Dear Abby: Should I tell son his wife has been stealing our meds?

Parents worry that if they accuse their daughter-in-law of swiping Adderall, she will turn her husband and children against them.

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DEAR ABBY: Our daughter-in-law has stolen Adderall from our house on three separate occasions. My husband and I reluctantly suspected her after the second occurrence. Last weekend she was here again, and the pill bottle with eight pills in it was on my bathroom counter. When she left, four of them were missing.

What do I do with this information? I’m afraid if I confront her, she will alienate our son and grandkids from us. Do we talk to our son? We’re afraid he will be angry with us for blaming her. Or should I say nothing and buy a small safe for medications? I feel like it’s a no-win situation, but at the end of the day, I’m concerned she has a substance abuse problem. I don’t think she would normally steal things. — TAKEN FROM IN TEXAS

DEAR TAKEN FROM: Talk to your son in as non-accusatory a manner as you can manage. He should know that his wife may have a prescription drug problem and MAY be in need of help. You may also need to keep your eyes open regarding whether your daughter-in-law has been taking other items of yours. I think your idea about buying a small safe for your medications is an excellent one. Children like to explore, and sometimes houseguests have been known to explore their hosts’ medicine cabinets.

DEAR ABBY: I used to have a good relationship with my brother-in-law “Anthony.” I hosted his birthdays and invited him for dinners on a regular basis. I would make sure to prepare his favorite dishes and pack him doggie bags for lunch the next day. When the other siblings visit, I host dinner for everyone.

Recently, Anthony sent a dinner invitation and said he will be serving only one dish, with no other options. Then he added that since I’m allergic to this dish, perhaps I would prefer to bring my own food. I was so put off that I have stopped hosting dinners at my home. Am I right to feel this way? — SEETHING IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR SEETHING: You are entitled to your feelings, but if you enjoy hosting dinners for your relatives, I would hate to see you cut off your nose to spite your face. Wouldn’t a more effective way to deal with Anthony be to tell him how his last invitation affected you in light of the fact that you have so generously provided for him in the past? It was extremely inconsiderate to have served a dish that he knew one of his guests might be allergic to.

DEAR ABBY: How does one support a family member who has been given a cancer death sentence? It was announced just over a week ago. We are a large, strongly united family, and this has hit us hard. — DEVASTATED IN ARIZONA

DEAR DEVASTATED: Take your cues from the person who received the diagnosis because everyone deals with their mortality in their own way. Offer to be supportive in any way you can, and check in often so you can support the spouse (if there is one) and each other. You are lucky to be a strongly united large family because it will enable you to divide the responsibilities among you if necessary.

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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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