Ask Amy: My “tramp” brother-in-law isn’t helping my daughter

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Dear Amy: I have come to the conclusion that my son-in-law is a tramp.

My daughter gives birth, nurses her children, works full time, cooks, cleans, and takes the kids where they need to go.

He quit without finding a new job first, and is now unemployed for months.

I thought it was bad when his only responsibility was his nine to five job and he did nothing more. Now he’s unemployed, but his only responsibility now is his six softball tournaments and the various cornhole tournaments he plays in during the evening. He watches TV all day.

It is somewhat verbally abusive to me and my daughter. His favorite stage is that things are “not in his job description”.

Things like braces and cars and college were things I worked really hard to provide my kids with, but I think I would pay his kids to get those things.

Or he doesn’t care at all. It destroys my relationship with my daughter and grandchildren.

I still work and now I feel very resentful about helping them take care of the kids and pay for extras like ballet lessons, clothes and shoes, while he plays softball.

I think I need therapy and a trust attorney to deal with these concerns. Any advice?

unhappy: You can handle this better if you understand and accept that your daughter makes a series of choices. Her choice to martyr herself for a husband that sounds like a selfishly exhausted one must be baffling to you, but your role here is not to fix her life.

In fact, unless your daughter comes with complaints, or for advice and financial gifts or bailouts, there is no need to influence you at all. Your complete lack of pressure, judgment (expressed) or shame may inspire her to take a long look at the reality of her life.

Your daughter has already proven that she can run a home as a single parent. In fact, it looks great.

She has choices, and she can make changes if she wants her life to be different.

Don’t agree to anything if you’re going to piss him off and then make her “push” in other ways.

You might offer to take the kids for a Friday night (which is a very helpful gesture), but otherwise tell her that unless it’s a real emergency, she’ll have to make other childcare arrangements.

Ballet lessons might be a great gift for special occasions—but with a low unemployment rate, if kids need shoes, maybe their healthy dad can figure out a way to offer them.

Set respectful and loving boundaries and focus on maintaining a positive relationship with the children.

Yes, therapy (for you) will help.

Dear Amy: My problem is that my daughter (41 years old) does not want to get a mammogram.

Every time I mention her, she rejects me and wants to change the subject. The truth is that she needs to take care of herself, and I’ve said it many times.

There are several aunts and grandmothers (from her father’s side) with breast cancer.

She also works in healthcare and knows the risks of breast cancer. I don’t know how to get there.

It really bothers me, and I don’t know what to do to convince her.

Can you give me some tips on how to help her?

annoyed: Your daughter has important reasons for having a mammogram – after all, she has a family history of cancer (from her father’s side).

This family history is also the reason why she avoided the test.

You may not understand the fear you feel. But she doesn’t know the amazing feeling of relief you’ll feel when you get a clean scan.

It takes 10 minutes and then, boom – you’re fine!

Ask her if she’d like to make an appointment and then take her to her. Emphasize it because of the weight lifted and the comfort you’ll feel next.

Dear Amy: your response tokeep your hands off“It was completely inappropriate.

Her friend’s “handsome” husband kissed her without her consent. If this happens again, a quick kick in the thigh is requested.

Reality: A quick kick might be requested, but I think there are less violent ways to handle this appropriately.

© 2022 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by the Tribune Content Agency.

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