Dear Abby: She doesn’t trust careless in-laws with her young daughter

SHARE Dear Abby: She doesn’t trust careless in-laws with her young daughter

DEAR ABBY: My in-laws are fabulous. They love me and think the world of our 2-year-old daughter, “Hayley.” They do anything to support us.

Recently, they asked to take Hayley overnight and drive a number of places with her. My concern is the driving part. My father-in-law doesn’t believe in car seats. On a few occasions he has asked me to just hop in the car with Hayley without a car seat. I refused.

Another time, they had a circa-1980 car seat and asked to take Hayley with them to church. When I went to put her in the seat, the buckles wouldn’t work. When I reached over to the other side, the seat fell over. It wasn’t even strapped in!

Now for my biggest fear: My mother-in-law is a notorious distracted driver — she applies makeup, eats food, talks on the phone and texts. I am not comfortable with her taking Hayley in the car with her. How do I approach this with them?

I don’t want to harm our relationship, and I’d like them to spend time with their grandchild independently. But I can’t put my daughter in a dangerous situation. Any thoughts would be appreciated. — FEARFUL MOM IN SAN ANTONIO

DEAR FEARFUL MOM: Your fears appear to be well-founded. Your “fabulous” in-laws cannot be trusted to transport your little girl. My first thought was that you and your husband could buy them a car seat and have it installed.

But if you can’t trust your father-in-law to use it, or your mother-in-law to devote her full attention to her driving when her grandchild is in the car, then the child’s safety must come first. As a mother, your job is to be conscientious, even if it makes you less popular. And your husband should back you up 100 percent.

DEAR ABBY: My husband is very affectionate. He loves to cuddle, snuggle and sweet-talk morning, noon and night. However, he doesn’t do it with me — he does it with our cats.

Don’t get me wrong — he’s a good husband, and I get a quick hug and kiss goodbye when I leave for work in the mornings and he holds my hand when we walk. But when we go to bed at night, he turns his back to me, reaches behind him, pats me on the arm and says goodnight. There is no cuddling and no sweet-talk with me. Sometimes I would like a little scratch behind MY ears.

We married late in life, so maybe the sex is out, but my late husband used to hold me and make me feel special. I’m only 62 and I can’t imagine living this way for the rest of my life, but I love this man, so divorce is out. Any advice? — “MEOW” IN OGDEN, UTAH

DEAR “MEOW”: Was your husband like this before you married him? If so, did you accept his proposal thinking you could change him? If not, then it appears you have a serious communication problem.

If you haven’t already, you need to tell him what you need in order to feel as loved and cherished as the cats. And if that doesn’t work, you both need marriage counseling because I can’t imagine your living the rest of your life starved for affection. As you said, you’re only 62.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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