DEAR ABBY: I have had a wonderful relationship with my only grandson for nine years. Since I retired, he visits every other weekend, which makes me so happy. He has autism and didn’t speak for the first six years, but now he talks constantly. It’s wonderful. I’m very close to my son as well.
I guess you know what’s coming: My daughter-in-law cut my grandchild out of my life four months ago. She says he was molested in my care by my husband. I took my husband of 13 years, who has never been alone with my grandson, ever, to the police station. He passed all lie detector tests, and the police said they believe my husband.
My grandson didn’t say a word; only my DIL spoke. I had child welfare agents come out and they did a thorough investigation. They said that, in their opinion, she was making this up. She hasn’t spoken to her family in 12 years. She cuts everyone off if they upset her.
My grandson needs me. What can I do? My son says if I move and live next door to them, I can see him every day. But, I don’t believe that would last either. I’m sure she would just come up with something else. Any ideas? — ACHING HEART IN TEXAS
DEAR ACHING HEART: If your son is suggesting that you move next door — presumably without your husband — it is a nonstarter. The person who could fix this is your son. Because the accusation your DIL made was groundless, your son should insist you have visitation with your grandson. However, if that doesn’t happen, then remember Texas is a state in which grandparents DO have some rights. Therefore, it may benefit you to discuss this matter with an attorney specializing in family law.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married to the same woman for 35 years. She has been an alcoholic for the last 20. She has done four stints in rehab facilities. She comes out healthy for a while, then starts drinking again. She hasn’t yet realized that she can’t drink one glass of wine and stop there. It seems to get worse each time. We work together, and I have had to take all her hours away because she’s not reliable. I’m holding on to our job and taking care of my aging parents.
I went to my first Al-Anon meeting. It was OK, but only a few of the people in the room were male. Throwing a man out is a lot easier than throwing a woman out. I think about leaving her all the time, but there are risks to my house, our dog and even the general public if I leave her alone. Is there any solution for someone like me? — AT WITS’ END IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR AT WITS’ END: Talk to a family law attorney and ask what your options are. You cannot save your wife from herself or her addiction. When she picks up that glass, she has already made a choice, and it is NOT your marriage or your partnership. She will not become responsible for herself unless she is forced to be. By staying with her, you are enabling her. I apologize if this seems harsh, but it is the truth.
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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