Dear Abby: OK, mother-in-law can move in, but does she have to redecorate too?
Woman had plans for the space her husband’s mother now wants to use for her own entertaining.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for 15 years. Before we married, I purchased a house. He moved in a month after our wedding and made a lot of improvements to it. We are now in the process of doing more renovations.
His mom moved in with us two months ago. Before she moved in, the plan was to take the downstairs — which has a living room and a bedroom — and convert it to a bedroom and a room leading out to a patio to have another entrance to our swimming pool. But she wants to decorate that room with her furniture and use it when her friends and family visit her.
My husband says, “She is 77. She doesn’t have many more years left, so let her do what she wants.” He always adds, “I can tell her she isn’t wanted and find somewhere for her to go, but I don’t know where it would be.” I have always given in, but he doesn’t see it that way.
Should I let someone come into my house and redecorate it differently than how I want it? Please let me know if I am being selfish like he says. — INVADED IN THE SOUTH
DEAR INVADED: Let me get this straight: Your mother-in-law will occupy the downstairs of your home while you and your husband occupy the upstairs? If she wants to decorate her bedroom and the room in which she entertains her visitors, it won’t be a reflection of your taste, and frankly, it shouldn’t be. It is understandable.
What is clear to me is that you really don’t want her living under your roof. Because your husband can’t — or won’t — do the research to find reasonable alternatives for his mother, the task of finding something suitable is yours.
DEAR ABBY: My husband is terminally ill with cancer and hasn’t long to live. I would like to ask friends that, in lieu of flowers, they make donations to a scholarship fund for three very precious granddaughters who have spent most every day of their young lives with him. They are 10, 8 and 5. He has been their caregiver.
However, we have other grandchildren who are grown and have graduated from college, and great-grandchildren who are the same ages as these three granddaughters. I am afraid of offending these grandchildren by not including their children. Is asking for a memorial donation tacky of me to ensure these three granddaughters who have been so close to him are provided for? — PROVIDED FOR IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR PROVIDED: Your adult, college-educated grandchildren should be able to provide for their children without help from you. I assume there is a reason your husband has been the caregiver for the grandchildren whose future you are concerned about. If you and your husband would like to request that friends skip the flowers and contribute to a college fund for them, it’s your privilege. And if you get flak for it, you should explain the reason why.
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