DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I live in a rental property that my father owns. In the beginning, everybody got along. We pay our rent on time and haven't had any real issues with the place. Suddenly, my husband started showing signs of resentment and disrespect toward my father. I am confused because my dad has provided a roof over my family's head. I think my husband is upset because he took a handout from my father. How can I reinforce my husband's confidence to tell him that he is still the man for me, and not my dad? -- Daddy's Baby, Husband's Maybe, West Orange, New Jersey
DEAR DADDY'S BABY, HUSBAND'S MAYBE: Talk to your husband about the blessing of family and how fortunate you are right now to be able to live in this property. Remind him that you are paying rent, so it isn't actually a handout. It is a business transaction. Even if your father gave you a discount, it is still business and should be treated as such.
Remind your husband how much you love and respect him and that nothing changes that, including living in your father's house. Tell him you are concerned about the friction between him and your father. Ask him what you can do to support him. If your husband cannot articulate his concerns and does not calm down, you may want to begin looking for another place to live that is on neutral ground. It is more important for you and your husband to cultivate a positive relationship with your family members in the long term than it is to live under your daddy's roof.