Dear Annie: Several years ago, our son lived with a very immature young woman. We tried to make her feel welcome, but she had no interest in getting to know us. The only thing she ever asked was how much our son would inherit.
She then had an affair. Our son asked whether he should leave her. My husband said yes, but I told my son that people make mistakes and it was his decision. He stayed. A few months later, she was worried he might leave, so she lied about using the pill and got pregnant. The baby was christened and baptized with only her family present. We saw the photos on Facebook. When they got married shortly after, they never said a word to us.
We decided not to hold a grudge. We bought a house where they could live for $200 a month in rent, and gave them $40,000 to furnish it. Our new daughter-in-law said we should let them live there rent-free and they stopped paying rent. They also didn't take care of the house. So we sold it, and when we didn't give them the proceeds, she told everyone that we were terrible people and had stolen their money.
They now have two children and a third on the way. We are not allowed to see the grandchildren. Our son calls us once a month, but he's afraid to tell his wife. We just wrote a new will and are giving them nothing. We haven't told our son this, but we've told our other children that they can give their brother a share if they choose. But his wife has also cut off contact with the siblings, as well as our son's grandparents. It's been five years.
We would still welcome her, but we aren't holding our breath. Our son says he's OK with this. He says he's not abused. Sometimes there is no happy ending. — Resigned to Our Situation
Dear Resigned: We are so sorry your son married such an unkind, immature person. Also, that he is too cowardly to take a stand, fearful that she might leave. But that is highly unlikely. We wonder how your daughter-in-law would react if she learned that you might reconsider including them in your will if you were allowed to spend time with the grandchildren. She sounds mercenary enough to think about it. It's good that you have other children to lean on. Our condolences.
Dear Annie: I just returned from a bridal shower and learned that a few of us were not invited to the wedding. I am a good friend of the bride and of her mother. The other women at my table said, "See you at the wedding." I stayed silent.
Several of us are baking the cake and cookies for the wedding. Most of us who are doing the baking are not invited. When did it become OK to invite people to a shower and not the wedding? — Old-Fashioned
Dear Old-Fashioned: It is not OK to invite friends and family to a shower and not the wedding. (Work showers fall into a different category.) It is especially rude to ask these same people to bake for the event, unless you are charging them a fee. However, there is a possibility that the bride assumes you will be in attendance anyway since you are preparing the desserts. You might talk to the bride's mother and clear it up. We'd hate for there to be a misunderstanding.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.