Dear Abby: When I argue with my son, his fiancee bars me from seeing my grandsons

Grandparent is holding back emotions out of fear of never seeing the boys again.

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DEAR ABBY: My son (my only child) lives with his fiancee. His marriage, which produced my oldest grandson, has finally ended. He has two boys with the fiancee.

She and I have never seen eye-to-eye. When my son and I argue, she prevents me from seeing my grandsons. It makes it very difficult for me to bond with them, for fear she will keep them away forever.

What should I do? I’m actually holding back my emotions because I’m scared. — ON EGGSHELLS IN WASHINGTON

DEAR ON EGGSHELLS: If you and your son have a functional relationship (aside from the occasional disagreement), take this up with him, and be frank about it. His fiancee should not use the children to punish you. However, if your son won’t put a stop to what she’s doing, then it makes sense to protect your emotions — and to not feel guilty about doing it. If that means guarding them where your son’s children are concerned, that would be the healthier course of action.

DEAR ABBY: Recently, my oldest and dearest friend (since kindergarten) talked about renting a house in Puerto Rico for her family and mine. We talk often and have remained close over the years. I consider her family a part of my family.

She recently informed me that she went ahead and booked the trip with her sister-in-law, her nephews and her parents without saying a word to me about it. I was extremely hurt, and when I told her so, her answer was, “Well, I didn’t make the arrangements; my sister-in-law did. There will be small children, and I know you don’t want to do that.” (I had told her previously that when my husband and I go on vacation, we prefer adult-only resorts.)

I’m disappointed and angry. Should I end our friendship, or just let it go? — EXCLUDED IN NEW YORK

DEAR EXCLUDED: If this is the first time something like this has happened, let it go. If it continues to happen, and I doubt it will, reevaluate the friendship then.

DEAR ABBY: My husband passed away seven years ago. My oldest son, “Danny,” is 29 and is getting married. He has one brother, “Adam,” who is 19, and they have always gotten along. I’m really upset that Adam wasn’t asked to be in the wedding party, at least as a groomsman.

I’m sure my husband, if he were alive, would have had a talk with Danny about this — especially because ALL FOUR of my husband’s brothers were in our wedding party as well as his best friend. I’m upset that I have to bring it to Danny’s attention, but I need to address this without making him mad. What’s your opinion? — MATTER OF SCRUPLES

DEAR MATTER: Scruples may have less to do with this than budget restrictions or Adam’s young age may have. By all means, mention this to Danny but, after that, refrain from meddling. Your wedding was yours; this one is Danny’s and his fiancee’s.

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.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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