Mom is put out by stepdad who tattles on her daughter

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been together for 12 years. I have a daughter from a previous relationship who is now 16. They have had their ups and downs. What irritates me to no end is, my husband tattles on my daughter.

Today she wanted to come home from school because she felt nauseated. My husband had the day off, and even though he didn’t want to, he picked her up from school. He proceeded to text me at work later on in the day to let me know that she was eating waffles and chicken nuggets.

I can’t control what my daughter eats when I’m not there. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. The issues between them are much deeper, but I cannot stand his tattling. If my child says she’s nauseated and then eats waffles, she must learn somehow that they are not conducive to feeling better. My husband going out of his way to rat on her when she does things like this seems overboard. Am I crazy for feeling this way?! — SEEKING PEACE AT HOME

DEAR SEEKING PEACE: You are not crazy for feeling this way. You ARE crazy for not having it out with your husband rather than complain to me, and for not insisting the three of you get counseling from a licensed marriage and family therapist to iron out those “deeper issues.”

P.S. Waffles and chicken nuggets are considered comfort food. What your daughter may have needed that day was comfort. If the foods she chose were not conducive to feeling better, your husband could have suggested a better option. (Chicken broth?)

DEAR ABBY: I went out with some girlfriends a few weeks ago. We began chatting and, after a while, I started to notice things that made me feel disconnected from them. After thinking about it later, I realized that although we have known each other for 10 years, we no longer have much in common.

We used to work together and shared that, but it’s no longer the case. I think I might have more in common with others. We never fight, and they are wonderful people, but each time I open myself up to them, I feel judged and different. How do you suggest I maintain my friendships? Is it worth it? — FAITHFUL FRIEND IN OHIO

DEAR FRIEND: If the only thing these women brought to your relationship was the fact that you used to work together, and because circumstances have changed, it may be time to re-evaluate how important these workplace friendships are to you. Friends do not have to think in lockstep, and they shouldn’t make you feel judged if your opinions differ from theirs.

A way to maintain friendships like these is to see the individuals less often and, when you do, talk about the things you do have in common. If that doesn’t work, realize that not all friendships last forever and move on. Sometimes friendships run their course, and this may be one of those times.


DEAR ABBY: I am currently dating someone, and although it hasn’t been that long, so far everything has been great. We each have two children from previous relationships. We have discussed the topic of marriage, having a child of our own and have even considered adoption.

One day he told me he wanted to tell me something. He ended up saying that before going into the military years ago, he “had” to marry his ex. Problem is, although they have lived apart for three years, she isn’t his ex. They are still married. He said they have no interest in being together and have both moved on. When I asked when he plans to divorce her, he said he hasn’t had the financial capability to do so. I don’t know how to take this news. Any advice? — THROWN IN NEVADA

DEAR THROWN: You need more information. Has this man been supporting his ex all this time, or is she self-supporting? Who is supporting the children? How much money does he think he will owe her if they divorce?

I’m not familiar with the divorce laws in Nevada, but an attorney who is licensed to practice there will be. It would be very much worth your while to make an appointment with one to discuss what your boyfriend has told you. You should do it before becoming any more involved with him.

DEAR ABBY: I’m writing in the hope you’ll print my letter and, with your response, raise awareness about male breast cancer. A male family member was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and in addition to the issues everyone recently diagnosed with cancer goes through, there are additional issues causing stress.

Because male breast cancer is so rare, all the pamphlets and information are aimed at women. As a result, my relative feels very alone. Besides family, he doesn’t want anyone, including members of his church, to know his diagnosis because he’s afraid of what they will think. Encouragement such as telling him his friends can offer additional support and prayers has gone nowhere so far.

Abby, can you share with your readers some information and resources for men with breast cancer? We would be very grateful. — CARING FAMILY MEMBER

DEAR CARING: There is information about breast cancer in men online. If your relative will visit cancer.org and search on male breast cancer, he will discover an abundance of information on the subject. For suggestions about support groups, he should call the American Cancer Society’s helpline: 800-227-2345. Your family member is NOT alone. I wish him a speedy and complete recovery.

DEAR ABBY: I work two jobs and took time off from my second job so I could watch my four grandchildren for a week when their parents had to go out of state. They did call the 14-year-old daily, but never once called or spoke to me during that time. Am I being cranky or is that disrespectful? — FEELING LIKE DIRT

DEAR FEELING LIKE DIRT: I don’t blame you for being miffed. It was thoughtless and ungracious of them not to ask to speak with you for a minute. However, if they didn’t respect you, I’m sure they wouldn’t have left their precious children in your care.


DEAR ABBY: My husband and I live in a nice home in the desert Southwest with an in-ground pool and guesthouse. Our friends and relatives from back east have an open invitation to visit whenever they please. We enjoyed these visits until recently.

The problem is their ever-present compulsion to be connected to an electronic device. We are not yet retired, but in the past we didn’t mind taking a few days off work to spend time with folks who came all the way out here to spend a few days with us. But it seems like nowadays our guests have their noses pointed at a phone or computer most of the time they are here. They have actually missed the beauty of our area, which we are missing work to show them, because they are otherwise engaged.

Is there a pleasant way to ask them to disconnect for a bit while we are enjoying their visit, or should I just get in the grumpy old lady line? I want our visitors to have a good time, but I find this behavior especially rude. — ALMOST DONE IN THE SOUTHWEST

DEAR ALMOST DONE: It’s possible that your guests don’t realize how much time they’re spending on their computers and cellphones. Because you are so turned off you are considering rolling up the welcome mat, explain to your guests that you have given them an open invitation so you can enjoy each other’s company, and you are hurt that they spend so much time on their electronic devices. Nobody gets something for nothing, and it seems the “quid” has gone missing from the “pro quo” you have been offering.

DEAR ABBY: I am a male who was molested 30 years ago. It has troubled me into adulthood. Recently, my boss informed my crew that a convicted pedophile will be working on a trial basis on our shift. The moment he said it, it started setting off triggers in my head, and I am very angry about it.

When I told my boss about my childhood experience, he acted like he didn’t want to hear it. Do I have any rights in this matter? I really can’t work with a man who has hurt another child like I was. — TROUBLED VICTIM

DEAR TROUBLED VICTIM: You absolutely do have rights. You have the right to request a different shift, if that’s possible. If it isn’t, you also have the right to look for another job. If that’s the case, it will be interesting to know how many of the other employees will follow you out the door.

DEAR ABBY: A good friend’s wife is currently in hospice care and not expected to live much longer. While I was at Walmart the other day, I passed through the card department and, because I was already there, I figured I would purchase a condolence/sympathy card. When my inner circle discovered I had bought the card before she passed, they criticized me to no end. I thought it was an efficient thing to do. I’m not wrong, am I? — EFFICIENT IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR EFFICIENT: Oh, come on! There was nothing wrong with what you did. Many people buy cards of all types because they think the message is appropriate. You thought of your friend and his wife while you were in the card section, and it is the thought that counts — not the date of purchase. If you made any mistake, it was in letting it be known that you purchased the card in advance. In a situation like this, discretion is key.

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.