DEAR ABBY: I never thought I would be a cat-hater. My 70-year-old parents are very active, but ever since they brought home two cats, they are no longer willing to travel out of town. That means they are now missing many family events: Thanksgiving, graduations, funerals, etc. Christmas and Easter are spared because we all travel to see them on those occasions.
I am becoming resentful that their cats are more important to them than spending time with their siblings, children or grandchildren. And, NO — they will not put them in a cat hotel or have someone come into their home to watch them. Suggestions? — Resentful in Santa Barbara, Calif.
DEAR RESENTFUL: The problem with resentment is that it can fester to the point that it destroys relationships. Has it occurred to you that there may be other reasons your parents no longer want to make these trips? The stress and expense, for instance? Or concern about spending a lot of time driving on freeways? It’s also possible that two family visits a year are all they can handle.
One way to lessen your frustration would be to resolve to accept your parents just the way they are, and also accept that it’s unlikely they are going to change.
DEAR ABBY: I recently got into an argument with my mom regarding her speakerphone. I’ve also argued with other family members and friends over this. I believe it is rude to not let someone know that they are on speakerphone, particularly when others are present.
I feel it violates trust and the sense of intimacy that comes with speaking to the person you intended to call in the first place. Mom says it depends on the topic and that a “Heads up! You’re on speakerphone” isn’t necessary. Who’s right? — Speechless in the West
DEAR SPEECHLESS: You are. When someone makes a phone call, the caller usually expects that the conversation will be private. However, since you now know your mother doesn’t agree, either stop confiding anything that you wouldn’t reveal in a roomful of relatives, or ask at the beginning of the conversation whether the speaker is on so you’ll be forewarned.
Take a pass
DEAR ABBY: I’m 67 and I like sex. My wife doesn’t. She has no drive. It may be health-related, maybe due to meds. She has no time; she’s a workaholic.
I met a widow who is very tempting. She suggested a “no strings” hookup. I’m starting to think it’s not adultery if my wife is sexless. Your thoughts, Abby? — Pennsylvania Senior
DEAR SENIOR: I’m glad you asked. Take a pass on the widow’s generous offer. Her “no strings” hookup sounds like a snare that could hang you if the Mrs. gets wind of it.
Your wife’s lack of sex drive may be due to any of the things you mentioned. It could also be that your technique needs improving. Ask her if that might be the problem. If it is, a sex therapist could help you fix that in a jiffy. And it would be cheaper in the long run than what you’re contemplating.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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