Dear Abby: My grown son should respect my boyfriend as an elder, but doesn’t

Woman would preferred that her grandchild refer to the man as Grandpa or Uncle, but the kid’s parents won’t let him.

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DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, my 33-year-old son, his girlfriend and their 4-year-old son all live with me. They are expecting their second child. I own the home and pay all the bills (utilities, phone, food, etc.).

The problem is, my kids don’t like my boyfriend. His grandkids call me Grandma, so I would like my grandkids to call him Grandpa. My son and his girlfriend won’t allow their son to do it. They insist on calling him by his first name.

I asked for a compromise and to call him Uncle. They refuse and say he didn’t “earn” that name. I said it’s just teaching the children to respect their elders. When I grew up and when I raised my son, we called older people Aunty and Uncle. I’m not sure what to do because we all live in the same house, and I would like all of us to get along. — WISHING FOR RESPECT IN HAWAII

DEAR WISHING: You may have taught your son to respect his elders when he was growing up, but it appears he has had a serious memory lapse. Shame on him.

Because you foot all of the bills for the roof over his and his family’s heads as well as the food in their mouths, remind him that you are the head of that household, and you will not have anyone with whom you are involved disrespected. As it stands, you and your boyfriend are being disrespected, so as head of the household, please assert yourself.

DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 26 years. Five years ago, my husband gave a young lady $5,000 through credit card charges over a six-month period. We are not wealthy. When I found the charges in our credit report, he took a second job to pay it off.

I don’t think their relationship was sexual because he is impotent. It was hurtful. While he was taking this young lady shopping, he told me he was at work.

Recently, I (accidentally) caught him going to another young lady’s apartment to help her with things like hanging a TV. I don’t care if he helps people. What I DO care about is his sneaking around to do it. I have tried talking to him about why he feels he needs to sneak. He has no answer. What makes men sneak? — DECEIVED IN KENTUCKY

DEAR DECEIVED: Your husband may fear your disapproval of his relationships — however platonic they may be — with these younger women. What makes people of both genders sneak, by the way, is usually a sense of guilt.

DEAR ABBY: Our son, “Justin,” is getting married. He told his dad the other day that his fiancee would like for my husband to go with Justin to his salon to get his hair cut and beard trimmed for the wedding. My husband is upset about it because he feels his soon-to-be daughter-in-law is implying that his haircut isn’t good enough. As the wife and future mother-in-law, I’m unsure how to handle this situation. Help, please. — GROOMING GROOM’S DAD IN GEORGIA

DEAR G.G.D.I.G.: Try to get your offended spouse to laugh about it. Point out that EVERYONE looks better with a fresh haircut and a trim. Even you and me. Most people want to spruce up and make themselves more presentable for a special event. Why should your husband be any different?

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.

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