Dear Abby: I'm confused and frustrated. My son is coming home from college and bringing his live-in girlfriend, and wants to stay in my home. I've always been against this kind of arrangement. I love my son and the girl is a very nice person, but I can't seem to come to terms with myself to accept this (sleeping together) in my home.
Am I being an old fuddy-duddy? And how do I tell him I don't think I can go along with this arrangement? I think it sets a bad example for my young grandchildren who spend time with me.- Desperate
Dear Desperate: Since you are uncomfortable allowing your son and his girlfriend to sleep together under your roof - honesty is the best policy.
Simply say: "I love you, son, but I am not comfortable with the idea of an unmarried couple sleeping together in my home; it sets a bad example for my younger grandchildren who spend time with me. You're welcome to stay here, but in separate bedrooms."
It's honest, and you need not apologize for it.
Dear Abby: I am writing about a problem that has arisen in our family, and it's about to explode at any time.
About four months ago, my sister "Jane" and her husband relocated from Chicago to Nashville, where our parents live. They offered to let Jane and her husband stay with them until they got settled. Well, what should have taken a couple of weeks (a month at most) has turned into many months - and so far, Jane and her husband have made no effort to get a place of their own. Even worse, they have not offered any money to compensate for their living expenses during their stay.
Also, Jane has given birth to her third child, and she and her husband are constantly leaving the infant with my parents, who already have guardianship and the care of Jane's first two children from her previous marriage.
Abby, my parents are very generous and can't see that they are being taken advantage of.
How can I approach Jane and her husband without creating a family fight? Each day, my tolerance slips closer to the boiling point.
- Boiling Point in Nashville
Dear Boiling Point: It is not your place to tell Jane and her husband that they are imposing on your parents, particularly since nowhere in your letter have you indicated that your parents feel imposed upon. Perhaps your parents enjoy having them there. Stay out of it.
Dear Abby: I recently read a letter in your column from parents of twins who posted a sign on their double stroller that read, "YES, THEY ARE!" (in anticipation of the question, "Are they twins?").
This reminded me of a sign my friend gave me at a baby shower for my fourth son. (I had a newborn, a 22-month-old, a 31/2-year-old and a 5-year-old - all boys!) The sign read:
"Yes, they are all mine.
"Yes, they are all boys.
"Yes, my hands are full.
"No, I wasn't trying for a girl!"
Now, after the birth of a fifth child, a daughter, we don't get questions - just the constant comment, "Congratulations, you finally got a girl!" Sign me . . .
- Gloria in Orange, Calif.
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