COUPLE KISSES AND MAKES UP, BUT FAMILY TENSION REMAINSDEAR ABBY: A few years ago, my husband and I had problems. Our marriage was going downhill, but we have recently managed to work things out. My problem is, I sounded off to my mother, who had never held him in very high esteem to begin with. She told me she never wanted to see him again.
She has finally accepted that we are a package deal and she's happy that things are working out. She lives far away, so I don't see her often, and I'd like to pay a visit with my husband and children. When I approached my husband with the idea of seeing Mom, he told me that a few years ago she had sent him an email telling him she didn't like him. He is justifiably uncomfortable with going to see her.
My husband is contemplating going for my sake, but I don't want to add any stress to the situation. Should I talk to my mother about it and ask her to apologize? Or should I just let things go? I don't like the idea of taking the kids and not my husband, and Mom wants to see her grandchildren. -- DON'T WANT TO BE THE MIDDLEMAN
DEAR DON'T WANT: By all means speak privately to your mother about this. If she can smooth things over by explaining to your husband that when she sent the email she was a "mother bear defending her cub," it may make the visit less uncomfortable for your husband.
Fences need mending here, and it will take cooperation on everyone's part. In the future, I hope you will resolve your marital problems like the adult you are and not go running to your mother.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 20-year-old woman who works in an office with people who are in their 30s and older. I'm nice to everyone and treat them equally. Many of my co-workers have children who are about my age. I take my job seriously and carry myself with respect.
Lately, one of my male co-workers seems to be getting a little "too nice" with me. He brings me treats in the mornings and sometimes pays for my lunch. Sometimes he gives me these uncomfortable back-pats and sometimes even on my lower back. He is married with two kids.
I have been turning down the breakfast and lunch offers, but he still seems to want to be around me. I'm not sure how to make these things stop. I don't want to get any supervisors involved because I don't want to jeopardize anyone's job. Please help me. -- TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
DEAR TOO CLOSE: The next time this man puts his hands on you, tell him to stop because it makes you uncomfortable. Say it in a firm, clearly audible tone that can be overheard by anyone close by. Then document the incident with date and time. This should stop him. However, if he continues, you must immediately discuss the problem with a supervisor.
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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