Abby: Ridicule of mother-in-law not a laughing matter
Dear Abby: My wife, “Barb,” and I have been married for 21 years, and like any married couple, we’ve had our ups and downs. We recently visited my mom, a widow in her 80s. Barb caught a cold while we were there and needed to stay in bed while Mom and I visited family.
I noticed Mom was letting the cleanliness of her bathroom go, but Barb and I never discussed it. When we got home, our good neighbor friends told me that Barb had texted them a photo of Mom’s bathroom while we were away. I was shocked and embarrassed. I feel like my wife was talking about me and my family behind my back. Barb insisted she was just poking fun at the situation. If that was the case, I should have been involved in the “fun.”
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. I feel like my trust and friendship have been violated. Am I overreacting?
Left Out in Indiana
Dear Left Out: Because this isn’t the first time your wife has done something like this, and I presume you have let her know how you felt about it, I don’t think you’re overreacting.
Talk to your mother to see if there’s a reason she’s unable to keep up with her housework. She may need to be evaluated by her doctor to make sure she’s OK. If something is wrong with her, it is not the least bit “funny.” In fact, for your wife to subject your mother to ridicule is hostile. It’s time to find out what’s at the root of your wife’s antics.
Dear Abby: I have been dating my 30-year-old boyfriend, “Jonah,” for a year. He seems to be obsessively addicted to a computer video game he has played for five years. He plays many hours a day — first thing in the morning, last thing at night and all his free time in between — although he willingly goes on outings with me when I ask.
Even when Jonah isn’t on his computer playing the game, he reads the discussion forums online with his mobile device. It’s affecting our relationship. It also doesn’t help that he recently lost his job.
I don’t like seeing him waste his time on this and he has a lack of ambition about the important things in life. What can I do to help Jonah, or is this normal?
Game Over in The Northwest
Dear Game Over: When a hobby interferes with relationships, it is not “normal.” Exactly when did Jonah become “obsessively addicted”? Was he this way when you met him? If this has been going on for the entire year you have been together, your boyfriend may be more comfortable in the cyber world than in this one. However, if this escalated when he lost his job, the video game may be his attempt to cope with depression.
Jonah would be better served by devoting the attention he’s lavishing on the game to finding a job. If you want to help him, suggest that he spend more of his time in the real world until his life is settled again — and tell him that if he’s depressed, he should talk about it to his doctor.
Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.