DEAR ABBY: I am a 49-year-old woman whose mother tries to make me feel guilty for having a good relationship with my father. I have an excellent relationship with her, but lately it feels strained because she gets mad if Dad and I do things together or even just talk on the phone. My goal is not to hurt her, but I refuse not to have a relationship with my dad just to appease her. Have you ever heard of a mother being jealous of her daughter’s relationship with her father?– CONFLICTED IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR CONFLICTED: Yes, I have. But you say you have an excellent relationship with your mother, and this behavior is recent. Do you call and interact individually with her the way you do with your father? If not, it might help to give her more attention than you have. 

Is her relationship with your father the same as it always has been? If it isn’t, because you and your father have extended, private phone conversations on a regular basis, she may fear you have supplanted her in his affections. However, if this isn’t the case, and she demonstrates other personality changes, her physician should be notified so she can be evaluated.

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DEAR ABBY: I have been trying to deal with this on my own for a long time. I have been “crushing” on a man of my faith for a couple of years, and it never seems to subside. We are both married to others, seemingly happily. I like his wife very much, and I would never want to hurt her. 

I think he is a wonderful human being, and he has said as much to me. We would never entertain the idea of an affair. From my standpoint, I don’t know what to do. Do you have any suggestions? I try to give my own husband lots of love.– TORN BETWEEN TWO IN MONTANA

DEAR TORN: Do nothing about this crush. Continue giving your husband lots of love, attention and appreciation. Crushes are normal. Sometimes they serve as reminders that we are still alive. As long as they remain “unfertilized romances,” they harm no one. You have a mutual admiration society because you both deserve it and have nothing to feel guilty about.

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