Mom threatens divorce after teen finds dad's stash

Brownwood Bulletin
Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are going on 19 years of marriage and have three teenage girls. We have had multiple rounds of marriage counseling, mostly with good results, although the benefits seem to be short-lived. Most of our problems have stemmed from my husband's drinking or smoking pot. He's not abusive, he's a good provider, but he just likes to get high. Thank God it's not often, but I'm not nor have I ever been OK with it.

Our girls recently found his pot stash and helped themselves. When I questioned them about where they got it, they admitted they found their dad's stash. For me, this is the last straw. How can I teach my kids this is not OK when their dad's actions say otherwise? I'm now made out to be the prude since apparently I'm "no fun."

I'm a nurse, and even if it were legal in our state, I wouldn't use it. I told my husband that I'm done and I'm ready for a divorce. He says I'm being ridiculous. Do I need to lighten up? I think I already know your answer, but I just need to see it to validate my feelings. -- ANTI-DRUG WIFE AND MOM

DEAR ANTI-DRUG: Although marijuana may be legal in an increasing number of states, "supplying" drugs to minors is against the law in all of them. What happened cannot and should not be ignored, but ending a good marriage because your husband likes to use pot occasionally seems extreme.

It may take more visits to a marriage and family therapist for you to agree to disagree on this, but it is very important that your daughters be disabused of the idea that what they did was OK with either of you. It's time you and your husband form a united front, and he needs to find a better place to keep his stash.

DEAR ABBY: Because of the recent COVID-19 crisis, my wife and I, like so many others, have been stuck at home. I have asked her questions about former boyfriends and lovers. She told me some things, but when I bring it up now, she gets defensive and accuses me of belittling her and bringing back memories she has asked God to help her forget. I feel I am owed an explanation since they all took place while we were dating (including with my best friend) and with a house sitter after we were married. Am I wrong to bring it up after many years and a great marriage?

P.S. It's eating at me, and her stonewalling by saying "I can't remember" is frustrating, especially because all her friends talk about her great memory. -- DEPRESSED IN TEXAS

DEAR DEPRESSED: Yes, you are wrong because this isn't getting you anywhere positive. In fact, it's the opposite. If you are looking for a divorce after "many years and a great marriage," keep digging.

While your wife's poor judgment and infidelity are deeply regrettable, the two of you managed to build a life together and move beyond it. Sometimes people forget what they need to forget in order to function. Accept it and use your quarantine time to do something more positive than playing "20 Questions."

DEAR ABBY: A new single pastor was assigned to my church. He asked if I was single and if I had kids. I told him no, and we began having an affair.

For two years, it was all in secret. Then I began noticing that a single lady from his previous church would visit. He told me she was concerned about him being alone, so she was stopping by on her way through.

Well, I now know she was more than that. While he was having his affair with me, he was engaged to her. When I confronted him, he denied it. They got married in secret, and he didn't tell the church until afterward. Everyone was shocked because he talked so much about being an open book and being truthful. I was and still am in shock. I love my church, but I hate my pastor. Should I leave? -- HURTING IN SECRET

DEAR HURTING: I smell a rat, and it's coming from the pulpit. Your pastor misrepresented himself. His affair with you was, to say the least, unethical and should be discussed with the governing board of your church. You were taken advantage of. One of you should leave.

DEAR ABBY: I endured an arduous decade-long marriage with a subsequent nasty divorce and custody battle. This was followed by years of contentious child rearing with my ex. With my children now grown, I am free to spend my money the way I want and have absolute freedom. I live alone, and quite frankly, I love my life. I am 100% sure that I want to remain unmarried.

When people ask me about getting remarried, I tell them "never again," and I mean it. Yet, inevitably, people say, "You never know, you might get married again someday." Abby, I DO know. It's been more than 20 years.

I used to get annoyed, but now I just blow it off. Do you have any retort that doesn't sound rude? I have thought about saying, "I guess you know me better than I know myself," but it sounds snarky. -- BEFUDDLED IN FLORIDA

DEAR BEFUDDLED: If blowing off the questions no longer works for you, try this: Smile at the person and say, "That would involve two willing people, and I'm not receptive. But thank you for the kind thought." And then change the subject.

DEAR ABBY: I have been having some emotional turmoil. I'm feeling depressed and hopeless. I know I need to tell my parents, but I'm too scared. I'm afraid they will brush it off or blame me. It's really affecting my life. Please give me some advice on how to break the news. -- GIRL WITH A PROBLEM IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR GIRL: Many people are experiencing feelings similar to the ones you are. The worst thing you can do is keep them to yourself. Be brave. Tell your parents about your depression and turmoil. If they are disbelieving, confide in a teacher or the parent of a close friend so they can advise your parents on getting you professional help if it is necessary. My thoughts are with you, and I hope you feel better soon.

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have been living together for almost five years. His parents bought a house a few doors down. They pop in whenever they feel like it and even walk into our bedroom while we are in bed. I need this to stop.

His mother and I had a falling-out in the past because she felt she had a right to control everything down to where I keep my dirty laundry. This is a touchy subject with my boyfriend, let alone his mother. Please help me. -- NEEDS PRIVACY IN MARYLAND

DEAR NEEDS PRIVACY: No one should enter your home without first asking permission, and that goes for your boyfriend's parents. That they would enter your bedroom while you and their son are in bed is over the top.

I fail to understand why this would be a "touchy" subject with your boyfriend. When he became an adult and moved out of his parents' home, surely it had something to do with privacy. It's time you changed the locks on your doors.

Hash this out with a professional mediator if necessary. If you cannot do that, start counting your blessings. Chief among them should be thanking the Lord this woman is not your mother-in-law.

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 16-year-old girl with a problem. It takes me forever to choose an outfit in the morning, no matter the occasion. It's not that I'm a fashionista. It's just that I can't seem to put together anything that makes me feel comfortable.

I'll put something on, think I like it, walk into the bathroom and then notice things about it that I don't like. It's starting to get on my nerves. I have tried shopping for clothes that I know I like, but even then, it seems like I'm changing my outfit three or four times before I leave. How can I make myself feel more comfortable about what I'm wearing? -- FASHION STRUGGLE IN MICHIGAN

DEAR FASHION STRUGGLE: Try laying your clothes out and coordinating your accessories the night before. After you have done it, leave the room for an hour or so. If you like what you have assembled before you go to bed, the chances are better that you will like it in the morning. You will also be less stressed and won't have wasted time obsessing before leaving the house.

DEAR ABBY: I am hurting because my mother favors my brother. I talked to her about it a few times, but she said it hurts her when I say things like that. I don't bring it up to her now, but I am very troubled by it.

I have invited her to visit so she could meet my fiance, but she refuses. She says it's too long a drive. I miss her tremendously and want to see her. My fiance told me to give it time, but I don't think it's fair. What can I do about this situation? -- RANKED SECOND IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR RANKED SECOND: Because you miss your mother and want to see her, I suggest you make the long drive and visit her. And when you do, bring along your fiance.