Ask Amy: She throws money at her loser son and ignores the amazing one

DEAR AMY: My mother-in-law’s older son, “Adam” was a “wanted” child. A few years later, my husband, “Bill,” came along.

Columnist Amy Dickinson (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

In the more than 20 years my husband and I have been together, she has told Bill to his face that he only exists because his father was too chicken to get a vasectomy. I’m not kidding.

The sun rises and sets on Adam, in spite of failure after failure. Mom is constantly bailing him out.

Adam’s kids fail equally, and she bails them out, too.

She cannot pass 90 seconds with our family without telling us what Adam has been up to and what she has given him and his latest spouse and kids. She cites dollar figures, which are astounding.

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Adam can’t pay his bills or stay married (he’s had several wives), but he sure walks on water in her eyes.

She has pretty much ignored us for nearly 22 years. When she gets bored, she expects us to fill the gap. When we give in to this, against all sanity, she regales our children with how much she has done for their cousins.

She barely remembers our kids at their birthdays, and does nothing for them at Christmas. NOTHING. Not even a card, to any of us.

Bill lets this roll off his back. He’s an amazing person, he’s worked hard, put himself through school, and is a great husband and awesome father.

I know she won’t change.

I want to learn how not to care. If not for Bill’s sake, for our kids’, because they are equally amazing human beings, but unlike their dad, they feel the imbalance and are hurt.

So, Amy; teach me not to care?

Frustrated Wife

DEAR FRUSTRATED: You seem to have already mastered the first step in not caring, which is acceptance. Yes, she won’t change.

You also seem to acknowledge that her toxic enabling has actually damaged “Adam” and his family members.

Now you need to understand that you and your wonderful family have won the family sweepstakes. Imagine how different things would be if your mother-in-law turned her firehose of bad parenting and enabling in your direction!

Your husband tolerates this because she is his mother. His tolerance …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


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