DEAR ABBY: I am 44 and my husband of 20 years is 48. On a recent second honeymoon trip to Sweden, I became pregnant. We already have two beautiful, intelligent daughters, 17 and 14. One started university this fall while the other’s a high school sophomore.
My problem is not so much the high-risk pregnancy, but rather that both of my girls strongly oppose the idea of us keeping the baby. Not only were they not thrilled when I broke the news to them, but they also cried. My younger daughter is now giving me the cold shoulder. She doesn’t like change and thinks having a sibling will disrupt our life. My older girl said she is glad she will be at the university so she won’t have to have anything to do with the baby.
I am deeply hurt by their reactions. I need help to talk to them. Please give me some advice. — EXPECTING IN CANADA
DEAR EXPECTING: Far more important than how your immature and self-centered daughters feel about your pregnancy is how you and your husband feel about it. Teenagers don’t like to consider their parents as sexual beings, which may be part of the reason for their reaction. Not knowing your girls, I’m not sure what they need to hear other than you love them and hope at some point they will become mature enough to accept the situation. But do not allow them to put you on the defensive. You don’t owe them an apology. As a matter of fact, they owe you and their father one.
DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law was in a car accident a few months ago and her car was totaled. Since then, my husband takes her food shopping and wherever else she has to go. She has made no effort to buy a new car. She’s content with calling him for every need. She wasn’t injured and she isn’t disabled. If she doesn’t want to do something, her excuse is, “I’m an old lady. I can’t do it.” It’s annoying.
She doesn’t come visit or call to check on us. She makes us feel like our family has to do everything for her — while she claims she’s “independent.” This has been an issue for a while and I’m sick of it. I suggested she do her grocery shopping online and have it delivered to her house. Once again, she gave the same excuse. I think she needs a man so I can have my husband back. What do you think? — OVER IT IN PHILADELPHIA
DEAR OVER IT: From the tone of your last remark it’s clear you and your mother-in-law aren’t close and probably never were. Philadelphia has a very large transit system. Surely there is alternate transportation for her: buses, taxis, Uber and Lyft come to mind. If she was so traumatized by the accident that she’s afraid to get behind the wheel again, she may need a therapist to overcome it.
Whatever the reason, this won’t stop until you and your husband quit enabling her. Give her a list of what’s available and “suggest” she use it the next time she calls wanting a ride. If she needs groceries, offer to order them online for her yourself if she isn’t computer literate. And your husband should also offer to help her find a new car.
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.
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