DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for 22 years. My father-in-law’s health declined and he died last year. My mother-in-law, “Babe,” and I didn’t get on well in the past, but we have seemed to patch things up.
Since my father-in-law’s death, she has become very needy. As a result, my father has been at her beck and call, and I have become closer to her, too. My mother has started to become suspicious of the relationship between Babe and my dad. They have been seen drinking together and ignoring my mother.
Abby, this has become a horrible mess. Babe says she has kissed my father and they are attracted to each other. She has no regret about her behavior. I think she’s a hussy! My mother is now suicidal, and it’s all I can do to keep her afloat. I am a cancer survivor and don’t need any of this stupid drama. Please help. These people are all pushing 70. This is not only affecting my marriage, but also my life. — M.I.L. From Hell
DEAR M.I.L. FROM HELL: Babe may be “needy,” but she appears to also be a shameless predator, and your father appears to have the judgment of a 16-year-old. Please tell your mother that suicide is not the answer, and she should not consider doing your father the “favor” of turning him into a grieving widower. It may take the help of a therapist to help her regain her sense of balance, and possibly the services of a lawyer to help her convince her husband that a divorce would be something he can’t afford at this point in his life.
You should not be trying to handle this on your own. For your own sake, make yourself less available to your mother-in-law. That she would brag to you about trying to wreck your parents’ marriage is beyond the pale.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married to “Neil” for seven years. I find him attractive, but when we’re intimate my mind often wanders and Neil becomes “someone else.” There is always a provocative scenario, and he becomes a character.
I feel guilty and ashamed. I have tried to visualize only my husband, but it doesn’t have the same effect. I have prayed about it, but I can’t stop. Because of my shame I have begun to reject him. Is there any hope? — Hiding Something in Florida
DEAR HIDING SOMETHING: Please stop punishing yourself. Sexual fantasies are nothing to be ashamed of — they are normal. Whether in your imagination you’re being made passionate love to by Brad Pitt, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson or George Clooney, as long as it happens in your husband’s arms and you’re both enjoying it, you’re fine.
A good morning to all
DEAR ABBY: What is proper protocol on who should greet whom first? I work in an office at the front desk and I’m in the office before other employees arrive. When they arrive, who should say good morning first, I or they? — Early Bird in the East
DEAR EARLY: If you are at the front desk, you are the “official greeter,” so rather than stand on ceremony, present a friendly demeanor and say hello first. A warm hello makes everyone’s day brighter, don’t you think?
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.