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by Abigail Van Buren

Couple Quarrels Over Money Spent on Their Granddaughter

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are retired and financially comfortable. I have my spending money, and he has his. The problem is, he doesn't want me to spend any money on my granddaughter.

I pick her up from school every day, give her an afternoon snack, and on Friday, we stop and get something special. My husband thinks my daughter should pay for my gas and provide snacks for her child. I disagree. I love doing things for my granddaughter and buying things for her every once in a while. When I do, he goes nuts, packs up his clothes and goes to his camp. After a few days he will call.

I have lived with this behavior all our married life (55 years). He has fussed so many times and made me so depressed, I just want to die. He says he loves me, but I wonder. If he loved me, he would want me to be happy -- doing things with my granddaughter and getting her pretty things every now and then because it makes me happy.

I don't go out and get my hair or nails done. I don't drink or smoke, and we don't go out to eat at expensive restaurants. His complaining is driving me crazy, and I can't live like this anymore. She's 10 and growing up so fast. All I want is to enjoy her the little while I have left. Advice? -- BLOCKED GRANDMA IN LOUISIANA

DEAR GRANDMA: After 55 years of tolerating your husband's tantrums and controlling behavior, I seriously doubt you are going to get him to change. You can, however, change the way you react to it. If you have money of your own, he does not have the right to tell you how to spend it. Let him go camping, and while he's gone, enjoy your time with your granddaughter. If he "goes nuts" -- which I assume means becomes verbally abusive -- leave the room.

Ask yourself whether you are better off with this man or without him. And if you truly cannot live like this anymore, talk to an attorney and explore your options.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Money | Abuse