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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Feb 12, 2014
DEAR ABBY: Last August my husband and I allowed our son's 17-year-old girlfriend, "Lindsay," to move into our home from out of state because she needs to live here for a year to establish residency for school. She's a wonderful girl, mature, social and helpful.

My problem is my other sons (ages 18 and 14) are very angry that we have allowed a "stranger" to move in. My 18-year-old is a college student who lives on campus an hour away, but comes home on weekends. He and his younger brother feel I show favoritism to Lindsay and make frequent comments about the non-family member. They worry that I'm spending money on her even though they know her mom sends her money.

I'll admit it has been nice to have a girl around. My boys sleep half the day away on weekends, but she gets up and is happy to run errands with me. I still include my sons in many activities without Lindsay, as I always have, and I did not anticipate this hostility. I feel bad for her because they make little attempt to hide it. My son loves his girlfriend, and I want her to feel comfortable and welcome without alienating my other sons. Help!-- MOM OF THREE SONS

DEAR MOM: You and your husband are the parents, which means you are supposed to be running this "asylum" -- not the inmates. The decision about who should or should not be a guest in your home is not up to your jealous older and younger boys, who appear to be suffering from a form of "sibling" rivalry.

As a guest in your home, Lindsay should be treated with respect, and it's not happening. You should insist upon it, and if your wishes are not complied with, there should be consequences.

DEAR ABBY: My husband of five years has three children from previous marriages. Earlier this year he learned some disturbing information about his youngest child. He opted not to share the information with me so as not to violate her privacy. I found out about it a few weeks ago, and I am deeply hurt that I was excluded.

I feel I have never been included as a true part of the family, and this is just another example. He feels his explanation justifies his actions and that should be the end of it. I am concerned that he will keep other things from me he feels are none of my business in the future. I am not at all comfortable with this situation. Do you think I am overreacting?-- STEPMONSTER IN THE SOUTH

DEAR STEPMONSTER: Yes, I do. Your husband decided not to discuss something with you that he felt would violate his daughter's privacy. Much as you might like to, you can't push your way into being accepted. If relationships are going to happen, they must evolve naturally. So calm down and stop personalizing this. It isn't a threat to your marriage unless you make it so.

DEAR ABBY: In this day and age, with computers and the ability to backspace, cut, paste and delete so easily, why do you still use a P.S.? Seems to me that P.S. needs to be used only with handwritten letters.-- CANDICE IN PHOENIX

DEAR CANDICE: Mmmm ... not so fast. The majority of my readers communicate with me via the Internet, as you did. They use P.S. to indicate that what they are saying is an afterthought and so do I in some of my responses.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#2 Feb 12, 2014
2- I dunno, I can understand the lw's frustration. Imagine if your spouse doesn't involve you in your stepchildrens' lives? I don't think Abby should have shrugged off her concerns.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#3 Feb 12, 2014
edogxxx wrote:
2- I dunno, I can understand the lw's frustration. Imagine if your spouse doesn't involve you in your stepchildrens' lives? I don't think Abby should have shrugged off her concerns.
if these are small children that live with lw and husband and she plays the role of a parent, I agree. But I get the idea that the children are much older. The people I know who's parents remarried after their childhood do not view the new spouse as a step parent, but as dad's wife. Daughter should be able to confide in her dad if she does not want to share news with wife.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#4 Feb 12, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>if these are small children that live with lw and husband and she plays the role of a parent, I agree. But I get the idea that the children are much older. The people I know who's parents remarried after their childhood do not view the new spouse as a step parent, but as dad's wife. Daughter should be able to confide in her dad if she does not want to share news with wife.
I don't think it's healthy for spouses to keep secrets from each other

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#5 Feb 12, 2014
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't think it's healthy for spouses to keep secrets from each other
But its not Dad's secret, it is the daughter's secret.

Without knowing the girl's age or the nature of the information you have to respect the fathers willingness to keep the secret.

