Grandparents have opinions on what’s best for young man

Published 8:50 am Tuesday, July 5, 2022

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DEAR ABBY: Our 26-year-old, college-educated grandson, “Ethan,” crashed his company car and was arrested for DWI and possession of more than a gram of cocaine. His mother hired a lawyer, posted bond and is taking full charge of the situation. Ethan lost his responsible job, and his girlfriend kicked him out. He has a sizable inheritance, enough to pay the lawyer and fine. Since he has never been in trouble before, we are hoping he won’t go to jail.
Although we love Ethan dearly, his dad and I agree he should handle this on his own without his mother (who is recently divorced from our son) running to his rescue. Ethan also needs help with his addictions. He has enough 529 account funds to turn this serious mistake into an opportunity to return to college and get a master’s degree.
I don’t know how much to get involved, directly with Ethan or his mother. Though my wife and I are on good terms with his mother, it appears she doesn’t want our advice. I welcome your suggestions on what to do. — UPSET GRANDDAD IN TEXAS

DEAR GRANDDAD: You can voice your opinion, but beyond that you should stay out of it. As well-meaning as you are, you can’t force your former daughter-in-law — who is in full mother mode — or Ethan to abandon the path they are on. All you can do is point out the dangers they may encounter along the way and hope they will listen, however frustrating it may be.
DEAR ABBY: My fiancé and I recently moved to a new area because his job was relocated. He was really excited to start this new adventure, and I was happy to come along. We’ve been together for 10 years (high school sweethearts), and we got engaged just before we moved.
I noticed he had been Snapchatting with someone. When I asked him about it, he refused to tell me who, but said I shouldn’t be concerned. Eventually, he did tell me. It’s a female co-worker. I don’t know much about her other than she is recently divorced. I’m happy she’s out of a bad situation, but I don’t understand why she’s Snapchatting my fiancé. I also don’t understand why he hid it from me until I made a big deal out of it.
There are other details about her — which I’m not sure are 100% true — that could change my point of view about this, but since I don’t know her, they are hard for me to believe. Should I be concerned, or is my anxiety taking over? I’ll be addressing this with him again, but I’m not going to blow up in his face about it. — DOUBTING IN SOUTH DAKOTA

DEAR DOUBTING: I’m glad you’re not going to blow up because all it would do is make your fiancé defensive. You do, however, need to have a discussion with him about this co-worker. If you feel he hasn’t been completely honest about her or her circumstances, and he has become secretive, recognize it as a huge red flag and proceed from there. Do not get married before this is resolved.
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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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