DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Gil," and I are in our mid-20s and have a small son. We work hard for everything we have and enjoy a wonderful life.
My problem is my mother-in-law, "Blanche." Gil learned of her drug habit at an early age, and he never had a "normal" childhood. Now that he's an adult, nothing has changed. In the past three years, Blanche has overdosed twice that we know of and can't hold a job because she has stolen from every place she has worked.
Last Christmas while she was visiting us, she had the nerve to steal 14 prescription pain killers from our medicine cabinet. Blanche also owes us about $2,000. The last time she was here, she wrote Gil a check so she'd have money for the flight home -- then stopped payment on it, causing our account to be overdrawn.
When our son was 14 months old, he found a loaded gun under his grandmother's couch! Thankfully, I was there. Needless to say, our child is not allowed to visit her without me, and Gil is in full agreement. However, I would like Gil to sever all ties with his mother before she hurts our family again.
Gil is a loving man with a big heart. Despite all the pain his mother has caused him, he still loves her. Blanche feeds off that and always worms her way back into his life. Abby, is it wrong of me to want my husband to permanently cut his mother out of his life? -- ANONYMOUS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW, NORFOLK, VA.
DEAR ANONYMOUS D-I-L: I don't blame you for feeling as you do, but you cannot prevent your husband from having a relationship with his mother. Next time Blanche visits, make sure she has a round-trip ticket, lock up any prescription drugs and continue to closely monitor her with your child at ALL times. Then pray she is agreeable to counseling and will turn over a new leaf before she's jailed for theft. She is obviously ill and cannot be trusted to act responsibly.