New readers, welcome to Dear Wendy, a relationship advice blog. Read some of the most popular Dear Wendy posts here. If you don’t find the info you need in this column, please visit the Dear Wendy archives or the forums (you can even start your own thread), do a search in the search bar, or submit a question for advice at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.
It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.
Additionally, she keeps buying clothes for my 2-year-old daughter, and most of them are not comfy to wear and are just kept in the wardrobe. She will bring all the ingredients from her house to my place to make soup for my daughter, but her cooking skills are really, really bad — the soup is basically tasteless. I end up having to finish it for not wasting food.
I ask my husband to tell her not to do all these things, but then we quarrel as you know she is still his mom. I really hate her for threatening my relationship with my husband. I rarely talk to her in order to maintain a distance from her. The last time when I was friendly to her, she started messaging me and calling me all the time to ask all sorts of things. I really hope you can give me some advice. I can’t vent this to my husband or my parents. — Over it
Nope, I have no advice for you, sorry. You will have to continue suffering with the awfulness of a mother-in-law who cooks for your daughter, buys her clothes, and brings food for you and your family. Or, if that is really too horrible to even fathom, you could, oh, I don’t know, invite your mother-in-law to your home on a regular basis — say two or three times a month — so she can stop inventing reasons to come by and stop being so desperate for a bit of your time and attention. Invite her over for dinner so there’s an end time involved, or, better yet, go have a day to yourself when she comes over and while she hangs with your husband and daughter. Or! Ask her to babysit while you and your husband go have that private time that you hope for every weekend. It’s not the end of the world if you have to throw out some food you don’t eat or donate some clothes that don’t get worn. Honestly, if this is your biggest problem in life and you HATE your mother-in-law because she brings you apples or whatever, you are in for a rude awakening the first time you face a true problem. Get a grip.
1. He is still sharing a house with his ex. He stays in the cottage and she stays in the main house according to him. I haven’t been there. I have not met his kids. He hasn’t told them about us yet.
2. He has been to my house many times and met my kids.
3. He has no plan as to when he is moving out and he is not sure when he tell his kids about us. I have not even met his friends. He gets cross and defensive every time I bring this up.
4. He spent the whole festive season – Christmas and New Year’s– with his family. We only communicated through text.
I feel like I am wasting my time with him. I feel like I am the last option and not part of his priorities. He only gives me attention when his kids are away. Please advise. — Bottom of the Priorities
He is not available to you for a real relationship and you are the other woman he only sees when he’s able to get away from his family. He is not divorced. He is lying to you. Please MOA.
Throw a party (and tell guests that you have plenty of wine and, if they’d like to contribute something, to bring an appetizer or a fun game instead). And in the future before a special occasion, give your significant other some gift ideas or the names of or links to stores you especially like. You might even consider creating a wish list, and then if he asks, point him to that. Not everyone is a great gift-giver without some guidance, and after sixteen years together, maybe the poor guy just ran out of ideas for you. I wouldn’t read too much into it if your relationship is otherwise happy and going smoothly.
Follow along on Facebook and Instagram.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.