Mother’s dislike of son-in-law is unacceptable
Dear Annie: I met my husband two years ago. My mother doesn’t care for him, and I have no idea why. She told me there was no way he could love me and that I didn’t love him. After she came to my apartment and yelled at him, I cut off contact.
I had a baby four months ago. I miss my mother, but don’t know if I should contact her again. She keeps telling people I am dead to her, but then says things like, “My daughter had a baby. I’m so happy to be a grandma.”
I would like to have my mother in my life, but she still will not accept my husband. What should I do? Confused and Hurting
Dear Hurting: Your mother sounds very controlling. You have three choices. You can continue to be estranged (and you certainly have good reason). You can see your mother on your own, giving her the benefit of being a grandmother without requiring her to acknowledge your husband, hoping that, in time, she will be more accepting. Or you can ask your husband to make every effort to ingratiate himself with Mom. He will initially need to put up with her verbal assaults in order to prove that she can like him. But if she becomes abusive, he should walk away. Over time, she will get used to his presence, although it will never be easy. If she becomes fond of her grandchild, she may watch her tongue since she will be less willing to risk another estrangement. Discuss the options with your husband, and make the decision that works best for both of you.
Dear Annie: My grandson, an honors student, just graduated from high school. There have been a few occasions when it was obvious he’d been drinking alcohol. It’s made him sick to his stomach and he is unwilling to talk about it. The next day, my son will talk to him and admonish him about the consequences of his drinking. (He does not drink and drive. He bikes everywhere.)
His dad handles the situation calmly, with determination, and won’t hesitate to use appropriate discipline. But my grandson has repeated the drinking a few times. We fear what will happen when he is at college some three hours away. Since there is some alcoholism in the family, our concern is doubled. Please advise. Non-Alcoholic Grandma
Dear Grandma: You are smart to understand that when your grandson goes off to college, his chances of drinking irresponsibly will be greatly increased. Some of this you cannot prevent. The best you can do is have an open and honest discussion so your grandson, the honors student, is aware of the temptations, the socializing that happens around liquor, his possible predisposition to alcoholism and his responsibility to avoid high-risk behavior. You can find information for yourself and your grandson through the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov), 5635 Fishers Lane, MSC 9304, Bethesda, MD 20892-9304
Dear Annie: Your advice to “Friends or Feelings?” was right on. I hope he recognizes how important it is that he be the “stand up” guy you suggest and take his original date to the prom. It sounds as if he has enough character to do the right thing, considering he’s already shown concern about both young ladies’ feelings.
However, the school should be held accountable for its deep insensitivity toward special needs students. Why would it add to the feeling of being “different” by holding a separate prom? That says special ed students should be kept separate from the rest of the school population. How sad. I hope the school sees this letter and responds in the right way — one student body equals one prom. Texas Tea
Dear Texas: We don’t know the school’s policy, but it’s possible the special needs students were the ones who requested a separate prom. If we hear more, we’ll let you know.
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