Dear Abby: Son’s wife angry that we had his ex over for a visit

Over the years the parents have stayed in touch with the former girlfriend from high school, and their daughter-in-law says that crosses a line.

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DEAR ABBY: I have a daughter-in-law I love to pieces and would NEVER intentionally hurt in any way. I recently had contact with my son’s ex-girlfriend, “Kayley.” She had seen me at church with them, contacted me and came by our house for a visit.

She and my son were very young when they dated (high school) and haven’t spoken to each other in years. I stayed in contact with her off and on over the years because I always thought a lot of her. Both of them have married others and created their own lives.

Our son and his wife live next door to us and were out of town the day Kayley stopped by, but returned before she left. My son chewed me out, and now my daughter-in-law won’t speak to me. I tried to talk to her and would apologize if I had the chance, but she sent me a text saying I had crossed a line and how inconsiderate it was of me having Kayley drop by. She said it made her feel small and uncomfortable (they only saw her from a distance and didn’t even know who it was at first).

Was I wrong for staying in contact with my son’s high school ex-girlfriend? Was I wrong for inviting her to come by? What’s the best way to handle this because I want to keep peace in our family? — MONSTER-IN-LAW IN TEXAS

DEAR M.I.L.: You weren’t wrong to stay in touch with someone you liked. And you should be free to entertain anyone you like in your home. It strikes me as sad that your daughter-in-law would react the way she has. It shows how deeply insecure she is.

Because you want to keep peace in the family, refrain from having Kayley over, and see her elsewhere. And if she asks you why, explain that it made your daughter-in-law uncomfortable.

DEAR ABBY: Years ago, my wife and I decided together that I would work and she would raise the kids. Well, times and the economy have changed. We need a second income. Even a part-time retail job would help tremendously right now. I have made countless sacrifices to keep our home and lifestyle afloat. All the while she refuses to pursue anything except what she believes to be “her purpose” or what represents her “best self.”

What about me? My health? Our home? Our children and their education? How about a job that she might not be crazy about for a decent paycheck so we can save a little and not have to worry about how much our prescription costs are? My resentment is growing. I work 60 hours a week and gave up a career I loved. Am I asking too much? — RESENTFUL IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR RESENTFUL: No, you are not asking too much. Times have indeed changed, and your wife needs to wake up and accept that her dream job may have to be postponed because of circumstances beyond her (and your) control. Successful marriages are partnerships, and because being the sole wage earner has become so stressful that you would write to me about it, it’s time your wife took her head out of the clouds and faced reality. If a second income will take some of the stress off your shoulders, she needs to step forward for the sake of you and the children.

DEAR READERS: Have a very happy and healthy Fourth of July, everyone. And please, be safe! — LOVE, ABBY

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.

Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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