DEAR ABBY: I think my parents are enabling my sister to take advantage of them.
She has suffered from depression most of her life. She has two children, ages 8 and 5. Before COVID, she dealt with her depression and was a stay-at-home mom for six years.
Back in March, she asked my parents to take in her 8-year-old for schooling the rest of the year. For the last several months, one or both of her children have been here at our house. Mind you, she and her husband live five hours away, so it’s not like they are nearby. Now there’s discussion about my parents keeping them into next year.
Mom retired only last year and has barely been able to enjoy her retirement alone with my stepdad. When my brother and I bring up the topic of them enabling my sister by letting her pawn her kids off and blame her depression, their response is, “Well, it’s better than her going off the deep end.”
I also feel bad that those kids are not with their parents in their own house, instead of being schlepped around.
Am I wrong to think she’s being allowed to get away with being a bad parent?
CONCERNED IN COLORADO
DEAR CONCERNED: The COVID-19 epidemic and subsequent quarantine have triggered anxiety and serious depression in people who were previously emotionally resilient. That it could cause a recurrence in someone with chronic depression is no surprise.
Your mother and stepfather are doing what they feel is best for their grandchildren, your sister and themselves. Accept it and quit second-guessing them. They have more than enough to deal with without you adding more stress at this point.
DEAR ABBY: I have a delightful, caring, loving man in my life. We knew each other years ago when we were married to other people. Three years ago, after a couple of years of courtship, he asked me to move in.
We are great together. He has embraced my two children and especially my two grandchildren as he had none from his previous marriage.
Because I bring more to his life than anyone, I proposed to him seven months ago, and he said yes. We talked, and he requested a prenup, which is fine with me because his ex took a large sum of cash.
I have asked a few times since the proposal if he has talked to his cousin, who is an attorney he trusts, but I don’t believe this is moving along.
Because you cannot make anyone do anything they are not inclined to do, I have stopped asking. He knows I need financial security.
I have always done right by him — that is who I am. At this point, I’m enjoying my life of privilege with my doctor companion, who loves me dearly but can’t seem to honor our relationship and take the next step. Am I right to let it be?
WAITING, FOR NOW
DEAR WAITING: I agree that you cannot make anyone do anything they are not inclined to do. Because drafting the prenuptial agreement appears to be stalled, raise the subject again and ask if he regrets accepting your proposal or if he’s ready to move forward. He may like things just as they are, and if you need more than what he is willing to give, you may have to move on. Three years is enough time to decide if he wants to make your romance permanent.
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.