DEAR ABBY: My 47-year-old daughter is an alcoholic. A year ago, she took several benzodiazepine pills along with the booze and overdosed. My son-in-law found her in time and called 911. She spent five days in a psych hospital to detox, but never went to any follow-up rehab. I had been led to believe she was sober, but recently found out it was not true, and my son-in-law for some reason decided not to tell me.
The other issue is, since she OD'd, he keeps track of all her online spending and personal emails (he has all her passwords) because he claims it's the only way he can keep tabs on her to find out how much she's drinking and where she goes to do it. She doesn't know he's doing this, and I'm afraid if she finds out she will go ballistic. I don't know whether or not to tell her, because I don't want to do anything to make things even worse between them. Advice? -- FEARFUL IN FLORIDA
DEAR FEARFUL: I see nothing to be gained by telling your daughter her husband is watching her closely. She is a woman with very serious problems, and it's a shame she didn't follow through with more rehab after what may have been a suicide attempt.
Your son-in-law cares about his wife. When he realized she had overdosed, he called to get help for her. That he's monitoring her closely is not a bad thing; it means he loves her and wants to avoid a repeat of what happened. Ask him what you can do to support your daughter, if anything, and take your cue from there.Read more in: Addiction | Family & Parenting
DEAR ABBY: Ever since I got married a year ago, my family has been trying to "fix" me. My sister texts me asking if I'm OK and how she can love on me better because she thinks I have no life and don't socialize. My mom makes comments whenever I'm over about how I'm introverted, etc.
Abby, I just had a baby, and I work full time. I don't have time to go over to see them often, so they think I stay home all day long and do nothing. But it's so far from true. I have tried talking to them about it and saying I have friends, etc. But nothing works. What do I do? -- FINE AS I AM
DEAR FINE: Because talking to your mother and your sister hasn't helped, remember that they mean well and are trying to be helpful. Then tune them out.Read more in: Family & Parenting
DEAR ABBY: My daughter's boyfriend recently came to us asking for our daughter's hand in marriage. We like him very much, and we were happy to give our blessings. What threw me was, after he got our permission, he asked if we had any family heirlooms (diamonds) he could use to have made into an engagement ring.
Call me old-fashioned, but I thought the groom-to-be usually got something like that handed down from his family, not the bride's. Please tell me if I'm wrong about this. -- OLD-FASHIONED MOM
DEAR OLD-FASHIONED: You are not wrong. The groom (not the parents of the bride-to-be) is supposed to be responsible for the engagement ring. Because you like the young man, you should have conveyed that message as gently as possible.Read more in: Holidays & Celebrations | Etiquette & Ethics
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)