DEAR ABBY: For more than 20 years, my mother-in-law has shown blatant favoritism toward my husband's younger brother. Several people, including her own mother and my father-in-law, have tried to discuss it with her, but she refuses. My husband has accepted that there is nothing he can do to change her behavior.
Abby, she has recently, on the rare occasions we see her (once every three to four years), started making snide comments, implying she's "concerned," regarding the intellect of our children, one of whom is in an AP program.
While my husband accepts her lack of love for him and would never cease contact with her, I find her difficult to be around because she is just plain cruel. I would like to discourage her from visiting us in the future. Am I wrong to feel as I do? -- PROUD WIFE AND MOM
DEAR PROUD: No. By all means keep your mother-in-law away from the grandchildren, because even though she sees them rarely, she'll likely find some way to make them feel "less than." If you thought someone was tainting their food, you wouldn't stand by and watch. Well, the same is true if someone is attempting to lower their self-esteem with snide comments.