Dear Abby: Prenup becomes roadblock on couple’s path to the altar
DEAR ABBY: I have a delightful, caring, loving man in my life. We knew each other years ago when we were married to other people. Three years ago, after a couple of years of courtship, he asked me to move in.
We are great together. He has embraced my two children and especially my two grandchildren as he had none from his previous marriage. Because I bring more to his life than anyone, I proposed to him seven months ago, and he said yes. We talked, and he requested a prenup, which is fine with me because his ex took a large sum of cash.
I have asked a few times since the proposal if he has talked to his cousin who is an attorney he trusts, but I don’t believe this is moving along. Because you cannot make anyone do anything they are not inclined to do, I have stopped asking. He knows I need financial security.
I have always done right by him — that is who I am. At this point, I’m enjoying my life of privilege with my doctor companion, who loves me dearly but can’t seem to honor our relationship and take the next step. Am I right to let it be? — WAITING, FOR NOW
DEAR WAITING: I agree that you cannot make anyone do anything they are not inclined to do. Because drafting the prenuptial agreement appears to be stalled, raise the subject again and ask if he regrets accepting your proposal or if he’s ready to move forward. He may like things just as they are, and if you need more than what he is willing to give, you may have to move on. Three years is enough time to decide if he wants to make your romance permanent.
DEAR ABBY: I think my parents are enabling my sister to take advantage of them. She has suffered from depression most of her life. She has two children, ages 8 and 5.
Before COVID, she dealt with her depression and was a stay-at-home mom for six years. Back in March, she asked my parents to take in her 8-year-old for schooling the rest of the year. For the last several months, one or both of her children have been here at our house. Mind you, she and her husband live five hours away, so it’s not like they are nearby. Now there’s discussion about my parents keeping them into next year.
Mom retired only last year and has barely been able to enjoy her retirement alone with my stepdad. When my brother and I bring up the topic of them enabling my sister by letting her pawn her kids off and blame her depression, their response is, “Well, it’s better than her going off the deep end.” I also feel bad that those kids are not with their parents in their own house, instead of being schlepped around. Am I wrong to think she’s being allowed to get away with being a bad parent? — CONCERNED IN COLORADO
DEAR CONCERNED: The COVID-19 epidemic and subsequent quarantine have triggered anxiety and serious depression in people who were previously emotionally resilient. That it could cause a recurrence in someone with chronic depression is no surprise. Your mother and stepfather are doing what they feel is best for their grandchildren, your sister and themselves. Accept it and quit second-guessing them. They have more than enough to deal with without you adding more stress at this point.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my husband for 38 years. Our two children are adults now. Our older son has had the same girlfriend for 11 years, but my in-laws still won’t accept her because they aren’t married, so they don’t include her in some family functions. How can I let them know in a nice way that she is family to me? Even my husband doesn’t regard her as family.
I understand some people are that way, but I was raised by a mother who saw all of our friends and boyfriends and girlfriends as family, even after some were divorced. I feel like skipping these family functions if my children and their girlfriends aren’t included. What can I do? — INCLUSIVE IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR INCLUSIVE: Your in-laws have a right to their opinions, and so do you. Listen to your heart. If it’s telling you that you would rather spend those times with your children and their girlfriends, go ahead and do it. I am assuming that the son who is involved in the long-term relationship would not be leaving his girlfriend home alone when these gatherings are held, because if that’s the case after 11 years, she should dump him.
DEAR ABBY: My sisters and I grew up in California. One of my sisters moved to Texas with her husband 29 years ago. Over the years I have had to listen to her put California down. On the occasions when she visits, she never fails to mention how crowded it is, how the air is terrible and how our government is a joke.
Recently, she asked to come here for a visit, and I agreed. The next day I got a text from her with an article attached about “Why California Sucks.” I am so irritated that I no longer want her to come next month. How do I handle this? — ANNOYED IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR ANNOYED: Are you telling me you have tolerated your sister’s jibes about our great state of California all this time without putting a stop to it? That woman has a lot of nerve! If she truly hates it here, why is she willing to come?
Although California may have its natural disasters, a large homeless population, unhealthful air quality, scorching heat waves and the promise of even higher taxes to come — other states are not without their challenges. Yet folks still seem to want to immigrate to California in droves, judging by the traffic.
The time has come to draw the line. Tell your sister you don’t like her needling, and if she doesn’t cut it out, her invitation will be rescinded.
DEAR ABBY: For the last 20 years, I have been sending my four nieces and nephews birthday and Christmas cards with checks enclosed. They are adults now with jobs and families. How can I gently tell them that I wish to discontinue the checks in their cards? — NO MORE IN FLORIDA
DEAR NO MORE: All you need to do is remind them — lovingly — that because they are adults now, with jobs and families of their own, you would like to exchange cards on special occasions rather than send money. Many parents do this when their children reach adulthood.
EDITOR’S NOTE: 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.