Dear Abby: I recently reunited with an old guy 30 years later and I am worried about what I can only describe as a relationship between him and his daughter. His 20-year-old wife died two years ago after a long illness. Most of those years he was her tutor and also raised a daughter who is now 21. He also has a granddaughter and they all live together.
When I shared with him that I can only imagine how hard it was for everyone, and gently offered family therapy, he replied, “Everything will be fine after a while.” We spend most of our time with our daughter and granddaughter.
I expressed to him my concern about spending “time together” as a couple, caring for each other while we are on dates, as well as emotional and sexual intimacy at this stage of our lives. I am also concerned that he allowed his granddaughter to engage with adults. There seems to be a lack of “healthy boundaries”.
Abby, if all goes well, why does he think I feel like I’m filling an empty space with unpredictable returns in this family dynamic? – CONFIRMED DIVORCE FOR TYAGRUSHKA
Dear divorced: You and your old boyfriend need to talk honestly about what you can expect from this relationship. Some things are private. Courtship and emotional and sexual intimacy should take place away from his home – preferably in your area. If he does not see in this wisdom and is not willing to compromise, stop the “romance” and do not waste more of your time.
Dear Abby: My brother-in-law, “Harvey,” has a dirty habit of chewing tobacco in my house and around my family. He promised many times not to do so when he came, but each time he broke his word. The children are adults, but there are grandchildren.
Harvey is a dirty, unhygienic man who wipes his chewed hands on his jeans and leaves a trail of chewing and spitting everywhere. He spits into jars of soda and leaves jars at the end of the table. One day my 2 year old tilted it and took a sip, thinking it was soda!
It’s been 25 years and I’m ready to ban him from attending home and family reunions. My husband feels sorry for him. He and my mother-in-law baby Garvey as a child. I am ready to make the law, and I know that paying will be hell, but I can not stand it anymore. What do you think? – IT WAS IN WASHINGTON
Dear was: Honestly, I think 25 years later you’re a little late trying to lay out Harvey’s law. You had to put your foot down when your 2-year-old took Harvey’s spittoon for soda. Whether you will be able to force a ban on your brother-in-law in your home is anyone’s guess, but I guess it’s worth a try if you’re willing to accept the consequences. An alternative may be to entertain him only in the milder months when you can do it outdoors.
Written by “Dear Abby” 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 mailbox 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.