DEAR ABBY: My daughter “Faith” has started dating “Kane,” a new guy she met online. He seems like a stand-up guy. Her old boyfriend, “Blake,” was out of the picture, but since she’s started seeing someone else, he constantly shows up. Mind you, Blake is supposed to be engaged to the woman living with him.
Faith tells Kane that Blake is “like a brother” to her. Because he’s constantly coming around, I asked her if she has told her boyfriend she used to date Blake, that he puts his vehicle in her garage and she is asking him to do things around the house as if he’s her man. I think she needs to level with Kane, so he can decide whether he wants to be involved in an open relationship.
Since I mentioned it, she no longer has anything to do with me. She ordered me not to call her or come to her house. I have a 2-year-old grandson I have helped her care for since he was born. It hurts me deeply that I can’t see him. Please give me your opinion and tell me if I owe her an apology. – Mom Who Means Well
DEAR MOM: It appears your daughter and her ex are not entirely through with each other. If Kane is being led to believe he and Faith have an exclusive relationship, he’s being deliberately misled, and shame on her. She may be keeping him around for insurance in case her relationship with Blake falls through again. You do not “owe” your daughter an apology for speaking your mind, but you may have to offer one if you want to see your grandson.
DEAR ABBY: My spouse and I had our first child early this year during the pandemic. It was a difficult time because we couldn’t have any family with us during the delivery. We live in the same town as my in-laws, and this is their first grandchild.
Abby, their behavior toward this child has become possessive and intrusive. My spouse and I have tried to set boundaries, to no avail. We tried explaining that we are new parents in a very difficult time in this world right now, and there is more stress than there would normally be. They listen and acknowledge what we are saying, but their behavior doesn’t change. This is causing us more anxiety in an already anxious time. We would never want to restrict access to their grandchild, but every day is too much. Other than moving, what are our options? – New Mommy in Pennsylvania
DEAR NEW MOMMY: Another option would be for you and your spouse to set specific times when the in-laws are welcome to visit. If they pop in when they are not expected, do not let them in. Explain firmly that they need to adhere to the schedule you have set because your stress level is already above where it should be. They may not like it, but if the alternative is you moving, it would be less expensive and disruptive for you.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.