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Mom puts a crimp in relationship

DEAR ABBY: I love my fiance, but his mother says, “Over my dead body will he move away from me.” She has cancer and we have both been praying that she goes peacefully, but it seems all she wants to do is create as much strife as possible between my fiance and me. I am now ignoring calls and texts from her. Any advice as to how to deal with my fiance? He gets mean after three days at her house, fetching water, coffee and food (she is capable). Please help me reframe this so I can be nicer to a hateful woman. – Trying Hard in the South

DEAR TRYING HARD: What is your fiance’s mother’s prognosis? Not everyone being treated for cancer dies of the disease. Does she think she’s terminal? If that’s the case, she may have said what she did because she’s frightened and in pain. You say she is “capable” of taking care of herself, but some of the treatments she may be receiving have been known to leave patients feeling tired and weak. Because helping his mother leaves your fiance on edge (“mean”), have you considered sharing the responsibility and giving him a break? And one final thought: If he’s mean now, what does that bode for your own future with him?

DEAR ABBY: A dear friend of many years has developed a cellphone addiction that’s driving me crazy – insisting on showing me funny videos, memes or camera filters when we visit. I respond either with disinterest or a polite “I’m here to visit with you, not look at your phone.” Some of her other behaviors are downright rude. She often shows up late, and I can clearly see she’s been making frivolous social media posts while I’m waiting. On a group road trip, she will silently play a phone game, excluding herself from the fun. I know this affects her job, too, and I have tried advising her along that vein, but nothing changes. Is this a sign of a friendship growing apart or moving toward different interests? Or am I just a cranky Luddite who needs to accept the new reality? – Low-Priority Friend

DEAR FRIEND: The person you are describing isn’t so much hooked on her phone as she appears to be hooked on herself. Keeping people waiting while posting to social media is rude, and recognizing it as such isn’t being “cranky.” I agree with you that the behaviors she’s exhibiting are symptoms of diverging interests. You may be less offended if you see less of her.

DEAR ABBY: Is it ever too late to report abuse? I’ve spent years dealing with the emotional pain my now ex-husband caused me, but I never made a formal report. Lately he has been trying to get in touch, and I’m afraid. Last time, he almost caused me to lose my life. Should I file a police report or not? – Afraid in Oregon

DEAR AFRAID: If you feel your ex-husband is a danger to you, contact the police and tell them you are afraid and why. Put the local authorities on notice, let them tell you how you can protect yourself and follow through.

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.