DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for 16 years and have two teenagers. "Mom" died two years ago, and my husband is an only child. How can we tell my widowed father-in-law that we need a weekend to ourselves?
"Pop," who's 87, lives an hour away and drives to see us every weekend, staying until Monday afternoon. We don't doubt that he's lonely, although he does play bridge twice a week and has dinner with friends occasionally. We love him dearly and would never want to hurt his feelings, but we long for a weekend for "just us."
How do we ask Pop not to visit? We believe he's still in mourning over the loss of his wife of 60 years. We don't want to add to his heartache. -- TORN IN TEXAS
DEAR TORN: You do need to talk to your father-in-law and set some boundaries. Accomplish it by setting a predetermined visitation schedule that allows you time alone with your husband and nuclear family without him being present. A way to get that message across would be to say: "Pop, we love you, but we need some time to ourselves, so let's schedule your visits for twice a month. You pick the weekends."