DEAR ABBY: I’m the mother of an 18-year-old daughter. Her dad and I are divorced and she lives with him. We were married 20 years and I know he’s a good parent, except for one thing. My daughter has told me her father and his partner sometimes engage in very loud lovemaking when she’s in her room, and it embarrasses her. She’s shy to begin with, so she hasn’t said anything to him.
I feel angry and frustrated because I don’t know if I should say something to him about it. I have suggested she put on some loud music or use headphones if she can’t bring this up with him. I think she wants me to intercede, but I don’t feel it’s my business to do so. Can these adults be that clueless? Please help. — Carol on the East Coast
DEAR CAROL: Yes, adults can be that “clueless.” Her father and his partner may not realize how much noise they make. Headphones and turning on loud music are good suggestions. But remember that clear communication is important in relationships both personal and professional.
At 18, your daughter is old enough to start speaking up for herself. Encourage her to talk about this problem privately with her father. But if she can’t, then you should handle this for her.
Let go of in-laws’ control
DEAR ABBY: My husband had an affair 18 years ago. We worked through it and are doing well in our marriage.
My question concerns my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, both of whom continue to remain in contact with the “other woman.” They still worship at the same church, bought her baby gifts, etc. I have mentioned how it hurts me that they are Facebook friends with her, but it has fallen on deaf ears. I know they have known her longer than me, but I am FAMILY.
Abby, I would like to know if I am crazy for letting this bother me. Should I let it go? I have forgiven my husband, but what they are doing makes it hard for me at times. What should I do? — My Heart Hurts
DEAR HEART HURTS: By now you should have realized that you can’t control your husband’s mother or sister. That they chose to continue to maintain their relationship with this woman in spite of the fact that she nearly wrecked your marriage is regrettable.
But all this happened 18 years ago, and your marriage survived it. If you can let this go, I think you should. A wise person once said that we can be as happy as we choose to be. Lessen your emotional dependence on your in-laws, and I predict you will be happier.
Atheist wants to remain honest
DEAR ABBY: I find it difficult to lie. This trait suits me well except in one area. When friends or family share information about being ill, experiencing a death or any sort of tragedy, almost everyone else responds with, “You’re in my prayers.”
I am an atheist and do not claim I will pray for those individuals because that would be lying. So what is the proper response when prayer is off the table? — Texas Reader
DEAR READER: A proper response would be, “I’m sorry for what you’re going through,” “I’ll send positive thoughts for So-and-So’s recovery,” or, “How sad. I’m sorry to hear it.”
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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