Feud between two brothers is spilling over to their parents

Published 2:45 pm Thursday, April 30, 2020

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DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have two sons in their late 30s. We always thought they got along well and loved each other. Over the past year, they are no longer speaking with each other because of hard feelings over current situations. They live in the same neighborhood.
My husband refuses to stay at either one’s house now when we visit from out of town because he’s so upset at the turn of events. (We have been getting a hotel room.) When I visit on my own, I stay with our older son because there is no place to stay with the younger one.
The disagreement between my husband and me is I want to continue to visit as I have, understanding there are differences but hoping they will come to a solution. I refuse to choose one over the other, and I’m trying to be consistent with love and be a good role model. Both of our sons know this.
My husband is upset with me because I don’t support his position of not staying at either house until they make up. This is creating more friction in a situation that is already breaking our hearts. What do you recommend? We have made our suggestions for a resolution, but these are grown men who must do the work themselves. — MOM IN A DIFFICULT SPOT
DEAR MOM: I recommend you continue to do what makes you comfortable. Your sons both know you love them. If your husband thinks that your staying in a hotel — provided you can find one during the current shutdowns — will somehow manipulate your sons into settling their differences more quickly, he is mistaken. It hasn’t worked so far. As you stated, your “boys” are grown men. I agree with you that they will have to hash this out on their own.
DEAR ABBY: My fiance often leaves memory cards out on his dresser after a day of being home alone. I was by myself one day and looked at them. There were photos of a nude woman wrapped in his bed sheet on his bed back in 2018. In them, she is posing. We were dating when they were taken, but not yet living together or engaged.
He dabbles in photography, but never mentioned this or informed me he was doing this shoot. I found another set from 2017 — prior to our relationship — that is not as “tastefully” done. Do I have reason for concern? I thought these things were professionally done off-site. His bedroom, though? — UNEASY IN NEW YORK
DEAR UNEASY: If the photos were taken before you and your fiance were exclusive, I doubt you have any reason to worry. However, rather than ask me if you have anything to be concerned about, any questions you have about his “dabbling” would be better addressed directly to him.
DEAR ABBY: I have a grown daughter whom my ex-husband named “Brenda.” (It is her middle name.) She’s married, a mother of five and lived abroad for quite some time. She’s back in the U.S. now and living 50 miles away from our family. She now wants to be called by her first name, which is “Riley.” The problem is, everyone here at home knows her as Brenda. Presently, I still call her Brenda. How can this be resolved? — NOT HAPPY IN THE SOUTH
DEAR NOT HAPPY: Resolve this by using the name your adult daughter prefers. If you refuse, expect the distance between you to become greater than 50 miles.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.comor P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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