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by Abigail Van Buren

Friends Throw Cancer Patient a Party to Cover Up Her Fears

DEAR ABBY: My stepson is 18 and living with my husband and me. He is a high school dropout who has been arrested for criminal mischief and theft. He is now out on bail, running up extremely high phone bills calling girls he meets on the Internet.

After several attempts to get my husband to demonstrate tough love, and being met with deaf ears, I finally took it upon myself to cut off our long-distance service to the house. I provided my husband with a 200-minute phone card so he can still call his daughter in Arizona. He is furious with me for doing this "without consulting him," and says I am a control freak. I simply wanted to send a message to his son. Was I wrong in doing this? –- HAD IT IN TEXAS

DEAR HAD IT: If you are the sole support of the household, then you were within your rights. However, if you both work and share the bills or he brings home the paycheck, you should have discussed your plan with him first.

Perhaps your husband feels guilty for the way his son has turned out, and that's the reason he has failed to take a firm stand with him. This young man is putting your marriage in danger. You and your husband would be doing yourselves a big favor to get marriage counseling –- and family counseling –- until his "boy" is either straightened out or is off to the pokey.