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by Abigail Van Buren

Wife Begs for a Break in Texting Between Man and Mom

DEAR ABBY: My husband is an only child. When his parents retired, his mother, who was always social, stayed home with his dad because he wanted her home with him. Because of this, she spent a great deal of time texting my husband.

My father-in-law passed away recently, and the texting has increased. It goes on all day, every day, even after we go to bed. I want to be sensitive to the fact that everyone is getting used to the new normal without my father-in-law, but the constant phone buzzing and interruptions are getting old.

My husband is defensive about the texting. We have a happy marriage, and I want to keep it that way. How should I handle this? -- OVERLOADED IN OKLAHOMA

DEAR OVERLOADED: Your husband, rather than you, should handle his mother. Because your father-in-law's death is recent, she may need time to adjust to being alone. If her constant, intrusive texting persists beyond a reasonable amount of time, he should suggest that she cut back. He should also encourage her to re-establish the friendships and activities she gave up for her husband and, if necessary, consider joining a grief support group. Her doctor or religious adviser can suggest one that would be appropriate for her.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Death | Family & Parenting