DEAR ABBY: My son had a yearlong affair with his wife’s best friend, which started when the two families took vacations together. My husband and I have always been close to our daughter-in-law and our grandchildren, ages 6 and 10, as well as our son. The divorces are final now, and the lovers are married.
Abby, we can’t stand the new wife. We abhor the deceit, the betrayal and the pain she and our son have caused. Now he is demanding that we accept her. We don’t want to abandon our daughter-in-law, and I can’t bear the thought of her and our grandchildren’s inheritance going to the new wife. Also, I am so furious with my son for this selfish, egregious act I don’t even like seeing him. I don’t know what to do. Any advice? — MOTHER OF A CHEATER
DEAR MOTHER: Depending upon the child custody arrangement between your son and his ex-wife, you may not have to spend much time with the happy newlyweds. Because you love your former daughter-in-law, see her as often as you wish and include her in celebrations. Refrain from acting out in anger. Be polite to your son’s new wife. Say nothing you might later regret. You do not have to love — or even like — the woman.
As to what happens to your estate in the event of your and your husband’s death, this is a discussion you should have with your lawyer. You are under no obligation to reward your son and the new Mrs., especially if you prefer to arrange for your grandchildren and the daughter-in-law you loved to have those assets.
DEAR ABBY: After living with my husband’s gradual hearing loss for several years and his refusal to get hearing aids, I finally asked him to get them as a birthday gift to me. He agreed, and I expected that he would wear them once he got them. When he does, it greatly improves his hearing. Instances of my having to repeat myself diminish noticeably. But he seldom wears them when he’s at home with me.
I mentioned to him several times how important it was to me, then gave up. I managed to deal with it until the pandemic forced us to stay home so much of the time. I brought it up again recently, referencing the stay-at-home order and how much I would appreciate his wearing them, but he still wears them only occasionally.
I feel disrespected because he isn’t willing to do this small thing to make both our lives easier during this period of confinement. How do you suggest I explain this to him so he “hears” me? — STILL FRUSTRATED IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR STILL FRUSTRATED: This may not be a matter of your husband “tuning you out.” Have you asked him WHY he doesn’t wear the hearing aids? Could it be they are uncomfortable and need adjusting? Is inserting the batteries difficult because they are so tiny? Is he bothered by the amplified background noise? Once you know why he is resistant, you can consult the doctor who prescribed the devices.
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.
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