DEAR ABBY: Ten years ago, my friend "Maureen" suffered a breakup that emotionally and financially devastated her and moved in with her son and his young family. Since then, she has recovered in both areas.
Maureen inserts herself into every aspect of their lives -- vacations, entertaining, etc. When they go out to eat, she always joins them. Her daughter-in-law, "Eve," has routinely given her hints that it's time to move on. Maureen then goes to her son and tells him what Eve said, and it causes problems in their marriage. After dinner each night, Eve goes into her room, closes the door and stays there.
Maureen is capable of living on her own, but she said she might get lonely and that's why she won't leave. The grandkids are pretty much grown now, and there's no need for Maureen to stay. Her friends have been encouraging her to make a life of her own. Eve and her husband plan to move out of state in 10 years, and Maureen plans on moving with them. I think she is putting her son's marriage at risk for her own selfish reason. Maureen isn't old and infirm. She could possibly meet a nice gentleman if she moved out. All her friends have suggested this. What are your thoughts? -- BYSTANDER IN FLORIDA
DEAR BYSTANDER: If Maureen were unwell or destitute, the situation would be different. She is neither. My thoughts are that until Eve is angry enough to assert herself and tell her husband the current living conditions are intolerable, nothing will change.