“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Oct 9, 2013
DEAR AMY: Our well-educated, 33-year-old son is planning to marry a 30-year-old woman in two months. She is extremely quiet and only talks when asked a direct question. She doesn't cook, clean, buy groceries or do any household chores. Our son does everything. She is an only child and is extremely focused on her appearance.

Our son used to be well-groomed, outgoing, fun-loving and thoughtful. Since he has been with this woman, he is now very quiet and doesn't interact with family anymore unless we initiate contact. His appearance has gotten incredibly sloppy and he looks disheveled most of the time.

The wedding is coming up and we are concerned about his happiness. We think he is settling and may be depressed. We definitely don't think he is happy or acts like someone who is in love and excited about building a life with this woman.

We don't want to comment for fear he'll take it as criticism and cut off all contact with us, so we haven't said anything. Is there anything we can do at this point or do we just need to stand by and watch this happen?-- Concerned Parents

DEAR CONCERNED: A common tactic of abusers is to isolate a partner from friends and family. Do your utmost to keep the door open, even if your contact is limited.

This does not mean that you have to stand by passively. Be honest and loving and express your concern, without casting blame or judgment.

His fiancee might be an abuser, the two of them might be using or abusing alcohol or drugs, he might be addicted to online gaming, sleep deprived for other reasons, depressed or stressed.

As parents, you know your son intimately. You see changes that worry you. So you say, "Son, are you OK? You seem quite depressed and stressed and we're worried about you. You don't seem like yourself lately. What's going on with you?"

Do not make any comments about his partner or suggest that he is "settling." Stay as close as you can to this couple -- but express your concern, privately, to your son.

DEAR AMY: My family and I live next door to a baby boomer and her elderly mother. The daughter, on medical disability, lives in the home owned by her mother.

On a daily basis, our family overhears the daughter yelling at her mother over trivial issues. These yelling fits seem to be one sided; we never overhear the mother's voice. They include screaming, and stomping of feet so loud that our house shakes. This seems like an abusive relationship to us but we don't know what action, if any, we should take to help the mother.-- Worried Neighbors

DEAR WORRIED: This is heartbreaking. Please intervene -- even at a distance. When elderly people are isolated and unable to get help for themselves, concerned neighbors are often the first reporters of abuse. If there is pounding so loud your own house shakes, you should call the police.

The Administration on Aging hosts the National Center on Elder Abuse, devoted to education and support for vulnerable elders. Their helpful and informative website will educate you about red flags of abuse and also lists state-by-state hotline numbers to call. You can report this anonymously and a caseworker will investigate.

Otherwise, the National Eldercare Locator has operators who can give you more information and refer you to local elder services.

DEAR AMY: In your response to "Frustrated Mom" you said that it was "unromantic" to schedule a time for connecting intimately as a couple. Not so!

Kids, pets, work, shopping, cooking, cleaning, yard work, scouts, sports, music lessons -- it all runs on a schedule. If you don't schedule intimacy, it gets left off the list.

My wife and I have a scheduled "date night" (and weekend morning) for intimacy. Either one of us can ask for a "rain check," but otherwise it happens. It makes our marriage better.-- Happy Spouse

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#2 Oct 9, 2013
1- He's 33, stop helicoptering!

2- I say butout and try to have sympathy and understanding for this woman. Sometimes being forceful is the only way to deal with someone with dementia. I was visiting my grandmother at a nursing home and heard some nurse yelling at an old lady who pzzed herself.

3- "I can squeeze you in for ten minutes of loving between 9:00 and 9:10 next Thursday."

How romantic!

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#3 Oct 9, 2013
1 You seem to know an awful lot about what this woman does NOT do. How is that? Oh, right you are meddlesome parents snooping into every aspect of your kids life (and dog is right, he's friggin 33 for crying out loud). She hates your busybody attitude and gives you nothing to chew on.

2 Unless you live in a duplex, I doubt that her stomping rattles your house, and if it truly does then get an inspector to look at your own home.

3 Unfortunately at this time, I have lots of free time for boot knocking, but no boots to knock with.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#4 Oct 9, 2013
LW1: Your son is 33 years old for Petes sake. Stop treating him like a child and let him make his own choices in life, for better or worse. Also stop blaming everything that has changed about him on this woman hes his own person and responsible for his own actions.

LW2: Unless it arises to physical abuse, MYOB. Its not a crime to raise your voice and stomp your feet even if it is inappropriate.

You also really need to get a hobby if you are paying attention so much that you know the topics that are arguing about are frivolous, Mrs. Kravitz.

LW3: You must suck in bed if you have to schedule appointments with your wife if nothing is going on all one of us has to do is ask.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#5 Oct 9, 2013
LW1: You're his parents, of course you can say something! He might not do anything about it, of course.

