DEAR ABBY: I’m in my 40s, happily married to my wife, and we have teenage daughters. My parents divorced when I was young and both have been remarried for years.
Over the past 10 years, Dad and his wife have developed a very close “friendship” with a woman I’ll call “Bonnie.” They bought homes next door to each other, travel together and expect Bonnie to be included in all holiday events. Bonnie has never been married and has no kids, so my parents reason that she would be alone if she’s not with them.
I am not fond of this woman, and I don’t like having to include her. My parents never ask if it’s OK if she comes; they just started bringing her years ago and assume she’s welcome. When I have brought up the subject, they got angry.
Our daughters ask how we’re related to Bonnie. When I say she is Grandma and Grandpa’s friend, they roll their eyes because it falls short of describing what is probably a three-way. I’m tired of the situation. What can I do? — Fed Up in Phoenix
DEAR FED UP: Let your daughters, who are probably more worldly than either you or I, come to their own conclusions about Grandma and Grandpa. Whether they have formed a triad is anybody’s guess, but one thing is clear: They are a package deal. You might be happier if you concentrated less on what may (or may not) be going on between their sheets. The alternative would be to see your father, stepmother and this woman less often.
DEAR ABBY: My husband keeps all our financial information, be it bank accounts, statements, savings, investments, etc., away from me. He has been unemployed for more than three years and keeps telling me we need to economize, which I do.
When I ask him to let me know what our finances are, he tells me, “We’re running out of money.” He keeps everything a secret, and when I asked, “What if something terrible happens? What shall I do?” he said, “You will be informed.” What kind of an attitude is that? He says he doesn’t trust me with money because he thinks I’ll spend it all.
We sold our house for more than a million dollars and I never saw a penny in my name, let alone a bank account. I don’t have a job. I’m a full-time student right now. I’m concerned whether I should get a divorce. Your thoughts, Abby? — In the Dark in New Jersey
DEAR IN THE DARK: It would be interesting to know where the money you and your husband are living on is coming from and how your education is being financed.
It appears your husband is withholding financial information as a means of controlling you. I do think you should consult a lawyer, not necessarily to discuss a divorce but to find out once and for all what your rights are as a wife in the state of New Jersey.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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