Dear Annie: My 36-year-old stepson, “Greg,” acts as if he’s married to my husband. It’s like a constant battle to outdo me. When my husband and I go on vacation, Greg whines to Daddy that he never takes him anywhere. On Wednesday, which is Greg’s day off, he will plan something for lunchtime so my husband will be gone while I’m home. I work second shift. Greg has been horribly spoiled by his mother and father and thinks he’s entitled to everything. I have quite a few grandkids, and Greg doesn’t like that his dad spends time with them, so he calls his dog his dad’s grandchild and expects him to buy her birthday and Christmas gifts and gifts at different times throughout the year.
I’m ready to snap. For any holiday, Greg will tell his dad where to take him to eat and say, “And don’t bring her.” My husband will never stick up for me, and if I try to say something about any of this, he tells me he doesn’t want to hear it. I love my husband, but I’m about done with all of this. Help, please. — Frustrated With Ungrateful Kid
Dear Frustrated With Ungrateful Kid: It sounds as though you’re more frustrated with your husband’s refusal to stick up for you than you are with anything else. You have to talk with him about how your feelings are hurt when Greg says he does not want you there. Tell your husband that you don’t want to have to fight for his time and attention. And to this same end, make sure that you are not being competitive with Greg. For instance, if Greg values his dog almost as a child, you should allow him that and not put down his father’s giving the dog some presents. Instead, focus on the attention and love your husband gives to your grandchildren and tell him how much you appreciate it. Your husband tries hard to please Greg and your grandchildren. All that’s left is for him to treat you the same way.
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