My son "Dennis" is divorcing for the third time. He has primary custody of his oldest two children and shared custody of the younger two. He is an excellent father.
I have stayed with him in his large home to help with the kids. I supplement their groceries with things we enjoy. Dennis has a female friend he confides in. He insists they are platonic, but she has told me she hopes to win him over.
This woman has a hard time making ends meet but always has money for pedicures and out-of-town football games. She spends many days and nights with Dennis, showering there, eating his food and using his laundry facilities. I resent that she is eating or taking home the food I buy for the children. Am I being selfish? My husband and I live on a fixed income and must be careful with our money. Any suggestions?
- Wary in Minnesota
DEAR WARY: I do have one. Because you resent the idea that your son's lady friend may be helping herself to the goodies you are providing for your son and grandchildren, and because it is causing you financial strain, STOP DOING IT. Or bring with you only what you and the children can consume during your visit.
DEAR ABBY: Thank you for publishing my letter about Mindy, the dying woman who was celebrating all occasions and holidays early. I would like to add a poignant postscript to the original story. During Mindy's battle with cancer, she and her husband, Bill, were friendly with another couple who, sadly, were also battling cancer. In this case, it was the husband who had, at a young age, developed the disease.
Near the end of her life, Mindy asked her adult daughter to try and create a relationship between Bill and Helen, the wife who had lost her husband. A few months after Mindy passed, her daughter suggested to her father that he call Helen just to chat. He did, and after some time their friendship evolved into a serious relationship. They are being married in the next few months.
Mindy must have instinctively known that the losses the remaining spouses had suffered would never be understood except by someone else who had experienced such pain. What a selfless person she was!
- Rabbi Albert Slomovitz
DEAR RABBI SLOMOVITZ: Indeed she was. And I wish Bill and Helen a lifetime of happiness together.
DEAR ABBY: My 27-year-old daughter and two grandsons (ages 5 and 6) moved in with me more than a year ago. "Lori" is a good mom, but it upsets me when I wake up at night and discover that she's not home. She will leave a note saying she's with this person or that and will be home by midnight or 1 a.m.
It infuriates me when she leaves the boys alone with me without informing me in advance. We argue constantly about this, but she continues to do it. I am ready to call the police or to file a report with social services. Lori says I am home anyway, so what's the harm? Please help me with this.
- Home Alone With the Kids While Mom's Out Partying
DEAR HOME ALONE WITH THE KIDS: Your daughter's behavior is extremely disrespectful to the mother who took her in. Nothing will change until you draw the line and tell her that the home she and her boys are living in is yours - not hers - and you expect her to live by your rules, the first of which is giving you the courtesy of asking whether YOU might like the evening out before she plans one for herself. You are both adults, and you deserve to be consulted. If she won't comply, she should make other living arrangements.