Dear Abby: My 40-year-old daughter has never worked. She never married but has a 5-year-old son and is expecting a girl in six months. My husband bought a house for her to live in, but she didn’t like it. When he passed away, I bought her a different house and sold the first one.
I footed all the bills on both houses. I used my savings to pay cash for the second home. Since she didn’t like that one either, we put it on the market, and it quickly sold. I put both our names on that house, thinking that way she wouldn’t be able to take out a loan against it without my knowledge. My daughter wants me to split the proceeds, although she never paid a dime for it. She refuses to sign the closing documents unless I agree.
She has 60 days to move, but I don’t want her to move in with me. If I don’t agree, I’ll never see my grandkids again. She’s been in rehab for drugs and alcohol several times. She’s clean now because she’s pregnant. Should I let her move in? She’ll have half the money from the house, so she could live on it for a couple of years and then would probably be on the street.
Mom of a Woman-child
Dear Mom: It’s time to allow her to do something she should have done 20 years ago: assume responsibility for the life choices she has made. That she would blackmail you after everything you and her father have done for her is despicable. You WILL see your grandkids again. If she can’t provide for them, child protective services will be contacting you. For your own sake and for theirs, be strong. Allow her to suffer the consequences of her actions and do not cave in to her demands.
Dear Abby: I was in a car accident in which I broke multiple bones in my foot. After surgery, I’m in the process of healing and use crutches to walk. My husband and I are retired. He is my caregiver and has taken on all the household chores I have always done. I thank him often and appreciate his help.
However, since I’ve become dependent on him like this, he has started criticizing me about my weight, my wardrobe and lack of exercise. He buys our favorite foods, stores them where I can’t reach them and eats them in front of me.
He says he’s no longer attracted to me because of my size and rarely kisses me anymore. We had a healthy, frequent sex life before the accident. I’m hurt by his behavior and can’t understand why he is treating me like this or what to do about it.
Sidelined in Indiana
Dear Sidelined: Your husband is acting like this because he is angry. He may blame you for the accident and resent being recast from the role of husband and lover to that of caregiver. Punishing you by withholding affection, criticizing you for being unable to exercise (on crutches, yet!) and consuming your favorite foods in front of you while he’s depriving you of them is abusive.
Tell your doctor what is going on and inquire about respite care for your husband, so he is shouldering less of the burden. Remind him that you won’t always be as dependent as you have been, and you will work on any other issues when you are sufficiently healed. And consider marriage counseling if things don’t improve.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.