Dear Annie: My father-in-law died last year, and within two months of his passing, my mother-in-law began dating a man I have come to dislike.
“Nick” (the boyfriend) drinks incessantly, is obnoxious, curses every chance he gets and is also a racist. He says sexually explicit things to my mother-in-law when my kids are within earshot.
Nick recently lost his job and now lives off my mother-in-law. I don’t want to go over to her house any longer. I have expressed my concerns about having our children around Nick to my husband, but he says I’m being “uptight,” so nothing has changed. Am I wrong to want to steer clear of Nick? – Offended Daughter-in-Law
Dear D-I-L: A responsible parent does not put her children in situations that are repugnant to her. Limit your time around Nick, but try to find a way to let the kids be with their grandmother when Nick will not be present. Keep in mind that while Nick can be a temporary influence, what you teach your children will carry infinitely more weight than anything he says or does.
Dear Annie: This is for “Burned Out,” who has been married for 35 years to a bitter, emotionally distant man, but doesn’t want to leave.
I speak from experience. She needs to get a parallel life. Her children are gone, and her husband is no friend. She ought to think of what would be fun – maybe a class at the local junior college or park district where she can meet other students. If she needs to stay in touch with her husband, she should get a cell phone.
When you interact with like-minded people, you complement one another, as you are all trying your best to accomplish something. Perhaps one of those classes will include a day’s excursion or a weekend seminar. Her chamber of commerce might have information. The last time I went back to school, I was 73 and I wasn’t the oldest. Good luck. – Enjoying Life
Dear Enjoying: It sounds like you have found a way to lead an extremely fulfilling life.
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