Posted in the Chicago Forum
“reign in blood”
Since: May 09
#1 Jan 26, 2014
DEAR ABBY: When parents who live many miles away from their adult children visit their homes, to what extent should they be treated as "guests"? When we visit our son, our daughter-in-law gets herself a snack and then sits down to eat it and watch TV, and there we sit. She never offers us a thing. Are we expecting too much or doesn't she have any manners?
Also, when we have a meal in their home, they get their own beverages and never mention anything about what is available to us. We're not used to this kind of treatment. Have you any thoughts on how to handle this without causing any rift?-- DISRESPECTED IN MICHIGAN
DEAR DISRESPECTED: Assume that your daughter-in-law behaves this way because she doesn't know any better. As for your son, because he wasn't raised this way, he is either thoughtless, rude or following his wife's lead.
Because you're all family, things should be informal. The way to handle it is to speak up and tell your hosts that you're hungry and/or thirsty, too. If it's said with a smile, it shouldn't cause a rift.
DEAR ABBY: "Bill" and I have gone together for three years. He's a wonderful, sweet man who has never raised his voice to me. We have talked about taking our relationship to the next level. I'm hesitant because I suspect he's a high-functioning alcoholic.
Bill doesn't seem to crave a drink when he's with me, but he does crave being in bars in the company of men who sit for hours over drinks and then get out on the Interstate. I don't want to be his mother or his hall monitor, but I have begun to suspect I shadow his denial. I'm afraid I have become his enabler.
We are in our early retirement years and the thought that his drinking will get worse has made me afraid. I love Bill. I can't seem to move forward, yet I resist walking away.
We have discussed my feelings many times, and he says he has cut down the amount he drinks and there's nothing to worry about. Yet, I have this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.-- SICK FEELING IN TEXAS
DEAR SICK FEELING: Listen to your intuition. I don't know how often Bill "craves" the company of men who sit for hours in bars becoming increasingly inebriated, but if it is more than "occasionally," then I agree you may have cause for concern.
Because of the language in your letter, it appears you are already familiar with alcoholism and how it affects relationships. It would be a good idea for you to attend some Al-Anon meetings before your relationship with Bill goes further because he may be in denial about the importance of alcohol in his life.
DEAR ABBY: More and more I receive emails from people using the closing salutation "Best." I feel this must be incorrect. Shouldn't it be "Best Regards" or "Best Wishes"? To say simply "Best" seems somehow lacking. Best what? What is accurate?-- TANDI IN NEW HAVEN
DEAR TANDI: Closing a communication using "Best" is a shorthand version of saying "Best Wishes" or "Best Regards." It's acceptable in less-than-formal communications, and is sometimes used when someone feels that ending their email without it would seem too cold and abrupt.
Since: Jun 09
#2 Jan 26, 2014
LW sounds awfully stiff, rather in the white gloves an good posture school.Open you mouth and ask, Hey Sue that looks good, is there any more? or What else do you have?.
My MIL is like the LW . When we would visit their house, I was told that she did not appreciate us going in the fridge as everything except possibly condiments was allocated for a specific purpose. Hard o handle that when you have kids with you.
LW2 An enabler is someone who does things for the addict that he should be able to do for himself which supports the habit. Calling the boss to say he won't be in because he is "sick". Going over to the bar to pick him up. Making a run to the liquor store because you are going anyway. Ordering for delivery instead of going out for a pizza because he doesn't feel up to getting dressed, etc.
LW does not sound like an enabler, but she is concerned. Concern now will escalate if she marries him and at some point will move to nagging or anger. Much better to deal with this up front, but know he can't change him. He has to want to change and until he does nothing will happen.
Being in early retirement and hanging out with buddies a couple times a week doesn't sound bad. Drinking to inebriation a couple times a week doesn't sound good. FWIW, he is probably not being truthful about cutting back but is saying that t appease you.
Also, Al-Anon for friends and family of drunks is good at helping you accept your powerlessness and come to terms with loving distance. It does not help or teach people how to change a drunk's drinking behavior.
#3 Jan 26, 2014
LW1 - If you are being treated like you live there, feel free to act like you live there. Get your own snacks, drinks, etc.
LW2 - When something about an SO concerns you, raise the topic, talk about it or at least try. Be prepared to end the relationship if necessary. If it concerns you now, it's not going to magically go away if you get married.
LW3 - Really? Unstick that corncob from where it is currently lodged in your body. Best. Cass.
#4 Jan 26, 2014
LW1: Open your mouth and ask your DIL what how she considers you. Most of the time that my ILs are at my house I'm not even home 9-10 hours of the day (intentionally). I figure they are perfectly content making themselves at home.
Of course, I am well aware that at their house, I have to follow their rules, which involve portioning out bad/diet foods in small amounts. This is only one of many rules. This is also why I don't go to their house anymore. The husband and the kid can visit and they always return in a bad mood with stomach problems.
#5 Jan 26, 2014
LW1: You seem to think that a) your DIL is in charge of being hostess, but your son is not obligated to play host, and b) that your DIL but not your son is ill-mannered. And you ant Abby to agree with you. How about creating your own solution? Bring your own snacks and drinks and serve yourself. Make pleasant small talk with your son and DIL and keep your visit to 3 days or less.
LW2: Do NOT marry this man.
LW3: I use Best Regards at work. Outside of work, depends on the person. Hawaiian friends get Aloha, Aloha a hui hou, or Aloha Pumehana.
Since: Jun 09
Saint Petersburg, FL
#6 Jan 27, 2014
LW1: I don't know... feel like LW shuld get up and help herself, but by the same token when I m up I always ask if anyone needs anything. I'll go get something to drink at my parents' house and ask if anyone wants anything. And isn't it typical for one person to pour drinks at dinner and ask who wants what? So I think LW and DIL are both wrong. LW should get something if she wants it, but DI should also offer.
#7 Jan 27, 2014
1: "This type of treatment"? Good grief, it's not abuse. Get your own crap. Maybe they see you as close family and they don't have to act like waiters. How it is at our homes, both sides.
3: I use With warm regards,
I hate those anyway...just sign your name. I'm happy if I have people who can write out words...
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