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by Abigail Van Buren

Dad Isn't Subtle About Disdain for Son

DEAR ABBY: "Don" and I have been married for 44 years, and our marriage has had its ups and downs. We are now both retired. The problem is that Don does not get along with our 43-year-old son, "Chris." (He gets along fine with our two daughters.)

Don and Chris have very different personalities and little in common. Chris lives abroad but visits frequently and stays with us. During his most recent visit, his father was distant and rude to him. It has happened before and is hurtful to Chris and to me.

I have tried speaking with my husband about it, but he never has a good reason for his behavior. When my mother heard what happened, she got angry and said if I don't divorce Don, she doesn't want to see either of us again. Please help me. I don't know what to do. -- HURT BADLY IN OREGON

DEAR HURT BADLY: After 40 years of marriage, you should have learned by now not to confide your problems in your mother. That your husband seems incapable of tolerating his son because of "personality differences" is regrettable, but hardly a cause for divorce at this point.

If Chris stayed in a hotel during his visits rather than your home, it would provide less opportunity for confrontation, and you both might enjoy the visits more. I hope you will consider it.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Family & Parenting