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1 - 17 of 17 Comments Last updated Jun 5, 2014

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#1
Jun 5, 2014
 
DEAR ABBY: I just found out my husband was arrested for being with a hooker. My in-laws (whom I love and adore) bailed him out of jail. No one said a word about it to me. I don't know how to confront all of them with the fact that I know about this "dirty little secret." What should I do?-- BETRAYED WIFE

DEAR BETRAYED: First, visit your gynecologist and ask to be treated for every STD known to man. Then invite your in-laws to a "family dinner," tell them the cat is out of the bag and ask why this was kept from you. And while you're at it, ask your mother-in-law (whom you love and adore) how SHE would feel if your father-in-law had possibly exposed her to an STD and it had been kept from her. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

DEAR ABBY: I'll bet this is an issue in many homes. When my son "Chet" graduated from high school, we gave him a very nice graduation party, which included his friends and family. He received many gifts.

I gave my son thank-you cards, stamps, and a detailed list of whom to send the cards to. So far, he has refused. Chet is normally thoughtful and considerate. I don't know what to do. I'm embarrassed by his lack of gratitude. I have told him we have received thank-yous from his friends and that the cards can be brief. Should I send the thank-you notes myself, or just let it go?-- EMBARRASSED MOM IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR MOM: If the amount of mail I receive from readers complaining that their gifts are not acknowledged is an accurate barometer, your problem is very common. Without being confrontational, ask your son why he refuses to thank the people who gave him gifts. If the answer is he doesn't know what to say and he's embarrassed that he has procrastinated, offer to help him by making suggestions. You're right; the thank-yous don't have to be lengthy. But DO NOT write them for him. Chet is a big boy and the responsibility is his.

DEAR ABBY: I am a divorced, single woman in my 50s. I love my grandchildren dearly but am faced with a dilemma. I work full-time and take my grandchildren some nights and on the one day I have off -- usually on weekends.

I can't plan things on a weekend without feeling I have made it difficult for my son and his wife to find someone to watch their children. Her mom, a stay-at-home wife, watches them several days a week.

I want to continue spending time with my grandkids, but I also want the freedom to be there when I choose to be. I realize finding a sitter you can afford and trust to watch your children is a challenge. I have tried talking to my son, but it doesn't seem to get through to him. I know I need to do something, but what? I'm afraid I won't see the kids at all if I take a stand.-- LADY ON THE LAKE IN MICHIGAN

DEAR LADY: Check your calendar and plan some time for yourself -- one or two weekends a month. Then tell your son and his wife which ones you will be AVAILABLE. Free baby-sitting services are hard to come by, and you are not giving yourself enough credit. If the unspoken threat is that it's "all or nothing," then, frankly, you should step back further and let your son and daughter-in-law shoulder even more responsibility for the children they brought into this world.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

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#3
Jun 5, 2014
 

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1- TREATED for an STD? She never said she had one. TESTED for STD's is what you meant
Blunt Advice

Oakland, NJ

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#4
Jun 5, 2014
 

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1. Uh, plan an appointment with a divorce lawyer instead of inviting your inlaws to dinner.

2. It's idiot proof...."Dear so and so, Thank you so much for celebrating my graduation. Thank you for the (name of gift). It will be so helpful as I head toward college (or the working world). It was great to see you at my party. Thanks again,(name of gift recipient) If he refuses to take an hour or 2 out of his life to thank these people take the gifts away from him.

3. Only babysit when you can. Use your words and tell them when you have other plans.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#5
Jun 5, 2014
 

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1 Your husband must be really ugly if he can pick up a chick in a bar like everyone else. That said, Hooking should be legal, and since it is in some places, its not really a big deal. Kinda like stopping at McD's on the way home before dinner.

2 Tell him to write the cards or return the gifts. Or take the gifts, and give them to charity and them write that on the cards yourself.

