Dear Abby: Boyfriend’s ‘rude, racist and self-centered’ father makes living conditions untenable


DEAR ABBY: I live with my boyfriend and his dad. I moved in two years ago to help them pay their bills so they could continue living in the house my boyfriend grew up in. But the situation has become unbearable.

My boyfriend’s dad is rude, racist and self-centered. It doesn’t matter that we struggle; he goes out and spends all his money on guns and fancy dinners for other relatives. Then he complains that he is broke and has no money to buy things for the house. He also raised our rent because he has an “IRS debt”, which literally has nothing to do with me or my boyfriend.

We can’t talk to him without a big argument breaking out, and I’m at my wit’s end. It’s too expensive to move, so please any help or advice would be much appreciated. — UNHAPPY ROOM

DEAR FLATBED: I hope you now realize that your boyfriend’s father is not going to change; his nature is fully formed. This crass, self-centered racist is WHO HE IS. Instead of continuing to buy things for the house, pay the man his rent and start saving for another place to live. If your boyfriend can contribute to this fund, he can move with you. If he won’t or can’t, move on and find a roommate to split the expenses with. And be grateful, very grateful, you didn’t marry into this family and you can escape without entanglements. Move on – the sooner the better.


DEAR ABBY: I have been happily married for 22 years. We have three beautiful children. We laugh and love a lot. For 10 years, I have tried to keep a brave face towards my mother-in-law. She often makes fun of my appearance (and that of my mother) and puts me down in front of my husband. I am embarrassed, appalled, angry and sad all at the same time. My husband told me he was talking to her about it, but nothing has changed. It’s gotten to the point that I don’t want to be near her anymore.

Tonight at dinner she grabbed my stomach and told me how fat I was. I love my husband so while she was cruel to me, I was nice to her. I recently told her that I would start talking to her like she talks to me. Please help. — HARD TO STAY NICE IN MARYLAND

DEAR HARD: Stop expecting your husband to interfere for you. You two should have asserted yourself with the old biddy years ago. Next time she criticizes, tell her you don’t like her rudeness and won’t tolerate it anymore. The next time she grabs you or puts her hands on you, point out that what she’s doing is aggression. Your husband should have ended it when it started, telling him to leave immediately. At the very least, he should support you now. The longer you continue to silently endure its abuse, the longer it will continue.


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 or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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