DEAR ABBY: My father and his wife are retired and live across the country from us. Dad is hard of hearing and doesn't like to use the phone, even with hearing aids. He also won't text, so we mostly communicate by email.
The challenge is that he and his wife share an email account. She reads every message I send to Dad and often replies without telling him, so I'm never sure if he receives them or not. Also, if we're discussing something sensitive -- like finances or issues with my siblings -- she'll weigh in when it's not really her business. In one case, she posted parts of our discussion on her social media!
I have talked to Dad about this. He says married couples don't have secrets. I suspect he may not want his wife to be able to communicate privately with other people (she's much younger than he is) and prefers the shared email for this reason. Is it unreasonable for me to want a direct line of communication with my father, or must I save up private conversations for the one time a year we are able to visit in person? -- DISTRESSED DAUGHTER IN IDAHO
DEAR DAUGHTER: I'm sorry I can't wave a magic wand and change your father. What's going on should not be blamed on his wife. Because he has made plain to you that he sees no reason for privacy and wants her to be privy to your conversations, saving up those private chats until they are "in person" is exactly what you are going to have to do.Read more in: Family & Parenting | Marriage & Divorce