Dear Abby: Elderly man suggests moving in with daughter and her husband … much to his wife’s dismay

Dear Abby: My husband, who is 81 years old and in excellent health, has suggested that when we feel we can no longer live an independent life (I am 72), we should get closer to his daughter in another state so that she and her husband can help us.

Abby, I do not like her husband, nor do I want to depend on him, owe him or even communicate with him. In the fifteen years I’ve known him, we’ve never talked. I tried at first, but he couldn’t relate to older women. Apparently, he did not have a good relationship with his mother. His only subjects of conversation are his dogs, guns, or sports. I have no interest in any of these things.

It breaks my heart that my husband and I may not be spending the last years of our lives together. I’m sure my husband will tell me to “get over” my hatred for his daughter-in-law. Should I agree to be next to someone with whom I have nothing in common? I don’t like that part of the country they live in either. – Nervous in New Mexico

Dear Nervus: My late mother once told me that parents who depend on their adult children to “take care of” them in old age are often in a rude awakening. You and your spouse are supposed to be equal partners in this marriage. If you love not only the man whose daughter married you, but also the region of the country in which you live, then there is no law that says that you are obligated to move to another place. I recommend having this difficult discussion with your spouse soon, preferably in the office of a licensed marriage and family therapist.


Dear Abby: I’ve been in an on-off relationship with a woman for three years. We live about two hours away. At first our relationship was great. We would see each other on a regular basis and text and video chat almost daily. We even talked about marriage.

But over time, it became more and more distant. It may take a long time to reply to me or not at all. Her excuse was work. She was always on and always had something going on. Then I found out she was dealing with some personal stuff. When I explained to her that relationships are about communication, she kind of differed.

Once, I got so upset, angry, and frustrated that I told her some terrible things. I even used vulgar language due to her lack of communication. Also, she didn’t bother taking two minutes of her time to wish me a happy birthday. I always remember her on her birthday.

She makes me the bad guy. I am hurt and very angry with her for refusing to communicate. Abby, what else can I do? Am I really the bad guy here? Unconfirmed in Pennsylvania

Dear Uncertain: Although you refuse to learn about the matter, this woman has been reaching out to you. Her behavior indicates that she is not as interested in you anywhere as you are in her, which should have become clear as she is becoming more and more distant.

You are not a bad person and neither is she. She is only afraid of giving you bad news word of mouth. In such cases, there is nothing you can do besides telling her that she is clearly not as invested in the relationship as you are and is making a graceful exit.


Written by Abigail Van Buren, aka Jane Phillips, Dear Abby, it was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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