Dear Abby | Son lives in constant fear for unhappy mom’s welfare
Dear Abby: My mother-in-law constantly talks to my husband about committing suicide because she’s not happy with her life or her husband. My husband worries all the time and has offered to let her come stay with us for a while.
To me, this would be a nightmare. I can’t be around her more than two or three days, and she has “hinted” that she would like to move in permanently with us. I have told my husband how I feel, but he’s terrified she will follow through. How can I fix this? Should I tell her how I feel? – Scared In The South
Dear Scared: If your mother-in-law moves in with you, it will probably spell the end of your marriage. She needs more help than you or her son is qualified to give. Explain this to your husband. His mother may suffer from chronic depression or be trying to manipulate her son through emotional blackmail. If he really wants to help his mother, he will make sure she is evaluated by a licensed mental health professional.
Dear Abby: We love being near the water, but my husband drags a chair behind our rental and sits in the sun in the alley without his shirt. This is an upscale neighborhood, and it’s embarrassing to me, especially because he is in his 70s and not in shape to display his stomach.
The neighbors laugh it off, but I have told him how I feel and pleaded with him to walk a few steps to the beach and sit there shirtless. He said I hurt his feelings and embarrassed him by suggesting it. What more can I do to make him see how inappropriate it is? – Beach Bunny
Dear Bunny: Nothing! If he doesn’t feel sunbathing in the back alley is inappropriate and the neighbors aren’t offended, then the problem is you, not him. He may not want to sunbathe on the beach because he is self-conscious about his appearance, and your comments didn’t help. Apologies are in order.
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.