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DEAR ABBY: I have a wonderful mother-in-law whom
I love very much. She frequently stays overnight in my
home. I also have two young sons.
My mother-in-law recently mentioned to me that she
doesn’t wear underwear to bed and never has, including
while staying at my house. I’m troubled by this because
she wears nightgowns to bed, and I’m afraid my sons
might accidentally see her lady parts. Also, she sleeps
on my furniture like this, and I feel it is disrespectful and
I don’t know how to say to her that, for the sake of my
furniture and my sanity, I need her to wear underwear to
bed when she stays at my house. Do I broach this subject,
or am I being unreasonable? -- PROPER IN OHIO
DEAR PROPER: What your mother-in-law wears
to bed is her business, not yours. Unless your

little boys are playing peek-a-boo underneath her
nightie, they won’t notice -- or care. How long is
that garment anyway? If it reaches below her
knees or to her ankles, there should be no “bootie
contact” with your sofa. In the interest of family
harmony, I recommend you take a chill pill and
leave the subject alone.
DEAR ABBY: I’m in love with a man who doesn’t
want us to be described as anything more than friends.
We are together every day, and he knows I love him. We
have sex, and I sleep over whenever possible. He wants
me there all the time but with no status. Am I wrong for
wanting more? Will there ever be more? -- NAMELESS
DEAR NAMELESS: The answers to your
questions are no and no. Your “friend” wants
the benefits of being a lover and none of the
Have you talked with him about this and how it
makes you feel? You are not “wrong” for wanting
more, but you are mistaken if you think that
being at his beck and call is the way to get the
commitment he seems to be so unwilling to make.
You might have better results if you quit being so
DEAR ABBY: I’m recently married to my second
wife. We have a great relationship, but I feel like she has
a better relationship with my two daughters than I do.
They do everything together, and my daughters don’t
want to do anything that includes me.

Part of me is grateful they have such a great
relationship, but I’m also jealous that my relationship
with them is not as good as hers. Should I say something?
I don’t want to ruin what they have, but I feel neglected.
Am I being selfish? Should I just ignore it and get a hobby
or something? -- ENVIOUS IN THE EAST
DEAR ENVIOUS: I wish you had mentioned how
old your daughters are. I see nothing to be gained
by not discussing this with your wife. Parenting is
not supposed to be a contest.
Your daughters may not mean to exclude you,
but may assume you wouldn’t be interested in the
things they are doing or discussing. (I’m thinking
of things females like to do together.) If you let
them know you’re sincerely interested in joining in
some of their activities, you may be surprised at
how quickly they include you. Also, set a standing
(monthly) breakfast or lunch date -- just you and
your daughters -- so you can spend some quality
time together.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also
known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her
mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www. or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in
“The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To
order, send your name and mailing address, plus check
or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger
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