Life Advice



Parents want passive son-in-law to step up

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My daughter married her boyfriend right out of high school at a courthouse wedding, without our consent or knowledge.

She and her husband now have a great 11-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son.

We have been very supportive over the years, giving them the down payment for a house, and assisting in purchasing four cars (he doesn't believe in car maintenance, so we pay for that, too).

Our daughter has been very grateful. Her husband has never said thank you to us -- ever.

Every year, we host them for a long weekend at a cabin we rent. We buy the food, cook, and do all the clean-up. He has never asked if he could pitch in.

He comes from a very dysfunctional family, and does not speak to his mother. His stepfather (who he seemed close to) died suddenly this spring, and he feels quite guilty. At his stepfather's memorial service, he did not get up to talk, but our daughter did it for him.


They are coming up to the cabin again, and I am wondering how to handle the visit.

I do not talk to my daughter about this, as I know she would defend and make excuses for him.

I am feeling anger and frustration with his lack of consideration. My husband can barely look at him, but does not say anything because of me.

What is your advice?


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