Dear Abby: Husband’s standoff with our daughter is stressing me out

They haven’t spoken for six weeks, since Dad overreacted to his daughter and her husband being late for dinner (as usual).

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DEAR ABBY: My recently married daughter and my husband had a stupid argument before Sunday dinner six weeks ago and haven’t spoken since. I love my daughter very much and want to see her, but she refuses to come here as she feels her dad owes her an apology.

She and her husband were late (as usual) for dinner, and my husband (who is ill and not sleeping well) just lost it and she burst into tears. I felt for both of them. Neither of them ate dinner, and neither one spoke. They have texted each other, but haven’t seen each other. It’s stressing me out big-time.

Sunday dinners have been put on hold, and my patience is wearing thin. I think they’re both in the wrong and need to talk, but neither will make the first move. Any ideas? — MOM & WIFE TO THE STUBBORN

DEAR M&W: May I be frank? Your husband was not feeling well and, in addition, was sleep-deprived. That he may have been more sensitive than usual is understandable. He was certainly within his rights to point out to your daughter and her husband that their habitual tardiness is rude and inconsiderate. They were long overdue in hearing it.

Your daughter and son-in-law owe him — and YOU — an apology. Support your husband and hope your self-centered daughter matures enough to admit they were wrong and apologize. In the meantime, please make plans with other folks for Sunday dinners, which will give you less time to brood.

DEAR ABBY: My wife has been working as a teacher’s assistant for nearly 10 years. Several years ago, she became an assistant in a new school and has been in this particular classroom since it opened. She was assigned a teacher, “Mrs. Smith,” a couple years in and has been with her ever since.

My wife has had some critical things to say a couple of times about other teachers, and things she (and I) felt were wrong. But the superintendent of our county always rules for the teachers because they went to college. Mrs. Smith knows this and berates my wife constantly. My wife won’t go to the principal because he always sides with the teachers.

I’m about at my wits’ end. I just told her I was writing you, and here’s why: I so want to say something to this teacher, BUT I WON’T because it’s my wife’s job. I just need to help her without causing trouble in the heat of the moment. — SUPPORTIVE HUSBAND IN THE EAST

DEAR HUSBAND: You ABSOLUTELY should not involve yourself in your wife’s difficulties with this teacher. If she’s being “berated constantly,” the teacher to whom she is assigned has been creating a stressful and hostile working environment. It’s time for her to have a frank conversation with that teacher and tell her she is not happy with the way she’s being treated. Perhaps she could ask to be assigned to another classroom. However, if that isn’t feasible, because your wife is unhappy in that school district, she should look elsewhere for employment.

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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