DEAR ABBY: I have been dating a wonderful man for two years. He has two grown children, 27 and 21. Both have good jobs and work full time. I have a son who is 12. The issue is family vacations, and paying for things while on vacation.
I feel that since his children are adults, they should help pay for meals, lodging and activities. I'm not saying pay for the entire bill, but throw in $20 for a meal or even offer to pay for something. Don't just expect him or me to pay because it's a family vacation. My 12-year-old paid for his meals on his own because he thinks it's cool -- it made him feel responsible and like an adult. We took a vacation with his 21-year-old, and not once did she offer to pay, or even say thank you.
We get into arguments about this before vacations. I know they're not my kids, but what he's teaching them is that Dad will always pay for everything, even when they have families of their own. Please advise. -- MIFFED IN MINNESOTA
DEAR MIFFED: Your gentleman friend's "children" behave this way because they have been taught to by their father, who appears to enjoy being the beneficent provider. If you're smart, you will quit starting arguments about this because the dynamic isn't going to change, and he will grow to resent you for it. If you persist, you may wind up ruining your relationship with a "wonderful" man.