LW2: Call these eldercare people.

And as an apartment dweller, I can verify that any stomping, door slamming, or wall punching that occurs in the building can be felt through the whole building. I sat and listened to and felt the downstairs neighbor boy throw a fit of epic proportions the other night, and I thought he was going to wake up my children because he kept kicking the walls.

LW3: Sorry, not romantic.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

South Ozone Park, NY

#6 Oct 9, 2013
The old lady likely can't hear very well and yelling and stomping feet may be the only way to get her attention.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#7 Oct 9, 2013
L1: Ask if everything is okay and, as Amy said, do not bring up his future bride. It may or may not have anything to do with her. And where the heck did Amy get abuse? From the letter, they're both like that. I don't think abuse. I think they're probably in a rut. But whatever.

L2: I wouldn't call. It's not right to act like that but unless you believe she's hitting her mother, withholding food or whatever, it may be the way they communicate.

And Edog is trying desperately to get someone into an argument over this.

L3: I can see scheduling but let's not call it romantic. Romantic happens when you schedule a regular date night if you do something special for your spouse/significant other as a surprise.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#8 Oct 9, 2013
LW1: Butt out. That was easy.

LW2: These two appear to have a difficult relationship and they are in each other's space 24/7. Sure, call the eldercare people. Also, edog makes a good point about hearing loss. That may be a factor.

LW3: I think date night is a good idea for long-term couples. It reminds them to make time for romance.
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#9 Oct 9, 2013
Has LW1 chased away other girlfriends of that son?
Is his quietness and the bride's quietness their shield in keeping LW1 as civil as possible?

I like Kuuipo's and Eodg's point that perhaps the
elderly mother cannot hear so well.

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#10 Oct 9, 2013
Toj wrote:
And where the heck did Amy get abuse? From the letter, they're both like that. I don't think abuse.
Our son used to be well-groomed, fun-loving and outgoing...
If that is true and he really has changed that dramatically since being with her, it COULD be a sign of an abusive, isolating relationship. Or he could just be more reserved around them because he feels they are hyper-critical of his fiancee. Either way...back up, Mama, or risk losing your relationship with your son.
liner

Patchogue, NY

#11 Oct 9, 2013
L1: "We don't want to comment for fear he'll take it as criticism and cut off all contact with us......"
.
He seems to be a tad touchy, no?
pde

Davis Junction, IL

#12 Oct 9, 2013
liner wrote:
L1: "We don't want to comment for fear he'll take it as criticism and cut off all contact with us......"
.
He seems to be a tad touchy, no?
I suspect it means they've already leveled criticism at either him or his wife-to-be and had some boundaries firmly set by their son.
pde

Davis Junction, IL

#13 Oct 9, 2013
LW1: Abusers can isolate their partner from friends and family yes.

Choosing to limit contact with or separate yourself from toxic family members is also a common recommendation from therapists to adults who are dealing with toxic, overbearing and helicopter-y family members. Heck, it's even recommended by a multitude of self-help books.

Adults aren't required to have relationships with anyone, including their own parents. One of the parts of adulthood is choosing who you wish to associate with and be connected to.

If your son is not complaining to you about his wife and the fact she apparently doesn't do anything around the house, the fact you think you know that and you are concerning yourself with it is actually kind of disturbing. It means you have your nose too far into their business. It means that you're at least verging on creating a situation where a lot of reasonable, sane, and happy adults--even those connected to you by blood--can make the reasonable, sane and logical decision to choose to limit their relationship with you.

Oh, and as for his appearance ... ever consider that now he's got his woman, he doesn't see the necessity of keeping up all that bs? Although if she's THAT obsessed with appearances, I think she might have a valid complaint here if his grooming has gone downhill because the reasons he kept it up are no longer applicable (to catch a wife, you know).

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#14 Oct 9, 2013
RACE wrote:
1 You seem to know an awful lot about what this woman does NOT do. How is that? Oh, right you are meddlesome parents snooping into every aspect of your kids life ...She hates your busybody attitude and gives you nothing to chew on.
Perfect reason for her being quiet.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#15 Oct 9, 2013
Toj wrote:
L2: I wouldn't call. It's not right to act like that but unless you believe she's hitting her mother, withholding food or whatever, it may be the way they communicate.
And Edog is trying desperately to get someone into an argument over this.
This. If yelling is her only offense, then myob.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#16 Oct 9, 2013
liner wrote:
L1: "We don't want to comment for fear he'll take it as criticism and cut off all contact with us......"
.
He seems to be a tad touchy, no?
Or perhaps she has been overly critical of his decisions in the past and he ended up cutting her off once before and she takes no responsibility for it and is afraid it will happen again.

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