Stepmom irked by husband’s nicknames for grown kids

Published 2:37 pm Thursday, October 7, 2021

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Stepmom irked by husband’s nicknames for grown kids

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been happily married for 10 years. This is a second marriage for both of us. We don’t have children together, but my husband has grown daughters in their 50s from a previous marriage. Generally, we have good relationships with each other.
My problem is, my husband still calls — and refers to — his daughters by their childhood nicknames, “Peanut” and “Poopsie.” They reciprocate by calling him by silly names instead of “Dad” or “Father.” Seeing these adult women reverting to childhood drives me up a wall. They talk and act like little girls and use baby talk with each other, too.
I have shared with my husband more than once that this “innocent” nickname game keeps his daughters stuck in old childhood patterns, while keeping other family members out of the conversation. How would you suggest I handle this? — FEELING LIKE AN OUTSIDER

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DEAR “OUTSIDER”: Because you have shared with your husband “more than once” that you feel sidelined when his daughters do this, and nothing has changed, try this: Arrange to visit with friends or schedule an activity you enjoy while your husband’s “girls” visit their daddy. If you do, it may be less frustrating than trying to change them.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been happily married (with some ups and downs) for 30 years. We are in our 50s and have two grown children. We enjoy an active love life except for one thing. He refuses to kiss me passionately before or during lovemaking. When I met him 35 years ago, he was the best kisser! Kissing helps me to get in the mood, but he says we’re “too old” for that.
I have talked to him about it, to no avail. My first thought was that my breath was bad, but he assured me it wasn’t. Is this normal? Am I asking too much? When we’re watching a movie together, I will say to him when the actors kiss, “They’re doing it, why can’t we?” and he rolls his eyes. Should I let this go, as it seems like such a small issue? — KISSED OFF IN MONTANA

DEAR KISSED OFF: Considerate couples who love each other want to give each other pleasure. That your husband would withhold something you have told him you need to enhance your intimacy is selfish. I do not think you should “let this go,” because if you would write to me about it, it ISN’T a small issue. If he can’t explain his change in behavior to you, he should explain it WITH you — in the office of a marriage and family therapist.

DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 45 years, but the love of my life is now in a memory care facility because of Alzheimer’s. We have always sent out greeting cards during the holidays. I’m now wondering how I should sign them this year — with both our names as usual or just my own? — WONDERING IN SAN DIEGO

DEAR WONDERING: I vote for sending the cards out with both of your names. There will come a time when you send them from just yourself, but until his passing, his name should be included.

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 P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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