Dear Abby: My father-in-law and I just have different personalities. We were politically opposed, although we got along well most of the time. On a family vacation (we were visiting them) we went out for dinner. My wife and I knew he would take us to a restaurant where we both had moral issues. I handed him a 10% off coupon for another nearby restaurant and said, “Here’s another option for dinner.”
When he responded that he thought we would go to the first place, I said, “Sorry. I have some moral issues and won’t eat there. Is there somewhere else we can go?” Then he got mad at me and said In this case, “What difference does it make if you don’t pay?” and “Since you are our guest, it would be rude of you to refuse.” My wife agreed that his behavior was out of character. what will you do? Think about it? Is it rude for us to be their guests? Or is it rude for him as the host not to receive us? — Not going to Nebraska
Dear not going: You have a loyal and loving wife. However, a more honest, less prejudiced spouse would point out (privately) that you behaved atrociously. A gracious guest will accept the host’s hospitality rather than try to turn the occasion into a demonstration of cancel culture. You owe your father-in-law an apology.
Dear Abby: My husband and I are retired and both are dealing with separate cancer diagnoses. This makes our financial situation difficult to predict if one of us needs expensive medication. We are doing well saving for retirement and living comfortably.
Our adult daughter contracted Lyme disease 10 years ago and became very ill. She endured years of painful treatments that were not covered by insurance, during which time her husband divorced her. We stepped in to help pay for her medical bills. Although Lyme disease was spreading, and although it was no longer detectable in her system, some symptoms never completely went away. Now she’s getting more tests to check for hormonal imbalances.
My husband is angry that we are still paying some of her medical bills. (She works, has insurance and pays what she can.) We have the means to help her and I don’t understand why her father wouldn’t want to stop helping her. We’ve argued about this many times over the years and I’m frustrated with the situation. I’m not willing to give up on her like everyone else. What can I say to him next time he confronts me about paying her medical bills? — Dedication to Oregon
Dear devotee: Maybe it’s time to stop arguing with your husband about this. Your adult daughter has a job and health insurance. You and your husband are both medically fragile. While I understand your desire to protect your daughter, if threats are made to obtain medications you may need in the future.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren (aka Jeanne Phillips) and founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at: http://www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.