Dear Annie: I need your advice. In my social life and at my places of employment, I used to tell people that the man who raised me with my mom was not my biological father. At work, customers and co-workers would say unkind things to me about that. Then, a few weeks later, I would get let go for no logical reason, or it would turn into a hostile work environment and I would be forced to quit. The final straw came when I was leaving church and the clergy person shook my hand goodbye and at the same time pushed me out the door. I had a DNA test done, and it turns out that my dad is my biological father.
I don’t feel I owe people an explanation, and even if I did, they would probably not believe me anyway. How do I handle these horrible people? — Really Dad’s Little Girl
Dear Really Dad’s Little Girl: I’m thinking there must be more to the story than you’ve included in your letter, because their behavior sounds bizarre. Your biology is none of their business. If you were terminated because of your parentage, you should have legal recourse. Contact an attorney.
Dear Annie: My wife and I are in our late 20s and have been married since we were 18. We have two wonderful children. The problem I’m having is dealing with my wife’s mother.
We recently moved to a new city so my wife could be closer to her side of the family, which was fine with me because she never really had much of a relationship with her mother growing up. We have now lived in this city for three years, and in that time, my wife’s mother has never made an attempt to re-establish any type of relationship with my wife — or our children, for that matter.
Every time there is a family function going on, my mother-in-law does everything in her power to keep my wife from finding out about it so that our family is excluded. And whenever we host family functions, my wife’s mother always has an excuse for why she won’t be able to attend.
In addition, my wife and I have not had one night to ourselves since we were in high school. We even took our firstborn on our honeymoon because we couldn’t get a baby sitter. I think that is where grandparents and other family members should be involved. It’s hard on my wife. We have two very well-behaved kids, and it’s killing my wife that her mother won’t watch our kids.
I know that my wife wants to create a relationship with her mom that she never had, just as she wants our children to have a grandmother in their lives. I am so sick and tired of watching my wife reach out to her mom. Am I wrong for wanting to protect my wife from certain heartbreak? Or should I let this go and let my wife handle her mother? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. — Protective Husband
Dear Protective Husband: Your mother-in-law sounds like a real piece of work, but there isn’t much you can do about changing her attitude or behavior. You can and should continue giving your wife support and encouragement, but ultimately her relationship with her mother is between the two of them and not you. As for getting away together alone for a night or weekend, what about other members of her side of the family? If no one will help, then maybe you could consider moving closer to your side of the family.
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