Mom still snoozes with pre-teen son
DEAR ABBY: My son and daughter-in-law went through a lot to have a baby, but she had a miracle child in her 40s. The boy is now 12. The problem: She's still sleeping with him regularly. She's very cuddly and "smoochy" with him, and they use baby talk with each other. My wife and I are worried about his development and future. Should we be? Is there anything we, as grandparents, can or should do? We're not comfortable bringing it up in conversation.
— DOESN'T SEEM NORMAL
DEAR DOESN'T: OK, so you're not comfortable talking to your daughter-in-law about it. But where is your son in this scenario? Have you asked him what he thinks about it? How does your grandson feel about the fact that he still sleeps with his cuddly, smoochy mother? He'll be a teenager in another year, maturing from boyhood to young manhood. While you and I might consider what's going on to be stunting your grandson's development, other than talking with your family, there is nothing you can or should do.
DEAR ABBY: I'm having a huge disagreement with a "boyfriend." He says women and men cannot be friends, ever, and that one or the other wants more than friendship. I believe people of the opposite sex can be friends and that there's nothing wrong with it. I have some male friends, and on the rare occasion I see them, my boyfriend berates me and calls me names. It goes on for days. And no matter what I wear, I am yelled at for that as well. He is convinced they want me for sex even if I'm out with a group, never alone. Please help settle this.
— FRIENDLY IN NEW YORK
DEAR FRIENDLY: Gladly. The sooner you ditch this insecure "BOYfriend," the better off you will be. His insecurity and verbal abuse are an indication of what your future will be if you let the relationship develop further. When someone berates you and calls you names "for days," it's an attempt to wear you down and control you. (Does he also try to deprive you of sleep?) The more friends one has, the better, and if some of them are of the opposite sex, it's fine. Please do not knuckle under. Lose this loser.
DEAR ABBY: I have three daughters who live with me. My ex-wife told them what I used to do for work after I got out of the service, before they were born. I was a mercenary. I was hired by a reputable security firm, and I never did anything illegal or morally wrong, but my daughters look at me differently now. How do I set this right?
— FULL-TIME DAD IN OREGON
DEAR DAD: I wish you had mentioned how old your daughters are, and described how they are treating you "differently." You need to have an honest talk with them — in an age-appropriate way — about your former career and be prepared to answer any questions they may have. In a case like this, being open and forthright is the solution.