Grandparents have opinions on what’s best for a young man


DEAR ABBY: Our 26-year-old college-educated grandson “Ethan” had an accident with his company car and was arrested for DWI and possession of more than one gram of cocaine. His mother has hired a lawyer, posted bail and takes full charge of the situation. Ethan lost his responsible job and his girlfriend kicked him out. He has a considerable inheritance, enough to pay the lawyer and the fine. Since he’s never been in trouble before, we hope he doesn’t go to jail.

Although we love Ethan very much, his father and I agree that he should handle this on his own without his mother (who recently divorced our son) running to his aid. Ethan also needs help with his addictions. He has enough funds in the 529 account to turn this big mistake into an opportunity to go back to college and get a master’s degree.

I don’t know how much to get involved, directly with Ethan or his mother. Although my wife and I are on good terms with his mother, it seems that she does not want our advice. I look forward to your suggestions on what to do.


DEAR GRANDFATHER: You can voice your opinion, but beyond that you have to stay out of it. As well-meaning as you are, you can’t force your former daughter-in-law — who’s in full mother mode — or Ethan to give up the path they’re on. All you can do is point out the dangers they may encounter along the way and hope they’ll listen to you, frustrating as that may be.

DEAR ABBY: My fiancé and I recently moved to a new area because his job was transferred. He was really excited to start this new adventure, and I was happy to accompany him. We’ve been together 10 years (high school sweethearts), and we got engaged just before we moved out.

I noticed he had been Snapchatting with someone. When I asked him, he refused to tell me who, but said I shouldn’t worry. Eventually he told me. She’s a work colleague. I don’t know much about her except that she just got divorced. I’m glad she got out of a bad situation, but I don’t understand why she’s Snapchatting with my fiancé. I also don’t understand why he hid it from me until I made a big deal out of it.

There are other details about her – which I’m not sure are 100% true – that might change my view on this, but since I don’t know her, they’re hard to believe for me. Should I be worried or is my anxiety taking over? I’ll talk to him about it, but I’m not going to blow up in his face about it.


DEAR DOUBT: I’m glad you’re not exploding because this would only put your fiancé on the defensive. However, you must have a discussion with him about this colleague. If you think he hasn’t been completely honest about his situation and has gone secret, acknowledge that as a huge red flag and go from there. Don’t get married until this is resolved.

About Dear Abby

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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