DEAR ABBY: My son, "James," is 25 and has been dating his girlfriend for three years. He has brought her over only five times.
This is his first girlfriend, and I think he is getting way too serious and thinking about marriage. While she seems nice, I do not think she's the right girl for my son to marry. James has not talked to me about marrying her just yet, but I think he knows I'm not a fan.
My question is, do I talk to my son about how I feel, or just bite my tongue and let him make his own decision, even though I think he'd be making a big mistake? Or should I say something and risk ruining our relationship?
James isn't the easiest person to talk to, especially when you don't agree with him. I'd hate to see him marry her and wind up divorced, knowing I might have been able to stop it. -- MOTHER KNOWS BEST IN NEW YORK
DEAR M.K.B.: At 25 years old, your son is an adult. A three-year relationship is not a whirlwind courtship. James and his girlfriend may already have an inkling about how you feel about her -- which is why you have seen them only five times in three years.
If you want any relationship at all with your son in the future, do not interfere. Let him work this out for himself. He may be your son, but he's no longer a child, so don't treat him like one.
DEAR ABBY: My wife thinks it's improper for my parents to include their grandson -- our 8-year-old son -- in their Christmas card photo. He's their only grandchild.
I have seen people include pictures of their pets, cars, boats and all sorts of other things in their photo cards. So why not grandchildren? My parents have pointed out that this is the only opportunity for their friends to see their grandchild, but my wife thinks he should be included only in our Christmas card. What do you think? --PULLED IN TWO DIRECTIONS
DEAR PULLED: I think your wife is selfish, judgmental, and should be ashamed of herself for wanting to deprive your parents in this way.
Now I have a question for you: What's her problem? It's obvious that she has one where your folks are concerned.
DEAR ABBY: I had a great friendship that I threw away. "Shane" and I got along really well and, frankly, we ventured beyond friendship multiple times when we lived near each other. I think the "relationship" was good for both of us. Then I lost my temper during a trivial argument, and now he won't talk to me. We live in different states now, so the phone is the only way for us to contact each other.
Abby, I know the falling-out is my fault. He said something that shouldn't have set me off the way it did. How do I fix this? I miss talking to him, and he won't answer my calls anymore. -- REGRETTING MY TEMPER
DEAR REGRETTING: It appears Shane has not only moved away but also has moved on. When you were neighbors, the friends-with-benefits arrangement might have influenced him to forgive you. However, because that "leverage" is gone, you should move on, too. If he is unwilling to talk things out, there really isn't a way to "fix" it.
And now, a life lesson: The next time you're about to say something you might be sorry for later, remember that you can't "unring a bell" and that it cost you a friendship.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)
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