Drunk uncle crosses the line with kiss

Published 8:19 am Wednesday, August 10, 2022

DEAR ABBY: I come from a large, close family. The majority of them live in another state. A couple of family members live in the same state I reside in. One night, my uncle came over and we were hanging out having drinks. We both drank too much and at some point, he started to kiss my neck. I told him to stop because he is family, and he did. Luckily, nothing more happened. The next day he texted and called profusely apologizing. I have been hurt, sad and angry ever since. He wanted to talk about it, but I didn’t.
We still see each other at family get-togethers since there are only a few of us out here. I haven’t told anyone, and it’s hard to keep this to myself, but I’m afraid that if I say something, it could cause a rift in my family. How do I get through this without hurting them? Should I confront him and tell him how this made me feel? Should I confide in a family member? Or must I just pretend it didn’t happen? — EMOTIONAL IN ARIZONA

DEAR EMOTIONAL: Do not pretend it didn’t happen. Because you feel the need to get this off your chest, tell your amorous uncle how hurt, angry and violated you felt by what he did. I see no reason why you should announce this to the family for the reason you mentioned. However, do not see him alone or drink with him again.
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DEAR ABBY: I have been babysitting my grandson, alternating with the other grandmother, for two years. She and I rarely see each other, but invariably, when we do, something I say gets repeated to the mother in a changed form. It causes my daughter-in-law to go ballistic on my son; never directly to me. Both of them have professional jobs and are in their 30s.
I have never felt valued or needed for myself or the service I provide for her, although my son frequently expresses appreciation privately to me. They hope to have their child enrolled in preschool in eight months, but I very much want to quit because yet another miscommunication occurred this week. My son makes excuses for his wife, but I think she should talk to me directly, so I can refute what her mother says.
I’m told her mother has a “listening issue” that my daughter-in-law is aware of, but apparently that doesn’t matter when it comes to me. I’m pretty sure that whether I continue or leave now, I will rarely see them or the baby once he starts preschool, although we live only 20 minutes away. What should I do? — GRANDMA’S MESS IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR MESS: My advice is to smile and continue babysitting your grandchild until preschool starts. If you quit now, it will only give your daughter-in-law another excuse to blame you and curtail interactions with you in the future. If you choose to keep doing it, you will have an eight-month window for your grandchild to bond with you, which bodes well for the future.
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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.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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