Dear Abby: Daughter’s moody new husband barely speaks to me

Parent doesn’t want to interfere but has seen him overreact to trivial matters.

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DEAR ABBY: I have a question about my daughter’s new husband, “Brad.” I haven’t interfered with their marriage and don’t want to, but he seems very moody and barely speaks to me. Just when I think I’ve found a common topic, on the next visit four or five weeks later, he doesn’t say a word.

During my last visit, he got very upset with my daughter because a piece of chicken fell out of his wrap while she was tasting it. She apologized twice, but her eyes were watering when I walked into the room. I wanted so badly to just hug her and ask Brad “What’s wrong with you?” I have heard his tone before. Should I do anything? — QUESTIONING IN THE SOUTH

DEAR QUESTIONING: If Brad has behaved this way before when you were visiting, is it possible that your visit was inconvenient for him? Could they be having marital problems?

I don’t think it would qualify as interference to ask your daughter how often her husband gets upset over things as trivial as a piece of chicken spilling out of his wrap. Exploding over something so insignificant could be an indication that there is a larger problem that hasn’t been dealt with. It also would not be interfering to let your daughter know that if this happens often, it isn’t normal, and that you are — and always will be — there for her if she feels she needs it.

DEAR ABBY: A friend died in a state that has restrictions on gathering for funerals because of the pandemic. Only those in the household, the mortuary staff and a pastor or other religious officiant can be present at the funeral.

This was a good friend, Abby, someone I had known for 35 years. He and his wife, also a longtime friend, were in my wedding party. The sudden loss of this friend saddens me, and it grieves me that I cannot offer condolences in person or attend the funeral or support his widow in person. Other readers may also be facing this quandary. Do you have any suggestions? — GRIEVING ON THE EAST COAST

DEAR GRIEVING: Ask your friend’s widow if the funeral home can stream the funeral service to friends and extended family who are unable to attend in person. Call her, extend your condolences, and ask if she needs your help or if she is planning to have a memorial you can attend once the quarantine is lifted.

While you’re at it, ask if she would like a contribution in her late husband’s name made to a particular organization. Do not send flowers without first asking because she may be inundated. And, of course, continue calling to check on her, lift her spirits and allow her to vent if she needs to, which may help her to feel less isolated and vulnerable.

DEAR ABBY: I have a question about privacy. No matter when I am in the restroom, my husband feels the need to come in and hang out. Every single day. I have mentioned over and over that I would prefer some privacy, but he won’t listen. I mean, come on, is nothing sacred? What gives? — EXPOSED IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR EXPOSED: You have my sympathy. Your husband either doesn’t respect your need for privacy or has an insatiable desire for a captive audience. The solution to your problem may be as simple as a sturdy lock on your bathroom door.

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.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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