Dear Abby: My mom’s spiritual study seems to be brainwashing her

The devout mother has been convinced to withdraw thousands from the bank, and now wants her daughter’s wedding scheduled around her ‘mediumship certification.’

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DEAR ABBY: My mother has become very “spiritual” over the last eight years or so. Recently, it has become all-consuming and on the verge of becoming detrimental. She often refers to her “guides” (she says they are feelings, but I think she’s getting brainwashed by human “guides” online), who have convinced her to withdraw thousands of dollars from her bank before the second wave of COVID-19 hits.

I recently became engaged. We don’t plan to be married until 2022 so our guests can have a fun, safe time at our wedding. Mom wants to take a “mediumship certification” class, which will run for 18 months. The actual certification is scheduled for the month we told her we may want to get married, so now she’s trying to guilt me into changing the date. She copied me on the email she sent to the teacher in which she said she would try to “direct me to choose a different date.”

I let her know she’s not going to dictate our wedding day, but is there something more here that needs to be addressed? — CERTIFIABLY ANNOYED

DEAR ANNOYED: I don’t think so. Your mother’s spiritual life is her personal business, and it would be a mistake to attempt to make it yours. Unless you are convinced her spirit guides cheated her out of the money she withdrew — in which case you should contact the authorities and report it — let her live her life as you are pursuing your own.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married 22 years. They have been a rough 22 years, and I’m no longer in love with him. I will not be looking for another husband should we get divorced.

We tried counseling as well as a Retrouvaille weekend, which was hard emotionally as we learned a new way of communicating. After the weekend, I would always initiate the skills we learned, but he would not.

He’s retired. I’m still working, yet nothing is getting done around the house. I’m tired of feeling stressed. I don’t like cleaning up after him and our daughters, and I’m thinking of moving out.

I feel overwhelmed and want to live by myself for a period of time, but something is stopping me from signing a lease. Our daughters are in college, and my door will be open to them anytime. Should I move out? — ON THE VERGE IN TEXAS

DEAR ON THE VERGE: Perhaps. However, before you sign anything — including divorce papers — please consider discussing your feelings of stress and being overwhelmed with a licensed psychotherapist. Some time away from your stressors might be helpful for you, and a therapist may be able to help you determine how long a period that should be before making anything permanent.

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.

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

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