Ask Amy: Husband thinks his wife is too close to her kids

Dear Amy: My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We both have adult children from previous marriages.

My husband isn’t as close with his children as I am with mine. My children and I have always spent a lot of time together and we connect through text or phone calls almost daily.

My husband believes this is excessive. He doesn’t see or keep in touch with his children that way.

I try to explain to him that my children grew up in a close family, and we remain close.

I think we should be glad that they like us and want to spend time with us.

I have recently retired. My husband is still working. He travels out of town about twice a month.

When he goes out of town, I take the opportunity to see my children.

This upsets my husband. He says, “Why do you always have to go somewhere or do something when I go out of town? Why can’t you just stay home?”

When I asked why this bothers him, he claimed that it was because “it costs money.”

We are not struggling financially, my kids always pay their own way, and most of the time I’m just spending time with them in their homes.

I’m not doing anything wrong. It’s not like I am going out to bars.

I am always back home no later than 9 p.m. and I always keep in touch with my husband while I’m out.

I finally told him that this is his problem, and he needs to get over it because I am not doing anything wrong.

Well, it just happened again.

Am I missing something?

– At a Loss

Dear At a Loss: It’s one thing for your husband to try to limit your time with your children when he is around, but his desire to also control who you see when he is away is completely ridiculous, over the top, and – concerning.

Your husband’s perspective might be that he would like for the two of you to spend more of your “together-time” socializing with people who are closer to your own age and stage in life. If so, then he should work harder to develop these friendships.

And unless your daily phone and texting contact with your children is obsessive, damaging, or taking your attention away from your own work, hobbies, friendships, or unduly interfering with your marriage, then it is simply not his business.

Close and intimate marriages thrive when spouses place the marriage at the center of their lives, but it’s a simple fact that your relationship with your children is longer standing, lifelong and unique.

One way for your husband to honor his marriage to you would be for him to love and respect the kind of parent you are.

Because this is an ongoing issue, you would both benefit from talking it out with the aid of a counselor.

Dear Amy: I’ve been with my girlfriend “Crissy” for almost two years. We live together and are in our mid-20’s.

We have both been working and have been able to pay our expenses and even save a little money toward getting a better apartment.

Crissy quit her job just before Christmas because she felt the environment was toxic and she basically hated her job. I don’t blame her for hating her job – at all. I would have hated it, too.

Unfortunately, she quit before she had looked for a new job and now it is over three months later and she hasn’t looked at all. We have gone through our savings and I can just barely pay our expenses.

Crissy now says that she would like to be a “stay-at-home girlfriend.” She doesn’t want to work.

I am not sure what to do.

Any ideas?

– Tired Boyfriend

Dear Tired: We all want to be a “stay-at-home girlfriend.” But life does not work that way.

“Chrissy” is not a good partner to you. Furthermore, she doesn’t want to be a good partner to you. I think it’s time to break up.

Dear Amy: “Pondering Papa in the Pacific Northwest” has every right and should tell his daughter that she and her boyfriend must sleep in separate rooms during a visit.

The mother seems a little too delighted that her daughter is “sleeping around.” That’s why she is allowing it.

– Protective Dad

Dear Protective: The huge response to this question has revealed quite a double standard: The house belongs to the father and the daughter’s sexuality belongs to the mother.