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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Tell uncle you’ve heard enough

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar

Dear Annie: I’m a high school student. Recently, my uncle “Joe” and I have been hanging out a lot. He gives me rides to school and picks me up from after-school activities. He also takes me to summer programs. He’s a lifesaver because my mother hates to drive me, and I’m in a lot of activities.

Anyway, Uncle Joe recently confided that he was seeing another woman. This made me really uncomfortable because my aunt, his wife, is about to give birth to their second child. I tried not to make a big deal out of it, but now he tells me about his dates and that, for a while, he was seeing more than one woman.

I don’t know how to tell Uncle Joe that I don’t want to hear about his relationships. I already feel guilty knowing he lies to my aunt. What should I do? – Too Much Information

Dear TMI: It is highly inappropriate for Uncle Joe to confide in you. Tell him this information puts you in a difficult position and makes you uncomfortable. He should be aware that you may not be able to keep his secrets because you sympathize with your aunt. He needs to understand that you don’t find the bragging about his exploits to be admirable. You might also suggest he work on the problems in his marriage with a professional. You may lose your rides, but you’ll gain some self-respect.

Dear Annie: My wife and I have two grown children who live several hours away. Our problem is with our 31-year-old married daughter.

We live in Florida, and when the kids visit, we go out of our way to stock the refrigerator, serve the foods they like and take them to see the local attractions. However, when we visit our daughter’s house, she never reciprocates. During our last visit, even though we did plenty of baby-sitting, our daughter had no food in the house for us to eat.

She recently said they can’t join us for dinner at a restaurant because they are saving their money. Both she and her husband work and spend a lot of money on frivolous things.

This relationship seems very one-sided to me. We love our grandson , but our daughter and her husband are making it difficult to want to see them. Are we expecting too much? – Sad Grandpa

Dear Grandpa: You’re willing to give up a relationship with your daughter and grandson because they don’t feed you when you visit? She may be self-centered and a bad hostess, but you are taking a very harsh stance. Instead, why not see them less often? Or have your grandson visit without them. Surely if you value the relationship at all, you can find a compromise. The choice is ultimately yours, but please don’t do anything you will come to regret.

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar write for Creators Syndicate.