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Dear Ann Landers,
When does a father's responsibility to his college-graduate son end? My husband put his son through four years of a very fine college, including a nice apartment and all living expenses. "Chuck" graduated six months ago and took a job for commission only. His father paid for another apartment for three months. Chuck decided he didn't like his job, quit and has had three jobs since then. He also bought an expensive new car. Between the payments and the insurance, he is now in debt. Two months ago, Chuck came for a weekend visit and is still here. He has a good job at the moment, although he says it's only temporary until he finds something better. He could afford his own apartment but has it too good with us. His father won't ask him to pay for room and board, so he has it pretty easy. Chuck comes and goes as he pleases, and some days, the only words I hear from him are, "What's for supper?" I'm the stepmother and in the middle. If I say anything to my husband, I'm afraid he will be resentful and defend his son. I also don't want to alienate Chuck. What should I do? -- Worried Wife in Pa.

Dear Worried in Pa.,
When a second wife gets into a controversy with her husband about his grown children from his first marriage, she's a loser before she opens her mouth, but talk to your husband anyway. Chuck is taking advantage of you, and you should not permit it. How wonderful it would be if he found a lovely young woman. I'll bet he'd WANT to get his own apartment before long.

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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!

Andy's Comment
You should speak to your husband about his son. It probably won't do any good, but it will make your position clear: That daddy isn't doing his son any real favors by prolonging his childhood. You should also make it clear to both of them that you are not providing maid service for your stepson. If you are, stop it immediately. There will ultimately be fallout, but if your husband persists in permitting his son to freeload, you might want to consider whether this is a man you really want to grow old with.
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, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself, the most comforting words of all; this, too, shall pass."
-Ann Landers