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Advice Archive 7

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Hostile Son-In-Law Shouldn't Be In Will

(taken from 9/26/17 "Ask Amy")


LETTER: My husband and I are retired. We married 12 years ago — several years after his ex had an affair and left him.


My husband has two grown sons (around 40), one of whom is married. The married son and his wife essentially ignore that I exist. My attempts to talk to them directly about it have not been well received.


They are still upset that we opted to elope, instead of having a “real” wedding and inviting them. I also suspect that my lack of fundamental Christian religious beliefs may add fuel to the fire, although my husband has the same beliefs as mine.


For the first five years of our marriage, I tried extremely hard to create a relationship by planning vacations with them and inviting them to our home. This was exhausting, painful, and only made matters worse.


I continue to take the high road. I always remember birthdays and holidays with cards and nice gifts, although such attention is never reciprocated.


I attend large family gatherings where they are present, and I am always cordial and friendly. I feel that I owe this to my husband.


Here’s the issue: I brought the vast majority of our considerable net worth into the marriage. My husband wants to leave a large amount to this son and his wife, but I am opposed to this. I have other long-standing, loving relationships that I would like to recognize (although I have no children of my own).

This is causing an issue in our otherwise very happy marriage. What do you think?


Amy delved into a bunch of snooze-inducing legal and financial jargon. Skillz, OTOH, has practical solutions that are entirely in your hands:

SKILLZ SAYS: Good Lord, these people hate you. Are you the identical twin of the guy who ran off with your hubby's ex?


The main issue I take with your letter: you go out of your way to refer to it as "our" net worth, yet you want to treat it as if it's solely yours. If it's truly yours AND your husband' have no right to dictate what he does with it. He IS going to give some to his kid—I don't know if the kid will accept it out of hatred for you, but you clearly don't want to leave it to chance.


With that in mind, you have two choices:


1) Write a letter to the son and wife. Explain how you've decided to will them a large amount of money and that it's your idea to do so. Point out how you earned it: years and years of running a lucrative call girl business, with a little illegal gambling on the side, way before you met your hubs. Make sure to emphasize how God made all of your dreams possible by sending those lost, vulnerable church girls your way. If their Christian values are as prominent as you say, they'll be too disgusted to ever accept a penny.


2) Your husband can't share what isn't there.


Start moving the money out now. Assuming your account is joint, you will likely be unable to clear the whole thing out at once, so gradually move $2K here, $2K there until there's nothing left for him to will. You will have to work to either keep him from finding out, or if that isn't possible, come up with an excellent lie ("Such-and-Such Bank has 5% higher interest! Just sign these [fake] documents and we'll be even richer!") But that's on you—I can't think of everything. WIN! You're welcome.


After Six Years, He Dumps Me Over THIS?

(taken from 8/28/17 "Ask Amy")


LETTER: I’ve had an on-and-off relationship with a guy for about six years. We’re both 45.


He’s divorced with a son in high school. I’ve never been married.

Recently we made plans for a Monday night. There is a history of this guy “disappearing” and not following through on plans.


I emailed him a couple of times the week before, with no response. When I hadn’t heard back from him the Friday before, I emailed him, letting him know I had made other plans for Monday.


I got a response telling me to erase his number and email, and to never contact him again.

I’ve since sent a number of emails apologizing profusely, with no response. I can’t believe that my “offense” (making other plans and letting him know I wasn’t going to be available after not hearing from this guy for over a week) is a capital offense, one for which you’d cut all contact from someone you’ve known for six years. I’m not sure what to do at this point!

Amy essentially told you your decision-making sucked. Skillz thinks there's more to the whole story...


SKILLZ SAYS: If there's anything I've learned in my life, it's that people dodge responsibility and often leave out the bad parts when sharing their stories. I also know people act angrily in the heat of the moment, and that—moreso than men in my experience—women don't take well to being pushed aside or ignored by their guy.


With all that in mind, I'm apt to wonder if you left something out of your letter; that maybe there's a justifiable reason for your now-ex to demand you never contact him again. Perhaps the "plans" you spoke of were skinning his mother alive from head to toe? Or maybe you told him you'd now be attending a nearby Klan rally? Did you tell your now-ex that your "plans" consisted of driving to his house and chopping his dick off with an ax? Any of these reasons would be enough to instantly demand removal from most lives.


In all seriousness, assuming your plans weren't heinous as exampled above, it's pretty obvious what's going on here: his high school son hates you, and has been hijacking your emails for years in a (temporary successful) effort to break you and his dad up.

How did you not see this?! The "goodbye" letter was written by the son, too! What do you do at this point? Buy a cell phone. Communicate with that going forward.  And if/when you date again, make sure you get dirt on any brat kids the guy may have—that should nullify any future sabotage efforts. WIN! You're welcome.

My Daughter-In-Law Is Crushing On My Husband

(taken from 1/3/18 "Dear Abby")


LETTER: My son and his wife have been together 10 years. They met and fell in love young. They are only 25 and have two beautiful children.


I remarried three years ago, and my son's wife was instantly attracted to my 54-year-old husband. It's always uncomfortable for the two of us when they come to visit. She stares at him throughout the entire visit, tries to either sit right next to him or directly across from him, and expects a hug every time they arrive and leave. (We finally put a stop to it because she would wait to hug him last and then hold him extra long.)


My husband confided that he's flattered a 25-year-old gives him that much attention. Three years of this can be very wearing. Anything I can do and not lose my son?


Abby gave some of the worst, DUH! advice she, or anyone else, has ever given—not helpful in any way. THIS, says Skillz, is what you need to do...


