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Dear Abby: Couple clashes over time spent with sons
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Dear Abby

Dear Abby: Couple clashes over time spent with sons

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been married five years and are raising four children. One is from my previous relationship, one is from her previous relationship and two are ours. We both have joint custody. My son goes to school near his mom. My wife's son goes to school where we live. They are 9 and 8.

There's a lot of tension between us because my stepson's father isn't the greatest parent. He never comes to school events or sporting events, so he misses half of everything. I regularly attend my son's events, which are a couple of hours away and take time away from my stepson. I put my 9-year-old first because he's my firstborn, and I have him less. My wife disagrees with this, and we fight about it constantly. I believe I am doing the right thing. Advice, please. -- WONDERING IN WISCONSIN

DEAR WONDERING: I'm sorry your wife's son's father hasn't stepped up to the plate. But please do not allow your wife to interfere with your relationship with your son. You ARE doing the right thing by showing an interest in what he's doing and supporting him emotionally.

DEAR ABBY: I have been married nine years. My husband doesn't allow me to leave the house without him. He makes sure I don't have a car or access to the one we have. He tells me he doesn't mean anything by it, but if I try to take a walk alone, he is right on my heels.

If I go anywhere with my sister or a friend, I must wait until he is gone. If he gets home before I do, he's sitting on the porch waiting for me. He is not physically abusive, but I feel like a prisoner. I have told him several times how it makes me feel, but he doesn't seem to get it. I really need some advice. -- TRAPPED IN GEORGIA

DEAR TRAPPED: Your husband doesn't get it because he doesn't WANT to. What he is doing is NOT a demonstration of love or concern for your safety. It's an example of his own insecurity and need to control you. This is a big red flag, and my advice is to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline and discuss this with someone there because what's happening could escalate into abuse. The toll-free phone number is: (800) 799-7233.

DEAR ABBY: I love my grown children and grandchildren, but I hate it when they come "home" for a week or more. My house gets turned upside down and inside out, and I end up losing my temper. Then I feel like an awful mother. I suggested we all meet somewhere else, but it didn't go over well. Help! -- INVADED IN NORTH DAKOTA

DEAR INVADED: Your suggestion may not have gone over well with your children and grandchildren, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't "suggest" it again. And when you do, make sure they understand you are saying it because when they visit they leave your home in disarray, which creates more work for you than you are comfortable doing. Unless they are willing to make sure your home is as neat when they leave as when they arrived, enough is enough.

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DEAR ABBY: My daughter received her tax refund recently. It amounted to $8,700. Approximately $5,000 is for overpaying on taxes. Approximately $3,000 is the child tax credit she receives for her two children. Her boyfriend, the father of the two boys, thinks he's entitled to some of her money.

DEAR ABBY: I just got engaged, and I couldn't be happier. But my fiance is referred to by the entire town as the "bad guy" because of his past. He's changed a lot, and I really want this to work out, but people come to me and say he's not marriage material, and they try to make us break up (one of his exes in particular).

DEAR ABBY: I just found out my husband has been looking at escorts in the local area. I know he has watched porn, but that never bothered me. When I confronted him about seeing his search for escorts, he said he just clicked on a link that popped up on a porn site. (I have seen them, so I know it can happen.)

DEAR ABBY: My sister is a pathological liar who causes rifts between family members. She tries to turn us against each other. We must constantly check with each other to find out if what she has said about each of us is true. We can't understand why she's this way. None of the rest of us is. When I have asked her, "Why are you lying about me, us, etc.?" she tells me, "I did not lie." I think she believes her lies.

DEAR ABBY: While shopping with a friend recently, I was put in an awkward situation in regard to a store discount. Having served in the military, I qualify for a discount at that particular store. She was aware of that discount, and while she was at the checkout lane, she yelled at me, "Hey, you! What's your phone number for your military discount?"

DEAR ABBY: I am a 48-year-old woman, divorced for 10 years. During that time, I have been in two serious relationships. I'm no prude, but it seems like everyone I date, and who my friends and I talk to, and articles I see are all about sex, having sex, rushing to sex. It's like there's no emphasis on actually getting to know a person anymore.

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