Dear Amy: I am the stepmom to two young adults.
My husband recently learned that his son and the son’s girlfriend of three years are only using condoms for birth control.
This upset my husband. He’d assumed that his son’s girlfriend used some form of birth control as well.
Neither of them wants to have children, and we live in a state where trigger laws went into effect after the Dobbs decision. My husband is worried that this young couple is going to end up with an unwanted pregnancy.
My husband talked with his son about it, and his son (rightly) told him it made him uncomfortable and asked him to drop the subject. I agreed with this. Apparently, my husband brought it up again (maybe two more times). I wasn’t there.
Yesterday, the girlfriend called and told me these conversations had upset her.
I told her my husband has a good heart and wants what’s best, but I agreed with her that he overstepped, and said I would speak with him.
Was it wrong for me to say that? (I didn’t want her to think I agreed with him.)
I understand why he is upset, but this is a decision to be made solely by these young adults.
Was I disloyal to my husband?
– Stepmom in the Middle
Dear Stepmom: If your son’s girlfriend is upset having birth control discussed, imagine how upset she might be if she experienced an unwanted pregnancy, and it became the family’s business.
Birth control should be discussed, and it should be discussed by men!
Is it your husband’s business? Not really. But then again, he knows that this young couple does not want to have children. His son has obviously told him that the couple uses only condoms.
This is from Planned Parenthood’s website (plannedparenthood.org): “If you use condoms perfectly every single time you have sex, they’re 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. But people aren’t perfect, so in real life condoms are about 87% effective — that means about 13 out of 100 people who use condoms as their only birth control method will get pregnant each year.”
You don’t agree with your husband’s choice to focus on this. Being honest about your own point of view is not disloyal, but an alternative might have been for you to urge this young woman to speak with your husband directly, since her issue is with him.
As it is, you should talk with him and report the conversation you had with the girlfriend, since this is what you offered to do.
He risks alienating this couple by pushing his advocacy.
Dear Amy: I need your recommendation on how to appropriately thank my bosses and coworkers.
I work in a retirement community in Montana. I was recently injured at work, and am on extremely light duty.
My bosses and coworkers from all departments have jumped in to help me – not only with my daily tasks, but they have created a new position just for me while I recover.
They have also reassured me that my job is safe, and I should not fear being dismissed due to my inability to perform most of my required daily tasks.
I love my job. I work with amazing people, residents, and staff.
I feel so blessed to work with so many that I count as friends as well as coworkers.
When I am back up to full strength, how should I thank these incredible people?
– Loving my Job in MT
Dear Loving: This is a sweet tribute to the generosity of your co-workers.
You should write a letter to your supervisor and ask that person to share it wherever appropriate. (Note also that it would be illegal for your employer to terminate your job when you’re recovering from an injury sustained on the job.)
When my mother lived in an assisted-living home, I got a friend to play the piano, my sisters all brought home-baked goods, and we hosted a little gratitude-reception. You might sponsor a taco meal, or bring in KFC and sweet tea. Keep it simple, affordable, and sincere.
Dear Amy: You think it is OK for “Extremely Conflicted Husband” to pursue a relationship with another woman as long as he does not abandon his wife, who has advanced dementia.
Let’s assume that he vowed to “forsake all others until death do we part.”
What you suggest has a word for it: Adultery.
Dear Disappointed: This is a tough ethical dilemma, but yes – you’re right about my point of view.
©2022 Amy Dickinson.