Son throws a tantrum after wedding gift is cut in half

DEAR ABBY: I was working out of town in a position that paid a good salary. When my adult son proposed to his girlfriend, I told him I would try and give him $10,000 for the wedding. Well, things changed. I had to return home for good, and my salary was cut. When I told my son I wouldn’t be able to give him $10,000, but could give him only $5,000 instead, he became very upset and said, “You promised that amount and we were counting on that money!”

I feel a gift is a gift, and they should be happy with whatever I can manage. After talking it over with several friends, they all agreed that he is behaving inappropriately. I am single and trying to retire in 10 years. Please help. — SALARY CUT IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR SALARY CUT: Your son’s reaction was immature. He should understand that sometimes circumstances can change. If you haven’t already explained why you need to cut back on the sum you planned to give him, do it now. How he reacts to your explanation will tell you whether you want to give him even $5,000.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

DEAR ABBY: I recently took a job working for someone I knew. He was a neighbor and attended my church for several years, but we were never more than acquaintances.

After I began working there, I saw things going on with other girls in the office that were very inappropriate. Then I stumbled across a sexual online chat he was having with one of them. As I scrolled through the feed, it became apparent they’re having an affair. It made me so uncomfortable I quit working there.

We still live in the same community. He has a beautiful, kind and very pregnant wife. Should I tell her? Should I tell anyone, or stay quiet and let him get away with it? It makes me sick, and I don’t know what to do at this point. — UNCOMFORTABLE IN THE WEST

DEAR UNCOMFORTABLE: Allow me to suggest that what you do is remain silent, at least for now. The kind and very pregnant wife does not need to be told that her husband is cheating with an employee at this juncture. After the baby is born, perhaps she should be told — if she doesn’t know already — but NOT NOW.

DEAR ABBY: Please help! How do I politely tell my partner — without hurting his feelings — that I don’t like his cooking and I should be the one doing the cooking because I’m more “seasoned” in the kitchen than he is? I am usually the “chef” and he is the “second-in-command,” which in the past has worked. — SEASONED IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR SEASONED: Here’s how: Skip the part about not liking his cooking, which could be hurtful. Ease into it by telling him you consider cooking together to be a bonding experience. Then say how much you enjoy taking the lead when the two of you do it, how meaningful it is when he helps you, and how much you’d appreciate it if he would continue to let you be the chef.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

(EDITORS: If you have editorial questions, please contact Sue Roush,


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Started working with the Press in the Circulation Department in 2006 and moved to Editorial in 2008. Previously worked in Circulation and Advertising at the Asbury Park Press.