Dear Abby: Our amazing daughters are in their late 20s. Both of them are independent, intelligent and loving. The four of us have a special bond. My wife and I have always been supportive in all aspects of our daughters’ lives, and that will never change.
They have been dating great guys over the last five years whom we believe they will ultimately marry. The problem? My wife and I were raised with certain values, and our daughters have recently moved in with their boyfriends. We do not approve, but respect their decisions as adults.
One daughter plans to have an open-house party celebrating their new place. She’s upset that my wife and I have indicated we won’t be attending, because doing so would be difficult and against our beliefs. We have understood her decision, but she does not appear to respect ours. Are we wrong to take this stance?
– Against the Tide in New Jersey
Dear Against: I think so. Your daughter is an adult. Do you plan to continue “punishing” her and the man you say you approve of until they tie the knot? It’s not unusual for couples today to live together. I see nothing to be gained by skipping their open house, but I do see something to lose.
Wanting to be counted out
Dear Abby: My husband’s grandmother keeps buying season tickets to the theater for me. I have told my mother-in-law (who is in charge of buying the tickets) as politely as possible that summer is a very busy time for me. My children, husband and I are all involved in activities, and the theater conflicts with these activities.
As well, I don’t particularly enjoy the group of people that we go there with. (I haven’t shared this with my mother-in-law.) While I like my mother-in-law and my husband’s grandmother, the others are rude. They exclude me from conversations and hardly acknowledge my existence. I try to make conversation but unsuccessfully. It makes for a dreadfully awkward evening.
How do I get out of going without hurting anyone’s feelings?
– No Thanks in Canada
Dear No Thanks: The most effective way to accomplish that would be to stop beating around the bush and tell your husband’s mother and grandmother that you would prefer not to be included, and the reason why.
Hubby is louse on Mom’s Day
Dear Abby: My husband never gets me anything for Mother’s Day. We have two children. He says, “You’re not my mother!” What do you think?
– Hurt in Pennsylvania
Dear Hurt: Is your husband the father of your children? If the answer is yes, I think the man you married is thoughtless, insensitive or cheap.