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.Read more in: Family & Parenting
DEAR ABBY: Is there an existing or evolving tradition regarding what surname to give to the children of parents who already have hyphenated last names? For example, when "James Moreland-Ashford" marries "Sarah Rosen-Hubbard," what surname should their children use?
Surely no parent wants to saddle their child with four hyphenated last names, but choosing only one, or one from each parent might end up offending one or more grandparents and other relatives.
I heard about one family who dropped all their existing surnames and chose a brand-new one for both the parents and their children. It did not go over well with relatives in either family. It also proved challenging with respect to the parents' professional lives since they had to reintroduce themselves to all their colleagues and clients.
Have you any advice for us and our hyphenated-surname children? -- OVERLOADED IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR OVERLOADED: I saw this situation coming decades ago. My advice is just this: Keep it simple, and do not allow anyone else's ego to influence your decision. Your children will thank you for it.Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Family & Parenting
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