DEAR ABBY: I have been married to a very nice gentleman named "Brad" for three years. This is a second marriage for both of us. He is kind and thoughtful and enjoys playing with my grandchildren, who love him very much. However, he has one quirk: He will not allow the children to call him "Grandpa."
He has instructed them to call him "Brad." He says the reason is that the grandchildren are not his grandchildren -- they are mine. He says when his children have children, they will be his grandchildren.
Abby, this hurts me very much. I never knew my grandparents. As a child, I envied my friends who had grandparents to visit. I was so happy when I married someone who would be a good grandfather. I am shocked at his attitude. I don't want us to be a family of "his" and "hers." I want it to be ours. When he has grandchildren, I'd be delighted to have them call me "Grandma," "Nana" or whatever.
Why does he feel this way? I'm hurt when I hear my adorable grandson call him "Brad." In the case of my other grandchildren, he is the only grandfather they will ever have, so they'll never have anyone to call Grandpa.
Is there anything I can do? I never say anything about it, but I so wish my grandchildren could have the grandfather I never had. -- DESPERATELY SEEKING GRANDPA
DEAR DESPERATELY SEEKING GRANDPA: Your husband probably thinks that being called "Grandpa" is an old man's label -- which he is not ready to accept.
Although you may not be pleased that he prefers that the grandchildren call him "Brad," it is his preference. Accept it and don't give him a hard time. Brad's relationship with the children is what counts, not the title.