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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Wonders Why Daughter Keeps Her at Arm's Length

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I retired five years ago and moved to a small town where my two daughters and two grown grandchildren live. We moved here from another state to be near them and other relatives who live closer, but not in this city.

I am sad and hurt by the way one of my daughters treats me. She almost never invites us to her home -- maybe twice a year, when other relatives are in town visiting -- and I think she includes us only because she feels obligated. She has told me her husband "hates" me. I was shocked because I have seldom been around him and always went out of my way to be friendly to him.

When I asked her why he hates me, her answer was that he doesn't like anyone! He's very controlling. He doesn't allow her to get phone calls at certain times and insists she stay home if he is home, etc.

His best friend is allowed to come to their home anytime and make himself comfortable. His relatives are welcome to stay at their house when in town, sometimes for several days. When I invite relatives over, my daughter comes for a short time, then says she needs to get back home. Her husband never accompanies her, even though he is invited.

I make it a point not to call their home phone. I text her when needed, but she has to turn her phone off when he doesn't want to be bothered. I wanted to be in my daughter's life, but I am not welcome. Why? -- SAD SOUTHERN LADY

DEAR LADY: When you decided to make the move to be closer to your daughter, did she share your excitement? If not, it may be the reason -- or part of the reason -- for her husband's reaction to you. If that isn't the reason, then this is happening because your daughter married a man with serious control issues and, for whatever reason, she is willing to allow it. It may have nothing to do with you.

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