DEAR ABBY: My mom recently separated from her husband. They’re in the process of getting divorced, and she is already talking to another man. She has known him since high school, but they only recently reconnected again.
Last night they finally decided to go out. She says they’re “just friends,” but she got home at 5:30 a.m., wasted. She woke me 30 minutes before work, then passed out in my bed.
I think she’s moving way too fast. She isn’t a teenager anymore, let alone divorced. Am I wrong for being upset with her? Or should I support her? Help! — EMBARRASSED IN TEXAS
DEAR EMBARRASSED: I don’t know how old your mother is or how long she has been married to the man she’s divorcing, but if she has been out of the dating scene for any length of time, you need to talk calmly with her and not appear judgmental.
I’m concerned because she may have had unprotected sexual contact with a person she hasn’t seen since high school, and a lot could have happened in his life since then. She should not be intimate with ANYONE unless she knows his sexual history and that he can’t give her an STD. Sometimes older adults forget that the same rules that apply to younger adults apply to them, too.
So rather than judge your mother, do discuss this with her without letting it degenerate into an argument. If you approach it this way, she may listen.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I provide day care for our 2-year-old granddaughter. We have her three days a week and love spending the time with her.
However, when her mother — our daughter — comes to pick her up, she doesn’t leave right away. She “hangs out,” eats with us, and still expects us to change the baby or fix her dinner. Then, on the weekends, our daughter will come over with her husband, and we are once again on day care duty.
Our daughter seems to think that when she is at our house, we are the baby sitters and she can just plop herself on the couch and watch TV. How do we tactfully tell her she needs to take responsibility for her daughter when they are at our house? — TIRED GRANDPARENTS
DEAR TIRED GRANDPARENTS: How about just saying what you have to say calmly, in plain English? That’s what you and your husband should have done the first time you felt your daughter was taking advantage of you, which she is. Do not be confrontational, just firm when you tell her you’re off baby-sitting duty, and it’s her job now.
DEAR ABBY: My second husband likes to touch me often. He massages my back, rubs my legs and runs his hands through my hair. This is new for me. My first husband never acted this way. I have been married to Husband No. 2 for 15 months. My question is, is this normal? — MANHANDLED
DEAR MANHANDLED: Yes, it’s normal. Many women would consider you lucky to have a spouse who is so affectionate. Different strokes for different folks. Enjoy it while it lasts.
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 http://www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)