Dear Abby

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - COMMUNITY - 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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

Man ob­jects to girl­friend’s fam­ily va­ca­tion with ex.

DEAR ABBY: My girl­friend has been di­vorced for two years. She shares cus­tody of her two girls, ages five and six, with her ex. She wants to re­main friends with him for the sake of the girls. I have sup­ported her friendly re­la­tion­ship with him de­spite the re­peated lies he tells and the de­cep­tive sto­ries he makes up in an at­tempt to break us up.

Re­cently, he de­cided he wants to take his daugh­ters away for a long week­end. He in­vited my girl­friend to come along and plans to pay for ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing a ho­tel room with two beds they will share. I have said re­peat­edly that this va­ca­tion and the ar­range­ments are a deal breaker for me. She as­sures me that her in­tent is to be with her daugh­ters and she has no de­sire for in­ti­macy with her ex. She re­fuses to change her mind and says I need to trust her. The fact is, I don't trust HIM based on his ac­tions and many is­sues be­tween them in the past.

Am I para­noid or ob­sess­ing over this? I'd ap­pre­ci­ate your in­put. — UN­EASY DOWN SOUTH

DEAR UN­EASY: You are nei­ther ob­sess­ing nor para­noid. You are nor­mal. Be­cause the ex seems in­tent on break­ing you up and he seems to have no girl­friend in the pic­ture, you have a right to feel un­easy. (I'm as­sum­ing that your lady friend is phys­i­cally fit and if nec­es­sary she could de­fend her virtue.)

Ques­tions that oc­cur to me are: Why would she want to go away for a long "fam­ily" week­end un­der these cir­cum­stances? Why would she in­sist on it even though she knows it both­ers the man with whom she has a re­la­tion­ship? And why, af­ter in­form­ing her that this will be a deal breaker — which is an ul­ti­ma­tum — are you tol­er­at­ing it?

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 17-yearold girl about to head off to col­lege. I have a great re­la­tion­ship with my fa­ther, but my mother and I are not on the best of terms. Half the time, she's lov­ing and sup­port­ive and will­ing to spend time with me. Other times, she is ver­bally and emo­tion­ally abu­sive. She'll call me a fail­ure and a dis­ap­point­ment, and cry for no rea­son (most likely to get at­ten­tion).

She has done this since my child­hood, and I want to es­cape her tox­i­c­ity by shut­ting her out of my life as an adult. How­ever, she has threat­ened sui­cide (she has tried it be­fore).

My fa­ther is on her side and says he will refuse con­tact with me if I dis­own her. I want to keep them both in my life, but it has be­come too dif­fi­cult to en­dure her abuse any­more. Please help. — COL­LEGE BOUND IN THE MID­WEST

DEAR COL­LEGE BOUND: You're an in­tel­li­gent young woman. I'm sure that by now you have re­al­ized that your mother has se­ri­ous emo­tional is­sues for which one can only hope she is re­ceiv­ing pro­fes­sional help.

When you leave for col­lege, you will no longer be sub­jected to her mood swings or the hurt­ful com­ments she makes when she's not her­self. Once you have com­pleted your ed­u­ca­tion you will be on your own, and will most likely make a life for your­self wher­ever your pro­fes­sion takes you. It isn't nec­es­sary to make any de­ci­sions about cut­ting any­one out of your life now. Time will take care of your prob­lem.

Abi­gail Van Buren Dear Abby

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