We have an important family event coming up and have decided not to invite her because we don’t feel safe around her. The close family member is incensed with us, furious even. He chalks his girlfriend’s transgressions up to “medical events.”
Abby, are we right to not allow her to be part of situations where she will undoubtedly behave like this? Or must we “just accept it and move on,” as our family member insists, in spite of being well aware of her pattern of behavior? – ANONYMOUS IN THE EAST
DEAR ANONYMOUS: Do not allow yourselves to be forced into anything that would make any of you uncomfortable. Unless this family member can GUARANTEE that his “lady” friend will not disrupt the festivities by acting out, she should not be invited.
DEAR ABBY: My best friend and I are grandmothers. While I enjoy a healthy relationship with my children and grandchildren, the same is not true for her.
Because of issues surrounding her divorce, she’s in contact with only one of her three children. All three side with their father. Recently, her pregnant daughter (“Erin,” who has mental health issues) told her mom she never wants to see her again and turned her away from the baby shower.
The only way my friend knew Erin had given birth was from social media. No one in the family told her. Although Erin unfriended her mom on Facebook, I still see her posts. Naturally, she shared the news about the new baby.
My question is, should I comment on the news? Erin knows I’m close to her mom. I’m aching to tell her to let her mom back into her life and about the importance of a relationship with grandparents. Should I? Or should I just offer my congratulations and let it be? – VALUES FAMILY IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR VALUES FAMILY: By all means congratulate Erin on the new baby, but postpone the “lecture” about the importance of grandparents for a separate conversation. Right now, I doubt Erin would appreciate what you have to say. Later, when things calm down in her troubled relationship with her mother, she may be more open to your message.
DEAR ABBY: I’m dating a man who insists that I pay for our dinners every time he comes to visit. He doesn’t even offer. One time when I didn’t pick up the check he reached across the table and handed it to me. I’m not sure how to handle this. – WORTH A TREAT IN WEST VIRGINIA
DEAR WORTH A TREAT: The next time this user comes to visit and hands you the check, hand it BACK and walk out of the restaurant. If he claims to have “forgotten his wallet” as well as his manners, stop dating him.
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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 dearabby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.