Also, LW said her husband had prior marriages plural. While LW may be insecure, she may have reason to worry she is one of a series, or her husband may view her as temporary. Daughters are forever.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#6 Feb 12, 2014
PEllen wrote:
or her husband may view her as temporary. Daughters are forever.
What a lovely thought one should have of your spouse.

And if the daughter is an adult, then she can act like one and not keep her prostitution arrest a secret

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#7 Feb 12, 2014
1 Tell you kids to GTFU. Yeah, they are jealous that mom has a new BFF.

2 The wife should respect the husband respecting his daughters privacy.
Whether its her having elective surgery, herpes, or problems with the law. Some things should be shared, and some dont need to be.

3 Totally missed the point. If you can edit the document, there is no need to use PS to interject an afterthought. You just go right ahead and put it where it belongs.

Tonka can explain this better.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#8 Feb 12, 2014
L1: Well, mom -- those boys don't have a say and they just have to get over it. If they don't get over it, it is their problem, not yours. They're probably manipulating you for their own gains.

L2: What Abby said. You have to develop a relationship with his "children" for them to trust you. You can't force it and if the dad forces it, nothing will work.

L3: I think the whole P.S. thing is meant to tell people a tidbit that isn't at the heart of the subject matter. It also personalizes the writing and allows the writer's "voice" to come through.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#9 Feb 12, 2014
RACE wrote:
3 Totally missed the point. If you can edit the document, there is no need to use PS to interject an afterthought. You just go right ahead and put it where it belongs.
Tonka can explain this better.
No, I can't. I agree with Abby and Toj. Some things ARE an after thought and do belong at the end.
---------

Alright then. I get of work at 5. Should be home by 5:30. We'll see you at Red Lobster at 6pm.

PS Race got shtfced last night and busted his eye. Been wearing sunglasses to try to hide it. Don't bring attention to it. He's very self conscious

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#10 Feb 12, 2014
Hahahahahaha! Love that example!
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#11 Feb 12, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>if these are small children that live with lw and husband and she plays the role of a parent, I agree. But I get the idea that the children are much older. The people I know who's parents remarried after their childhood do not view the new spouse as a step parent, but as dad's wife. Daughter should be able to confide in her dad if she does not want to share news with wife.
I agree with you. It does depend on the age of the daughter here. When I was in college, I would write to an older sister (11 years older) about things going on in my life. She was an LPN and I would also occasionally ask her advice about health/medical situations. I would tell her things that were bothering me that I would never discuss with anyone else. I thought she was my perfect confidante. Then I went to visit her and her husband for a weekend and found out she'd been sharing my letters with him. I felt so betrayed to know she'd shared my very personal and private thoughts and concerns. I never confided anything to her ever again. It was the only way I could maintain any kind of relationship. I'd listen to her vent about problems in her life and give advice if asked. But in the 35+ between learning of her betrayal and her death, I never, ever told her any of my private thoughts or concerns with her. I never told her about any problems my husband or kids were having either. I just didn't trust her to not blab all to everyone in her orbit. If the lw's husband wants to retain his daughter's trust, he is right to protect her privacy - even from his wife. If the daughter wants her to know something, she'll tell her. Otherwise, it's none of her business. She should look at it this way. If he won't betray his daughter's privacy, he's unlikely to betray hers either.

Since: Mar 09

Hollywood, FL

#12 Feb 12, 2014
L1: Doesn't anyone think it was a bad idea to let Lindsay move in in the first place?

L2: I mostly agree with edog about spouses and secrets. It depends on if the secret is just information that sits there, or requires something of the spouse which would lead to lying.

L3: I agree with Toj abd Tonka, and love the example!

