DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are very happy. However, his mother is an intrusive pest. I am a stay-at-home mom, and she calls all day long. When I answer, I get an earful about how often her son calls or doesn't call her, or she finds fault with the things I do with my children. If I don't answer, she comes over to our house.
The other day, she knew that I was going to my mom's office to drop some stuff off and help her with some things. When I arrived, there was my husband's mother, sitting there waiting for me. Also, when my husband confides in her –- like when I got pregnant –- she takes it upon herself to call my family and announce it instead of allowing me to tell them myself.
I love my husband. We are happy together. But I have reached the point where I'm beginning to consider divorce in order to get away from his mother. He has offered to speak to her, but I feel bad because I know she'll know I asked him to say something. What should I do? -- TEARING MY HAIR OUT
DEAR TEARING: You have described a lonely, needy person with too much time on her hands. Rather than expecting you to entertain her, she needs to get a life of her own. Your husband should talk to his mother and encourage her to find other interests. If she blames you, so be it. However, he would be doing her a favor to help her investigate what activities and opportunities are available for seniors in your community in case she's so passive she doesn't know how to reach out.
DEAR ABBY: My companion and lover, "Jimmy," stole $40 from some close friends of mine. He was caught, confronted, and paid the money back. I told Jimmy if anything like that ever happened again, he was out the door.
I am willing to forget the incident and move on; however, my two friends feel differently. It has created a wedge between us. They continue to talk to me on the phone at work, but Jimmy's name is never mentioned. Yesterday, when I casually mentioned the four of us getting together, I was informed that it would never happen. I did nothing wrong, but I am feeling ostracized. Any suggestions? -- IN THE MIDDLE IN COLUMBIA, S.C.
DEAR IN THE MIDDLE: You are not being ostracized, Jimmy is –- and for good reason. He has sticky fingers. Allow me to offer two suggestions: If he'd steal from your friends, he would also steal from you, so keep your valuables under lock and key. And socialize with your friends without him.
DEAR ABBY: At my school, a period of time is dedicated to discussing world events. My teacher, "Mrs. Jones," has often shared her opinions about world events and our government with us. She has very strong opinions and usually gets upset when anyone disagrees with her. One day when she was talking, I told her I did not agree with her opinion and got detention for it. Personally, I don't think I deserved one.
I understand that I shouldn't be rude to teachers, but I believe that my comment was respectful. Was I out of line? -- UNCERTAIN IN FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J.
DEAR UNCERTAIN: If the comment was disruptive, it may have been. It would have been more diplomatic had you voiced your disagreement after the class was over.
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