Dear Annie: My 20-something children attend school in other cities. On occasion, they have asked to bring their current boyfriend or girlfriend home for a visit to meet the family. The friend then stays in a separate room for a night or two.
The problem is my husband. He gets extremely upset about these visits and accuses me of encouraging immoral behavior. He says that allowing these friends to stay at our house gives tacit approval for them to spend the night away from home. I say it is normal hospitality to open our home to our kids’ friends. Is he being irrational, or am I missing something? – Conflicted Mother
Dear Conflicted: There is absolutely nothing wrong with a child spending the night away from home, and certainly not a 20-something adult. Your husband apparently is convinced that the kids are sneaking around and getting into bed together when you are asleep. But that is ungenerous of him. These friends are guests in your home and should be treated as such. And your husband might keep in mind that should these friends turn out to be his future sons-in-law or daughters-in-law, reacting poorly to them now could set him up for future difficulties.
Dear Annie: Like “Heartbroken Mom in Connecticut,” I, too, left a controlling husband, and it created conflicts at family gatherings. Our solution was to have two birthday parties. My ex could attend one with whomever he wished, and I attended the other. The grandchildren loved the idea of having two birthday parties. Over time, some of the conflicts lessened, but they never completely stopped. Sometimes they just can’t let go. – Don’t Stress, Celebrate Twice