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Early phone calls from fiance's 'evil' mother

DEAR AMY: My fiance's mother is a monster. He gets upset any time they speak. The latest incident was because he had not been in touch with her since Christmas. He no longer lives in the same city as her (an hour away). The only time she calls is 6 a.m. on a Sunday. She bailed on Christmas but blames him for not making the effort to travel home to see her or contact her. We have been so busy with work and school that visiting with her slipped through the cracks. She has only called once or twice since Christmas (always at 6 a.m.), and of course we didn't answer because we were sleeping! We have asked her not to call at those times, but she continues. So now my fiance is upset. This evil woman is making him feel that he is a bad son, when really she has no right to talk. She abandoned him at 22 months old (his grandmother raised him), and just a few months before he left town four years ago, she expected to rekindle their relationship. I do not like seeing him upset or beating himself up because of her. What can I do about this?

-- Monster-in-Law

DEAR MONSTER: You may think you are being loyal to your fiance by branding his mother "evil" and a "monster," but you are actually fanning the flames. Your goal for your beloved should be for him to have a peaceful reconciliation. By reconciliation, I mean not necessarily that he should reconcile with his mother, but that he should arrive at a point where he can handle this relationship in a way that makes him feel better. You should be in his corner (not leading the charge) during the struggle.

One thing he could do is call his mother back at a decent hour, for goodness' sake. If he wants to have any contact with her, he should return one of her phone calls.

You should not be hovering in the background, inflating the drama. Simply envelop him in love and affection and let him know that you will support his efforts, whatever they are.

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