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#13 Feb 12, 2014
L2. Something tells me old blabbermouth would have had the whole town gossiping if she was let in on the little secret
Blunt Advice

Saddle River, NJ

#14 Feb 12, 2014
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
But its not Dad's secret, it is the daughter's secret.
Without knowing the girl's age or the nature of the information you have to respect the fathers willingness to keep the secret.
Also, LW said her husband had prior marriages plural. While LW may be insecure, she may have reason to worry she is one of a series, or her husband may view her as temporary. Daughters are forever.
My thoughts about the fact that lw is at least wife #3. I am thinking that the daughteris a teen living with the mother, or an adult. It would seem lw is pushing too hard to be considered family.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#15 Feb 12, 2014
j_m_w wrote:
L1: Doesn't anyone think it was a bad idea to let Lindsay move in in the first place?
Right here!

With a 14 year old boy at home, I think that's a horrible idea but since she wasn't asking about that I didn't comment on it. It was my first thought, though. And the older 18 year old COULD be jealous he didn't get to have a gf move in with him when he was at home.

I dunno. Maybe I'm just too old fashioned. I won't let my 23 year old move his gf into my house. You want to play house, get your own! I don't have a problem with them livihng together, but if you're ready for that step you should be ready to stand on your own two feet.

I get it, though, that this girl in the letter need an address for school purposes which is a little different. Still... Why doesn't her parents provide it? I wonder what THAT backstory is.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#16 Feb 12, 2014
She was giving one example out of many that make up a history of her not being "included." So basically the kids, and even her husband, are treating her as an outsider. Perhaps if they made more of an effort to let her in, she would feel more included, and if she felt more included, the kids might be less likely to keep her in the dark. It's like perpetuating a viscous cycle

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#17 Feb 12, 2014
edogxxx wrote:
She was giving one example out of many that make up a history of her not being "included." So basically the kids, and even her husband, are treating her as an outsider. Perhaps if they made more of an effort to let her in, she would feel more included, and if she felt more included, the kids might be less likely to keep her in the dark. It's like perpetuating a viscous cycle
I don't think it said the husband was excluding her.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#18 Feb 12, 2014
j_m_w wrote:
L1: Doesn't anyone think it was a bad idea to let Lindsay move in in the first place?
L2: I mostly agree with edog about spouses and secrets. It depends on if the secret is just information that sits there, or requires something of the spouse which would lead to lying.
L3: I agree with Toj abd Tonka, and love the example!
re lw1:
My first memories of my life, we had my uncle living with us. We moved to Fl, and tempirarily lived with another uncle(with wife and 2 kids). Later in life there was more than one occassion where we had someone moving to Fl and living with us temporarily. I never had a problem with it.

Since: Mar 09

Hollywood, FL

#19 Feb 12, 2014
Toj wrote:
<quoted text>
Right here!
With a 14 year old boy at home, I think that's a horrible idea but since she wasn't asking about that I didn't comment on it. It was my first thought, though. And the older 18 year old COULD be jealous he didn't get to have a gf move in with him when he was at home.
I dunno. Maybe I'm just too old fashioned. I won't let my 23 year old move his gf into my house. You want to play house, get your own! I don't have a problem with them livihng together, but if you're ready for that step you should be ready to stand on your own two feet.
I get it, though, that this girl in the letter need an address for school purposes which is a little different. Still... Why doesn't her parents provide it? I wonder what THAT backstory is.
I agree. And the address for school thing... since it's an in-state/out-of-state issue, I wonder if she's in college? In any case, yeah, either her own family should pony up or just suck it up until she's 18 and can live in her own place wherever she wants.

I have a friend who let her daughter's boyfriend move in with them and her excuse was that she thought it would be good for her son (younger than the daughter) to have a "buddy" at home since he was starting to get into trouble. That situation worked itself out, somehow, shockingly, but I was horrified at the time.
Blunt Advice

Saddle River, NJ

#20 Feb 12, 2014
Sounds like North Carolina. Cheap tuition for state residents but you do have to have at least on year of residency. If they live near a state border its possible the son could have a girlfriend from a nearby town in another state. But where tuition is concerned which side of the fence you live can make a big difference.

In the brothers case, they had never had to share a bathroom with a girl and it changed their lifestyle. And if it involved one of them giving up a bedroom that will cause jealousy. It was an adjustment in which they had no say. But life ain't always easy and its the parents decision.

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