DEAR AMY: My mother-in-law just told my husband that she's splitting her estate equally among him and his brother, their wives, the grandchildren and the grandchildren's wives.
Amy, this seems ridiculous. It should go to just the surviving sons, not all these other peripheral people, including me! I didn't have to live through the horrible childhood (beatings, etc.) that they had to endure. Also, we don't have children, so we're punished because we don't have kids.
My husband is always at her beck and call. The other brother maybe visits once yearly, and doesn't return calls.
I believe my husband deserves half the estate -- not a tiny portion. Actually I hope she spends it all while she's here, so we don't have to think about it.
It's very hurtful to my husband, who's been a great son, to think he's equally as important to her as a "granddaughter-in-law." Should we bring it up, or leave it be, since it's her estate to do what she pleases with? -- This Stings
DEAR STINGS: I appreciate your strong advocacy for your husband. If you want him to get more money, you should give him your share. Otherwise, leave this alone. Your husband's choice to be kind to his mother is ultimately a very healthy one, but he should not allow his mother -- or you -- to manipulate him.
She should be encouraged to do whatever she wants with her money, but urged to keep the details to herself.
DEAR AMY: I have a great boyfriend. He's kind, sweet, smart and funny. We love to be together and to talk, just the two of us. When I'm at work and we're apart, I look forward to being with him.
Here's the thing. He's 43, and I'm 20.
My mom didn't say anything negative about this until he asked me to move in with him. She said that he's too old for me, that he's old enough to be my father, and that it's creepy and gross.
She said that he has too much power because he's older, that he'll manipulate me to do stuff that I don't want to do. He's not that way. I had a boyfriend who got me to smoke weed when I was 14 and he was 16 -- only a two-year difference. Another guy got me to drink when we were both 17. A boyfriend who was a year older wanted me to have a threesome with his slutty ex, but I said no.
My mom thinks we have nothing to talk about, but that's just crazy. We talk all the time. It's like we never shut up. We've been together for almost 10 months. We're both really happy. Do you think we should break up just because he's 23 years older than me?
I don't get why it's a big deal. But maybe I'm being stupid. Do you think we should break up? -- B
DEAR B: I don't think you should break up just because of the age difference. I think you should break up because you're not mature enough to be in any healthy relationship.
I know this because of your history of being "manipulated" by guys, going back to that boyfriend when you were 14 who "got" you to smoke weed. After that, someone else "got" you to drink. You didn't participate in the threesome, presumably, because you didn't like the slutty ex.
By your own account, you have a history of demonstrating the one thing that's worse than bad judgment: No judgment.
At 20, you are still in the midst of adolescence. Maybe this much older man will be a good and stable influence on you. I hope so -- because it sounds like you definitely need a real grown-up in your life.
DEAR AMY: "Unsure" reported wondering about her sexual orientation even though she has been with her boyfriend for several years. Wow. That sounds familiar. My father had a wife and kids before he figured out he is gay. It was a rough time, but now everybody is happier and he's still a great father. -- Experienced
DEAR EXPERIENCED: Life is easier when you are comfortable in your own skin.