DEAR ABBY: I have overbearing in-laws who refuse to let their children, all of whom are in their 40s, live their own lives. We are constantly forced to spend time with them by means of manipulation. We have all been under their thumbs for so long that when the opportunity presented itself for our family to start a new life in a different state, we jumped at the chance.
We're now in the process of moving and becoming our own family. We are thrilled with the thought of seeing everyone on our terms, not having to worry about splitting holidays, feeling obligated on Mother's Day, Father's Day, birthdays, etc. -- just finally breaking away and gaining our independence.
Here's the kicker: His parents have just told us they are going to purchase a "vacation" home in the state where we are moving! My husband doesn't have the heart to tell them it's not a good idea, so now I'm having second thoughts about going.
I am beside myself. Will it never end? I understand parents loving their children, but isn't there a time when you just let them grow up and have their own lives? I desperately need advice! -- READY TO EXPLODE IN THE ROCKIES
DEAR READY: Yes, it appears you do. Now that you realize that putting geographic distance between you and your in-laws isn't going to solve your problem, you and their son are going to have to learn how to tactfully draw the line and just say no.
I don't know how long you have been married, but the two of you should have set boundaries and declared some independence years ago. Running away from this problem was never the answer. I'm sure your in-laws love you, but developing your own family traditions is neither disrespectful of their feelings nor a personal rejection -- it's healthy. And that's what I recommend you do.