DEAR ABBY: My family just came back from a relative’s after a weekend visit. The occasion was a birthday party, and he had a tattoo artist come over. My boyfriend — the father of our 14- and 3-year-olds — spent our last $100 and went ahead and got himself a tattoo! We aren’t rich, and we had to borrow money for gas to get home.
I think he is the most selfish person on the face of the planet, and I get mad at him for every other little thing now. I can’t imagine many adult men would do that to their partner. I know a few who would even say, “No, Honey, YOU get something. I can wait.” Is there any hope for mankind? — MARK OF DISASTER IN WASHINGTON
DEAR MARK OF DISASTER: There is plenty of hope for mankind; for the father of your 14- and 3-year-olds, maybe not so much. Was he under the influence at that party, or does he make poor decisions about money often?
That tatt is now a constant reminder of your disappointment in him, so I hope it’s in a place where you don’t have to see it every day or night. You have my sympathy, but you chose this person as a life partner.
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DEAR ABBY: My parents have been together for more than three decades, but their marriage has been strained for years. Still, they won’t pull the plug and call it quits. It’s making us kids (all in our 20s and out of the house) and our extended family confused and frustrated.
They still live under one roof, although they spend all of their time in separate parts of the house and communicate only through us kids. They’re clearly miserable, but if any of us tries to speak to them about their toxic dynamic, each one blames the other.
Abby, I adore both of my parents, but they’re becoming shells of themselves. I know it’s not my business to step in, but something has to change. I can’t handle another tense holiday visit. What should I do? — CONCERNED IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR CONCERNED: You and your siblings should sit down with your parents and tell them the effect their toxic dynamic has had on you as a family. All of you should urge them to seek counseling from a licensed marriage and family therapist. Then cross your fingers and hope they are willing to follow through. However, if they aren’t and you can’t handle another tense holiday visit, I recommend you make other plans and tell them why.
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DEAR ABBY: I am 13. Three years ago, I was in a car accident that left me in a wheelchair. I have been able to move on in life and am happy and have lots of friends who help me stay active in sports, etc. My problem is, I had a friend before my accident who moved away, and I’m sure he doesn’t know his once best friend can no longer walk.
I just heard his family is moving back here, and I’m not sure how to handle this. Should I contact him before the move, or wait and be like, “Oh, by the way”? Do you have any advice? — WONDERING IN NEW YORK
DEAR WONDERING: The news is bound to be a shock. If you have this young man’s contact information, I vote for letting him know in advance about the accident. And while you’re at it, fill him in on what you have been doing since he left town.
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