DEAR ABBY: My in-laws are making my life miserable. They still believe that the man is the head of the household and that women should be subservient at all times.
My husband and I are both college graduates with successful careers, but they continue to treat us like children. They order us to do something, then pout when we don't obey. They stopped speaking to us for weeks when we decided to buy a modest home against their wishes (even though we could easily afford it). They are convinced that we are unable to manage our own finances and household (especially me). I've actually been ordered to quit my job and stay home to take care of my husband (we don't have any kids yet). Luckily, my husband agrees that this is my decision to make, not theirs.
We have tried discussing this rationally as adults, but they start yelling or lecturing. They have now decided they want us to give them control of our finances if anything should happen to my husband because they believe a man should be in control. They also want full custody of any children we might have. Up until now, I've bitten my tongue, but I'm ready to explode. I don't want to alienate my in-laws by getting into a screaming match, but I've reached the end of my rope. How should I handle this? -- STEAMING IN DALLAS
DEAR STEAMING: Your in-laws' values are firmly rooted in another century. Don't allow them to intimidate you or draw you into an argument.
Assuming that you and your husband have already prepared a legal document that would protect each other and any children in case of a tragedy, you are under no obligation to discuss it or disclose its contents to anyone.