DEAR ABBY: I was married nine months ago to a man I love dearly. It has been an adjustment for all of us, and at times it has been stressful. We have been working on some issues, but for the most part we're doing well. I have a 12-year-old daughter I'll call "Ginger."
The problem is my new father-in-law, "Grant." He lives alone a few states away from us. We see him only a few times a year. I barely know him. Grant has been asking to take Ginger alone for a weekend at his secluded home. I have a real problem with that. Grant also asked to take Ginger to visit his mother -- an even farther distance. He planned on having my daughter alone with him in a hotel for a week. I said no.
Abby, Grant plans these outings in his head and then gets upset when I say no. I'm not comfortable allowing my innocent child to spend time alone with a man in his 60s whom I don't know very well.
I have invited Grant to our home so he can get to know us both, and he always has an excuse not to come. This is causing a rift between my husband and me. Grant has made my husband feel guilty, and it has caused arguments between the two of us. I want to please my husband, but I don't want to place Ginger in a situation that I am not comfortable with. What should I do? -- WORRIED MOTHER IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR WORRIED MOTHER: Stick to your guns and insist that your father-in-law "get to know" your daughter only in situations that you can supervise. There is a reason why your alarm bells are ringing, and frankly, after reading your letter, they went off in my head, too. Listen to your motherly instinct and do not allow yourself to be manipulated into doing otherwise.