The gift you must keep giving?

A painful perennial: “I survived another holiday — phew! But this year, it was very tricky being not just civil but genuinely warm to my daughter’s fiance, father of my two grandchildren. I think this guy is a sleaze, and I no longer know whether to be upset or thankful that their engagement is stretching out as long as it is. I have been very appropriate in terms of what I choose to tell my daughter about my feelings, and have encouraged her to make good decisions for herself and the kids.

”Sometimes I feel like I should be more direct, though; even as I was handing him his Christmas gift, I felt like a liar and a hypocrite.”

What is the honorable way to handle it when you strongly dislike the parent of your grandchildren? Where do you think the line is between rallying to accept someone distasteful, and being a hypocrite?

— Carolyn Hax

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