. We have come up with other ways to enjoy each other. The problem is that he makes ugly comments about our lack of intimacy. He can’t do it as if it was my fault. Comments hurt people and I don’t want to do anything.
He seems to be able to turn any statement I make about something into a statement about sex, which often hurt my feelings. In one part he says he won’t change anything together about our lives, and next he says something meaningful. I’m at a loss what to do. It’s like two people. I’m scared because the night starts. Any ideas?
— Very frustrating
Your husband may be embarrassed, angry, and frustrated that he can no longer play, and he projects it all to you. He may also be starting to “lose it”. I think you have told him how hurt his remarks are. Now it’s time to discuss this with your doctor, who knows your husband better than I do.
Under what circumstances is reading a stranger’s tattoo socially acceptable? I often admire beautiful works, but I can understand them at a glance. But nowadays, we often meet people who have tattoos on their bodies, including phrases, quotations, and even entire paragraphs. Is it rude to stop and stare at the tattoo and read it? Do I need to ask for permission first?
— Interested in St. Louis
If in doubt, always ask for permission before checking. Otherwise, depending on the location of the tattoo, praise may be misunderstood and problems may arise.
To my Islamic readers
At sunset, it was time to fast Ramadan. Everyone, Happy Eid al-Fitr.
— Love, Abbey
Dear Abbey, was written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips.Contact Dear Abbey www.DearAbby.com Or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA90069.
This article was originally published in The Providence Journal: Dear Abbey: A hearty mother-in-law ran out of her welcome