DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have a good life and are financially secure. Our kids are grown and we now have grandchildren. The problem is my father.
Every time I'm around him, he always comments on my shortcomings and faults. I have never measured up to my father's standards, and I finally realize I never will. I have lost all respect for him and do not want to be around him at all.
My mother is nothing like him, and I still enjoy her company. I don't understand why he treats me this way. Most fathers would be proud to have a son like me. Any suggestions, Abby? -- LOSING SANITY IN KENTUCKY
DEAR LOSING SANITY: Your father may act the way he does out of a need to control you. By withholding approval, he makes you constantly try to win it. Or, he may be hypercritical out of some deep-seated insecurity of his own because it makes him feel superior.
Believe it or not, your father's behavior probably has less to do with you than with him. For further insight into your toxic parent, please talk to a psychologist. It will be money and time well-spent.
DEAR ABBY: A younger brother died of cancer four years ago. Recently his wife, "Kaye," has been coming to stay with my husband and me for a week or two at a time. The reason for the frequent visits is she has a boyfriend here in Arizona. (She lives in California.)
Kaye tells me she "misses me" and uses that as an excuse for her visits, but I know she's doing it for the free lodging. I don't want to hurt her feelings, but she isn't getting the hint.
My husband is retired and doesn't want Kaye in our home this often. She has visited for three weeks over the past two months and wants to come back again. I think her boyfriend should pay for her lodging. Then she can come, see us, and spend as much time as she wants with him.
How can I help Kaye see the big picture? -- SORE SISTER-IN-LAW IN PHOENIX
DEAR "SIS": Your hints haven't been strong enough. Tell Kaye that the time she wants to come "isn't convenient" and suggest she make arrangements for other accommodations such as hotel or motel.
If she says she can't afford it, suggest that her boyfriend "chip in" -- or better yet, visit her in California.
DEAR ABBY: A friend, "Dave," is coming here for a visit. He wears false teeth. My husband refuses to have meals with him because Dave removes his teeth when he eats. My husband says it's repulsive and ruins his dinner. Now he wants me to tell Dave to keep his teeth in or he won't be joining us. I'm afraid it will make things awkward and cause hard feelings. What to do? -- IN THE MIDDLE IN THE COACHELLA VALLEY
DEAR IN THE MIDDLE: One would think that denture wearers would need their dental appliances in in order to eat. The fact Dave removes his may indicate that his don't fit properly. Call your friend and suggest he see his dentist before he makes the trip. That way, Dave may be able to eat comfortably with his teeth in, and your husband won't be so grossed out he has to eat elsewhere.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)