Dear Abby: In-Laws From Hell

Dear Abby: I need advice regarding my mother-in-law. She’s hated me since the first time she met me because I’m not from the countryside but from “the city”. I’ve given her gifts for birthdays and holidays and invited her on day trips with us, but she always refuses.

She also makes up lies about me. She claims I have STDs, spend all her son’s money, etc. She even spread a rumor that I wouldn’t allow her at our wedding. She lives 46 miles away and, in the five years we’ve been married, has never visited her son. I’m taking him to visit because he can’t get a driver’s license due to medical issues.

Our child and I are not even allowed to enter her home. We have to sit in the car. She acts like our child doesn’t exist, but she has pictures of her two other grandchildren on Facebook and drives to see them almost every week. My husband sees nothing wrong with his behavior and says he “won’t take sides”. I do not know what to do.

— Peeved in Pennsylvania

Dear Peeved: Please accept my sympathy for your situation. Although your husband refuses to acknowledge that there is anything wrong with his mother’s behavior, it is out of the ordinary. I hope you realize that most men stand up for their wives and children when they are abused.

Because you can’t change your witch husband or mother, and you made no mention of leaving the marriage, you’ll just have to adapt to it. Start by planning an activity that you and your child can enjoy while your husband visits his mother, rather than sitting for hours in the car.

Better yet, arrange “alternate” transportation for your husband.

Dear Abby: I am a 24 year old female who has been in a relationship with a male for seven years. “Ken” is 27 years older than me. (I sued him.) I love him, but I’ve always been a little confused about my relationship with him, and he knows it. Lately, I’ve been feeling very guilty. My heart knows my love for Ken isn’t enough for what it truly deserves.

He’s a good, honest man, and I appreciate our relationship. We get along very well, have a lot in common and are a great team. I am comfortable with us and our life. But recently I realized that I wanted to be alone, alone, and not in a relationship. I feel a strong desire to focus on me and only me, so that I can become the person I imagine myself to be. Any advice besides the obvious – my leaving the relationship?

— Wanting more in Wisconsin

Dear Wanting: You got involved with Ken when you were still very young. It seems like you never gave yourself time to fully develop as an individual. You state that you are still “in a relationship” rather than a marriage, which may be a blessing given your ambivalence.

Many women would be happy living their life in a relationship that has all the positive qualities yours has with Ken. I’m sure you both will find out when you move on. However, since you asked for my opinion, speak with a licensed relationship counselor before making a final decision.


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 DearAbby.com.

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