Annie's Mailbox: Confused in West Virginia
Dear Annie: My husband and I have a small online stock trading account. Several months ago, he mentioned that he was thinking of giving our son and daughter-in-law money to open their own stock account. I immediately told him I was against it. I then left to go to the store and thought that was the end of it.
When I arrived home, I found my husband signing a check for $25,000 to our daughter-in-law. We have no agreement that the money will be repaid or that we will be informed as to what happens to it. If I hadn't returned home when I did, I never even would have known about it.
My husband doesn't think he did anything wrong. How am I supposed to trust or respect him when he does things like this? Am I justified to feel resentful and betrayed? -- Floored
Dear Floored: Your husband should not be making unilateral decisions that affect both of you. But by telling him "no" and assuming the matter was settled, you did the same thing. It sounds like this is not so much about the money as it is about who controls it. Giving a large sum to anyone, including a child, requires the cooperation and agreement of all involved parties.
You and your husband need to stop the power plays and talk about this calmly. Admit your own part in creating the problem, and explain how hurt you were that he didn't take your feelings into account. We don't know if this money was a gift or a loan or how you want to handle it, but the discussion should end with the agreement that neither of you will do this again without the consent of the other.
Dear Annie: My wife and I have no children, so we try to reach out to the nieces and nephews on both sides of the family. We always make the effort to visit them when we are in their area, and for the most part, they reciprocate the love we extend.
However, we are perplexed about the total lack of social graces of one nephew's wife. To our knowledge, we have never given this young woman any reason to treat us in the manner she does. We dread future visits for fear one of us may be tempted to say something to her about her lack of civility. What do we do when she behaves like this again? -- Confused in West Virginia
Dear Confused: Talk to the nephew. Ask as sweetly as possible whether you have done something unintentionally offensive to his wife, because she seems to dislike you. Ask how to make the relationship better. She simply may be socially inept and covering it with what appears to be rudeness but is in reality shyness or discomfort. Give your nephew the opportunity to address it with his wife and work on it.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Daughter-in-Law in Distress," whose husband is verbally abused by his father and sisters. This woman needs to give her husband a great big hug! His father is a mean and calculating bully who enjoys watching others, including his own grandchildren, squirm.
When I was a child, I had adult relatives who found pleasure and power in making fun of us for everything from the pimples on our faces to whether or not we could hit a ball. Our parents taught us to be seen and not heard, so we did not respond to these thoughtless, painful remarks. Neither did our parents.
I am now 58 years old and a strong individual. To this day, however, when there is a family gathering, I am so filled with anxiety that I have difficulty breathing. I love these people, but they have no idea at what cost.
I commend this dad for protecting his children and putting them first. They are richly blessed. -- Made it Through
"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2016. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.