SKILLZ SAYS: I've got two solutions for ya. Solution #1 requires you to make a giant sacrifice, but sometimes in life you have to suffer now to benefit later (childbirth, leg wax, bodybuilding, etc.) It also requires your husband to sacrifice a little pride. You see, he's going to have to sleep with DIL...poorly.  Now if he's anything like me, he couldn't bring himself to do the nasty with someone significantly younger. But if he's anything like, well, 75% of other men, he wouldn't pass up a shot at pardoned sex with a 25-year-old, even if he'll have to make a fool out of himself.


Depending on your DIL's personality, his bedroom persona must be:

  • too rough ("WHAT'S MY NAME, BITCH?")

  • too sweet ("I feel our souls becoming one") or

  • too strange ("Put your left big toe in my mouth, and recite the lyrics to Cheers. Or ELSE.")


And the sex itself must be awful. Overly sweaty, violent coughing, over in two minutes or less. I guarantee, if you can find it in yourself to allow this...she'll never crush on your hubs again. Hell, she might just divorce your son, too. (Oh yeah, forgot to mention this plan would also screw up your son's marriage. Oh, well, doesn't sound like it's rock-solid anyway, now DOES it?)


The non-adulterous solution involves the flu—whenever your husband has it again, INVITE DIL OVER, let her see him in all his 104º glory. Have her help with his puke bucket...or better yet, have her witness a puke. And make sure whatever room she observes him in, a pair of "his" severely skid-marked undies are in plain sight...substitute chocolate if needed. Crushes are often based on illusion, and once DIL's illusion of her dashing dad-in-law is shattered, she'll be so over him. WIN! You're welcome.


DNA Testing Reveals Family Secret

(taken from 8/17/17 "Ask Amy")


LETTER: About a year ago, I used one of those genetic testing services. The website shows other users who share genetics with you, and allows everyone to contact one another.


Recently, I got a message from another user (a woman in her 60s in another state), that showed we were a very close genetic match.

She emailed me, saying she was looking for information on her father, whom she had never met. She said her mother had a very brief relationship with a U.S. marine during the Korean War. It turned out he had probably used a fake name. They had no photos, and they were never able to track him down. Her mother later moved to the United States.


The woman, “Janet,” asked if it was possible if my grandfather (who is now dead) was her father. She knew very little except for what her mother (also now dead) had told her, including specific identifying physical characteristics. My grandfather was a Korean War veteran and had the exact characteristics she described (including a distinctive tattoo).


My grandfather would’ve been married to my grandmother (who is still alive) when “Janet” was been conceived. An uncle of mine was born a year before Janet.


I always saw my grandfather as a good, caring family man. I have not told anyone about this. I do not want to tarnish his memory, upset my grandmother or change how my family views him, when he’s not around to defend himself.


Janet would like to meet my aunts and uncles, but I have told her I am not comfortable giving her their contact information. She has recently started pleading with me, and I truly feel awful for not giving it to her.

What do I do here?

Amy's advice leaned toward indulging the aunt, which you didn't seem too keen on. D-Rock suggests other approaches...


D-ROCK SAYS: That is quite a predicament to be in, but I have a couple of ideas that you can try. 


The first idea involves softening your relatives up to the idea of finding out about a family member that you didn't know existed.  Go on and purchase DVD sets of the sitcom Perfect Strangers. There is a very affordable bundle of Seasons 1 and 2 for about $10. 

Then you'll need to gather up your aunts and uncles.  Tell them that you want to celebrate a recent promotion, or that you have a newfound respect for the elderly and want to celebrate their...elderly-ness.  You'll want to put up a good ruse, so by all means, treat this as an actual celebration.  There should be plenty of wine to go around.  And it wouldn't hurt to stock up on some Ensure and Boniva. 



After everyone has settled, pop in a Perfect Strangers DVD.  You have to make a big deal out of it, though, so that they have a reason to care.  Tell them that the show gave you great memories or something like that.  Obviously you're not gonna make them watch the whole DVD set at the party so you will need to play the episodes that tear at the heartstrings. 

All shows on the TGIF lineup had at least one tear-jerking episode per season.  You'll want to make side comments as the show is playing.  Things like, "Where would Larry be if he didn't have Balki in his life?" or "Larry and Balki make a great team.  They both should definitely look deeper into their family history to see if any of their paternal ancestors fathered illegitimate children in other parts of the world; like Zimbabwe...or, you know...Korea."  (It would be best if you said either of those things verbatim.)  


The goal here is to implant in their brains how great it would be to learn of new relatives.  I'm confident that after witnessing the shenanigans of Larry and Balki, they will want a Balki of their own.



The second idea is a bit sneakier, and you will need "Janet" to fully comply with the plan.  "Janet" will have to temporarily assume another identity.  You won't have to change her name (which is good, because "Janet" is such a lame name) but you will have to introduce her to the family as your "Tai Chi instructor".  By the way, "Janet" will need to learn how to do Tai Chi. You will have to talk her up big time and sell your relatives on the benefits of Tai Chi.  Mention things like "osteo-arthritis" and "curved spines" and "hip dysplasia" and how Tai Chi will cure that stuff.  They will be intrigued; I guarantee it. 


Soon they will ask you more about this Tai Chi phenomenon.  At which point you will suggest that they have "Janet" teach them the ways of Tai Chi.  If things work as planned, "Janet" will ingratiate herself among your aunts and uncles so much so that when you reveal to them that they've been spending time with their long lost half-sister, they will be overjoyed.


You're welcome.

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