3 Believe me, your kids are not going to turn down an opportunity to unload their rugrats for a few hours.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

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#6
Jun 5, 2014
 

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RACE wrote:
1 Your husband must be really ugly if he can pick up a chick in a bar like everyone else. That said, Hooking should be legal, and since it is in some places, its not really a big deal. Kinda like stopping at McD's on the way home before dinner.
Ok, Race. It's a given that this lw's husband is NOT a gentleman by either your or my definition of the word. A gentleman would not act as he did and he certainly would not put his wife in harm's way by possibly introducing an STD into their marriage. BUT it has nothing to do with whether prostitution is legal. It has to do with keeping to one's marriage vows as well as the STD thing. What's the difference (besides having to pay for the one) between prostitution and simply cheating on your spouse with someone from your office or church group? Nothing. A cheat is a cheat whether money changes hands or not. And in both cases, there is possible exposure to an STD. The arrest for soliciting a prostitute only means he was caught by the police that one time. Sure, that's embarrassing but it's the fact that he was looking for (and probably found on other occasions) for a prostitute which is the problem. The in-laws' not informing his wife is another problem but not the primary one here. They probably were never able to carry through with any effective discipline when their son was growing up and they are still protecting him thereby enabling his deceitful behavior. After all, he's their baby.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

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#7
Jun 5, 2014
 

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2: I am close to agreeing with Race on this one. I picture the mom taking all the gifts and locking them away until he shows her all the completed thank you cards - with addressed and stamped envelopes as well. I've heard of some parents doing that with their younger children to make sure they write the thank you cards. But this kid is graduated from high school; so I'm not sure whether that would work. It might be worth a try though. What was this mom doing all the years up to now? Did she write all his thank you cards for him? I'm not sure what would work, but yes, I'm leaning to the idea of locking up all the gifts and then either returning them to the people who gave them or perhaps to charity. The only problem is that these gifts are not hers and she would be stealing if she sent them to charities or perhaps even returning them to the people who gave them.

So ok, pack up all the gifts and stash them. Then get out the cards and the list. Tell your son he has to sit down at the table and do the cards right there and then (with you watching). With some people it's a matter of procrastination and if you sit them right down and say this has to be done NOW, this minute, they'll do it. Perhaps have his favorite snack ready and tell him he gets to have it once the cards are done. So you have the reward or carrot (favorite snack) and the stick (removal of the gifts) to encourage him to do what he needs to do.

3: I babysit my 5 grandkids one day a week and drive over 100 miles round trip to do it. I am happy to do it because it means I get to see them and have real relationship with them. I think that's hard to do if you only see your grandkids a couple of times a year or less like some people. I have to say that it exhausts me and I'm not good for much the next day. I have a lot of sympathy for this lw simply because I know how tiring her schedule must be. I don't work full time and I still feel tired from that one day with them and then doing my weekly grocery shopping on the way home. Her not wanting to spend all her days off babysitting does not mean she does not love them. It means she just doesn't have the energy and stamina she had years ago. As others have said, she needs to use her words and simply tell her son and d-i-l she cannot babysit so often. They need to find additional sources of child care. If she can't, she'll end up really resenting them and feel used if she doesn't feel that way already. They may already feel she's only doing what she's supposed to do and will be upset when she says she can't. But she should not allow them to guilt or bully her into keeping up the current schedule. I doubt they'll bar her access to the kids because they'll still want whatever free babysitting she offers.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#8
Jun 5, 2014
 
The STD thing may be being overblown. Many hookers use condoms, as do many johns.
And we dont know if he was actually dipping his wick. It could have been a BJ or even a simple hand job with naughty talk. Hell, maybe the LW's husband likes to be tied up and spanked, with no sex at all.

