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Son Sides With Belligerent New Wife in Family Blowups

DEAR ABBY: My divorced son remarried a short time ago. His new wife seems to have no boundaries and no filters. If anything comes up that displeases her, she becomes verbally aggressive and in your face. (She has been fired numerous times because of it.) I have been on the receiving end several times, publicly. My son looks the other way, and if pressed, he supports her.

How can I maintain a relationship with my son, whom I love, and not expose myself to this woman's abuse? (He no longer receives invitations to the family dinners his sister hosts, and my son's adult children actively avoid her.) -- BATTERED MOTHER-IN-LAW

DEAR BATTERED: You do not have to tolerate being verbally abused. Because your son's wife "has no filters," try to see him separately -- perhaps for lunch dates -- if possible. If he is so much under her control that he refuses, you may have to accept that she has managed to isolate him from family.

Tell him you love him, and your heart and your home are always open to him. Then point out that you are not the only family member who feels this way, but for the sake of your mental health, you can no longer tolerate her abuse.

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