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by Abigail Van Buren

Resentment Is the Thanks Mom Gets for Helping Son's Family

DEAR ABBY: My son, "Rick," and daughter-in-law, "Amy," seem to really dislike me. I try to be kind and not pry, but they live with me and it can make for a full house. They have had job difficulties and work injuries that brought them back to my home. Her parents don't care for my son, so living there was not an option.

Amy does not help at all with the housework. Rick does most of it. They also have a wonderful 21-month-old boy. A second baby is on the way. They have lived with me for four years now.

Abby, Amy shows no respect for my home or for me. I mostly keep quiet so as to not push away my only son. I want to be part of my grandson's life. Please advise me on handling this matter. -- UNDERVALUED OUT WEST

DEAR UNDERVALUED: By allowing your son and daughter-in-law to live with you for such an extended period of time, you have fostered their dependence on you. That may be why your daughter-in-law is resentful rather than grateful for your generosity in giving them a roof over their heads.

That they would conceive a second child under these circumstances -- without jobs and no place of their own -- tells me they are immature and irresponsible. Give them a date to be out -- say one month -- and stick to it. If they want to know why, tell them the truth. You should not have to live in a house with a daughter-in-law who treats you like the enemy because it is not healthy for any of you.

If you are afraid the only way to have a relationship with your grandchildren is to tolerate being used, I think you are mistaken. As long as you can provide material assistance to these two, they'll keep you around.

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