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Tue, June 18

Dear Abby | Mom stays close to married son through tracking app

Dear Abby: I have been married to my husband for five years. We live in the same town as my in-laws, and for the most part, we get along great. However, my mother-in-law does something that makes me uneasy. She uses an app to track my husband. She pressured him into installing it right before our wedding and has tracked him ever since.

She’ll often text or call him to ask why he’s going to the store, or what he was doing when he was late to work, etc. Once he tried to remove the app, but she quickly noticed and confronted him. Abby, I have never seen her so angry! My husband caved and reinstalled it. Since then, he says it doesn’t really bother him that she tracks him.

Part of me feels that if he wants to let his mother track him, that’s his business. But another part of me feels this is an invasion of my privacy as well, since we are together much of the time. It also worries me that he’s so quick to cave to his mother’s demands, and that he isn’t bothered by such an obvious invasion of privacy.

Am I wrong to be upset about this? What can I do to get my mother-in-law to give us some privacy? – Uneasy in Kansas

Dear Uneasy: You’re not wrong. Your husband should revoke the location permission on the app on his phone or delete it altogether.

What his mother is doing is sick. She is using the tracker as a substitute for the umbilical cord that should have been severed when her son was born. It’s a huge invasion of your and your husband’s privacy.

He is so used to caving in to his mother that he doesn’t have the strength to assert himself. I do not think you should take your mother-in-law on by yourself. Enlist the help of a licensed marriage and family therapist for suggestions about how to create some separation, because that process may be somewhat complicated.

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.

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