DEAR ABBY: Our wonderful daughter has her doctorate. She’s a hardworking professor, a job she loves. Her husband, “Phil,” has three master’s degrees and also his doctorate. In their 20 years of marriage, he has not worked a single job. He would say he is a writer, but if I am generous, he has earned perhaps $250 during their marriage.
Phil is rude, disrespectful, stunningly immature, a bully, toxic and passive-aggressive. He drinks too much and goes to the gym three hours a day. I worked as a psychiatric social worker. My wife of 42 years, who has never said one negative thing about anybody, refers to our son-in-law as “the Grump.” Their 10-year-old son is a joy and a blessing to be with. Unlike his father, he has a work ethic and is kind and grateful.
I fully understand we don’t control anybody else and often cannot even influence their choices. Over the years, we have spent many nights in tears over what Phil has done or said to us. We have been very generous to them during their marriage. We wish we could keep our daughter and grandson and give Phil a one-way ticket. Our daughter seems reasonably happy in the marriage, but we suspect she’s afraid to say anything for fear of being bullied. Any thoughts? — SEEING CLEARLY IN MAINE