DEAR ABBY: My father-in-law and I are just cut from different cloth. We are political opposites, although we do get along for the most part.
On a family vacation (we were visiting them), we were going out for dinner. My wife and I knew he was going to take us to a restaurant we both have ethical issues with. I handed him a 10% off coupon for a different nearby restaurant and said, “Here’s another option for dinner.” When he responded that he thought we’d go to the first place, I said, “Sorry. I have some moral issues with it and won’t eat there. Is there somewhere else we can go?”
He then blew up at me, saying things like, “If you’re not paying, what difference does it make?” and “Since you’re our guest, it’s rude of you to refuse.”
My wife agreed that he was out of line. What do you think? Was it rude of us as their guests? Or rude of him as a host to not accommodate us?
— NOT GOING THERE IN NEBRASKA
DEAR NOT GOING: You have a loyal and loving wife. However, a more honest and less biased spouse would have pointed out (privately) that your manners were atrocious.
A gracious guest accepts the hospitality offered by their host rather than trying to turn the occasion into a demonstration of cancel culture. You owe your father-in-law an apology.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are retired and are both managing separate cancer diagnoses. This makes our finances hard to predict in the event one of us needs expensive medication. We did a good job saving for retirement and live comfortably.
Our adult daughter contracted Lyme disease 10 years ago and became very ill. She endured years of painful treatments — which were not covered by insurance — during which time her husband divorced her. We stepped in to help with her medical bills.
While the Lyme is no longer detectable in her system, some of the symptoms have never completely gone away. Now she’s undergoing more tests looking at a hormone imbalance.
My husband is angry that we are still paying some of her medical bills. (She works, has insurance and pays for what she can.) We can afford to help her, and I don’t understand why her father doesn’t want to help her anymore.
We’ve argued about this many times over the years, and I’m frustrated with the situation. I’m not willing to give up on her like so many others have.
What can I say to him the next time he confronts me about paying her medical bills?
— DEVOTED IN OREGON
DEAR DEVOTED: It may be time to stop arguing with your husband about this.
Your adult daughter works and has medical insurance. You and your husband are both medically fragile. While I understand your desire to protect your daughter, you should not be supplementing her income if it threatens your access to the medications you may need in the future.
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.