DEAR ABBY: My narcissistic father feels entitled to do whatever he pleases. He has always insisted that since he makes the money, far more than my mother's income, he should be waited on and cleaned up after. If he stays in my home, he leaves messes everywhere. He's 70, but he acts like a 4-year-old.
He loves attention and will do anything to be the center of it, whether it's wearing a kilt or showing off his intellectual prowess. I have no relationship with him, and I'm OK with that. Mom complains constantly about him, and then defends him. It's emotionally exhausting.
My husband, our kids and I are appalled at his lack of self-awareness, empathy or caring. He makes going on vacation a nightmare. He feels that if he does all the driving, then he's done his part and refuses to help with anything else. He is difficult and manipulative.
He's getting worse as he gets older, and I no longer want to subject my family to this. My mother doesn't seem to understand this. How do I deal with a narcissistic father and a mother who refuses to acknowledge it and constantly makes excuses for him? -- EXASPERATED IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR EXASPERATED: One way to deal with it would be to stop taking vacations with them, since the vacations seem to be anything but pleasant for you and your family. Try to avoid him as often as you can. When your mother complains about "Dad," point out that this is the prize she married and you are tired of hearing her complain since she won't assert herself. Then change the subject when she brings it up.