Dear Abby: My son-in-law always criticizes my daughter and she’s lost her confidence

2 weeks ago

DEAR ABBY: I’m concerned that my son-in-law is emotionally abusing my daughter. She was always a bit shy but was able to stand up for herself.

Recently, we were driving to a new destination and she was using Google Maps. It said we had arrived at our destination, but we couldn’t see it. After backtracking, her husband was able to find it. He then berated my daughter for “being unprepared and not knowing where it was”! No one had been there before, and we were following an effective app. She apologized to him.

I wanted to say something, but when I have in the past, she became upset with me. I see her confidence ebbing away. She needs to stand up to him. There have been many more instances. How can I help her return to being the strong and confident woman she was? I don’t think counseling would work. She doesn’t recognize what is happening to her. — MOM WHO SEES IT IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR MOM: Talk to your daughter privately. Explain that you are worried about her because she’s no longer the person she once was. Give her examples of her husband’s verbal abuse that you have observed and ask if she thinks she really deserved it. Offer to (quietly) pay for her to talk with a licensed counselor if she would be willing. Then cross your fingers that she will accept your offer and act on it without spilling the beans to her husband.

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.…Read more by Abigail Van Buren |, Abigail Van Buren, AbigailVanBuren


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