DEAR ABBY: My husband, who is 81 and in excellent health, has just suggested that when we feel we can no longer live independent lives (I am 72), we should move closer to his daughter in another state so she and her husband can help us.
Abby, I don't like her husband, and I don't want to be reliant on him, beholden to him or even socialize with him. In the 15 years I have known him, we have never had a conversation. In the beginning, I tried, but he cannot relate to older women. Apparently, he didn't have a good relationship with his mother. His only topics of conversation are his dogs, guns or sports. I have no interest in any of those things.
It breaks my heart that my husband and I may not be spending the last years of our lives together. I'm sure my husband would tell me to "get over" my dislike of his daughter's husband. Do I have to agree to be around someone I have nothing in common with? I don't like the part of the country they live in either. -- NERVOUS IN NEW MEXICO
DEAR NERVOUS: My late mother once told me that parents who count on their adult children "taking care of them" in their old age are often in for a rude awakening. You and your husband are supposed to be equal partners in this marriage. If you dislike not only the man his daughter is married to but also the area of the country in which they live, no law says you are obligated to relocate. I recommend you have that difficult discussion with your spouse soon, preferably in the office of a licensed marriage and family therapist.