Dear Abby: My wife and I have a dilemma we don’t know how to handle. We both recently retired. Our sons (both married with children) live in other states. Because my wife and I no longer have family here, we are going to move close to one of our sons. Our dilemma: They both want us to move near them, but they are 2,000 miles apart.
Both of the states they live in are similar in terms of taxes, home prices, cost of living, etc. We have decided where we would like to go and found a home to purchase. How do we tell our other son why we moved where we did? He’s going to be very hurt and feel that we favor his brother, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Both are financially stable (as are my wife and I), so that is not an issue.
I’m sure many people would feel blessed to have two sons who both want their parents close by. How do we tell one we picked the other? – Nearby in California
Dear Nearby: Do not tell either brother that you picked the one you did. You chose a location.
Why did you arrive at the decision you did? Make a list of the reasons you made your choice and recite them when you are asked. You are all adults. Your reasons are valid ones, and this should not be couched in terms of one son being loved better than the other, which is childish.
Dear Abby: Seven years ago, I found out my husband hadn’t paid our mortgage and credit card bills for more than two years, and our home of 23 years was in preforeclosure. Once the secret was out, we managed to save the house (thankfully).
Problem is, I no longer trust my husband and often doubt what he says. My priority was to save our home, but now I am no longer sure I want to stay with him. Our 40th anniversary is this year, but I feel bitter and resentful about his irresponsible decisions. I want to leave, but I’m scared I am making the wrong decision. – Mixed Up in Massachusetts
Dear Mixed Up: Because I have no idea why your husband behaved so irresponsibly, you need to hash this out with a licensed marriage and family therapist. You should also consult an attorney. If you decide to stay, it is imperative that you be in a position to closely monitor any financial actions and obligations in your household.
Dear Abby: I like to jump on our neighbors’ trampoline when they’re out of town. I have been doing it for decades. Normally, it’s no big deal, but last weekend they returned home earlier than usual and caught me in the act. Now my wife is ashamed to show her face around the neighborhood, and she’s blaming me for the whole thing.
Abby, I have a simple solution to this mess. If the neighbors don’t want me jumping on their trampoline, they should cough up the money for a privacy fence. Don’t you agree? – Bouncing into Trouble
Dear Bouncing: If you are so jumpy and can’t keep your feet on the ground, it may be time to buy your own trampoline, which would save your wife a world of embarrassment.
Your comment about the neighbors building a fence may have been offered in jest, but it is sensible. If someone’s child were to play on that trampoline in their absence and be injured, your neighbor could wind up paying a lot more than the cost of a fence.