And maybe the parents never said anything because they assumed the Husband would talk to his wife about it.(but I doubt it)
Pippa wrote:
<quoted text>
Ok, Race. It's a given that this lw's husband is NOT a gentleman by either your or my definition of the word. A gentleman would not act as he did and he certainly would not put his wife in harm's way by possibly introducing an STD into their marriage. BUT it has nothing to do with whether prostitution is legal. It has to do with keeping to one's marriage vows as well as the STD thing. What's the difference (besides having to pay for the one) between prostitution and simply cheating on your spouse with someone from your office or church group? Nothing. A cheat is a cheat whether money changes hands or not. And in both cases, there is possible exposure to an STD. The arrest for soliciting a prostitute only means he was caught by the police that one time. Sure, that's embarrassing but it's the fact that he was looking for (and probably found on other occasions) for a prostitute which is the problem. The in-laws' not informing his wife is another problem but not the primary one here. They probably were never able to carry through with any effective discipline when their son was growing up and they are still protecting him thereby enabling his deceitful behavior. After all, he's their baby.

Since: Mar 09

West Palm Beach, FL

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#9
Jun 5, 2014
 
L1: Why in the world would you have this conversation over a "family dinner"?

L2: If you had been teaching him to write thank-you notes throughout his childhood, you would not have this problem now.

L3: What Abby & BA said.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#10
Jun 5, 2014
 

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L1: I'd get checked for STDs b/c relying that someone used a condom and was careful would not be enough for me. I think it would be interesting to be at that dinner as a spectator. You know what is going to hit the fan.

L2: Chet owes the thank you notes, not you. As for locking up his stuff, that's just stupid. The kid is in HS. It's his stuff. Just b/c you don't like how he runs his life doesn't mean you get to take his stuff. It also means don't bale him out and don't sweet talk it to other people. Point out how disappointed you are in your son.

L3: F that. Tell them when you can babysit and that's that. Don't feel bad. You did it, they can do it as well.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#11
Jun 5, 2014
 

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L1: race, whyz he gotta be ugly? Like Charlie Sheen said, you're not paying then for sex. You're paying them to leave. That out of the way, I'm not sure why lw thinks her inlaws have a duty to tell her. If my wife screwed around on me and her mother knew, I can't imagine her taking it upon herself to tell me. Her loyalty lies with her daughter. I would expect her to tell my wife she needs to tell me, but to stay out of the midle of it.
L2: what jam said. I was not raised in a note sending house, therefore I do not send notes and never will. I say thank you face to face.
Lw3: what amby said. If there is a standng agreement that yiu watch the kids, don't leave them in the lurch at the last minute, but definitely plan stuff for yourself ahead of tome anf let them know you won't be available on that day.
L2: If you had been teaching him to write thank-you notes throughout his childhood, you would not have this problem now.
L3: What Abby & BA said.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

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#12
Jun 5, 2014
 
1. Nice fan you married into....

2. Nice jack leg ingrate you raised....

3. Nice babysitter on demand situation you've created for yourself.....

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

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#13
Jun 5, 2014
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
L2: what jam said. I was not raised in a note sending house, therefore I do not send notes and never will. I say thank you face to face.
What if somebody sends you a gift in the mail and you don't see them face to face? Would you send a thank you then?

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#14
Jun 5, 2014
 
I guess from a business perspective he would not have to be. She provides a service, he is willing to pay for that service.
Mister Tonka wrote:
L1: race, whyz he gotta be ugly? Like Charlie Sheen said, you're not paying then for sex. You're paying them to leave..

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#15
Jun 5, 2014
 
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
What if somebody sends you a gift in the mail and you don't see them face to face? Would you send a thank you then?
Call or email.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

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#16
Jun 5, 2014
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>Call or email.
An email is a thank you note

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#17
Jun 5, 2014
 

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edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
An email is a thank you note
I think we've seen enough letters over the years to know that the thank you note nazis would stongly disagree. To them, there is no substitute for pen and paper.
Kuuipo

Herndon, VA

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#18
Jun 5, 2014
 
I’m with Blunt Advice. Forget the “family dinner.” Get a good attorney and let your feet do the talking. And good Charlie Sheen quote, Tonka! Too funny!

LW2: and LW3: What Abby said.

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