DEAR ABBY: A year ago my son, "Jeff," married "Sue," a woman with three young children. They were living in a small apartment in an undesirable neighborhood, so I agreed to co-sign on a loan so they could buy a house in which to rear the children. The one they chose is 70 miles from me.
Abby, I have gone to see them only four times in the last 12 months. I make it a point to let them know the day before I am coming. The last time I went, Jeff refused to let me in. I heard Sue in the background yelling for him to tell me they had to go somewhere. Once he made the excuse that the house was untidy. Abby, I wasn't there to inspect the house. I just wanted to see them.
Sue doesn't appear to want any of our family to visit. Two of his uncles traveled 900 miles to see us and other relatives, but when they went to see Jeff, Sue took off with the kids. His uncles didn't even have the chance to meet her or the children.
They have visited me several times this year, without letting me know in advance that they were coming. That's OK with me; they're welcome any time.
I always treat Sue with respect and prepare dinner for them, although Sue never prepares anything for me when I'm there -- not even a cup of coffee.
Abby, Jeff is my only child, and we've always been close. Should I not go to visit my son because Sue is inconvenienced by my visits? Please advise me. -- UNWELCOME MOM IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR UNWELCOME MOM: It's time for you to have a private chat with your son, and when you do, ask him to please lay his cards on the table.
In the future, when you're planning to visit, make the arrangements with your daughter-in-law. That way, there should be no last-minute surprises.