Neg­a­tive Nancy gets in be­tween hus­band and far­away daugh­ter

The China Post - - TV & COMICS -

DEAR AN­NIE: My friend “Nancy” has be­come one of those step­moth­ers who neg­a­tively in­flu­ences her hus­band’s re­la­tion­ship with his adult chil­dren.

When things be­gan to turn sour be­tween Nancy and her hus­band’s daugh­ter, who lived nearby, the daugh­ter re­tal­i­ated by dis­tanc­ing her­self from her fa­ther, re­fus­ing to see him and avoid­ing his calls. Nancy per­suaded her hus­band to move across the coun­try. She blames the move on the daugh­ter, who “drove them away,” but I’m sure his daugh­ter sees it as Nancy mak­ing sure Dad is to­tally alien­ated from his fam­ily.

Now, when Nancy’s hus­band speaks of vis­it­ing his daugh­ter and her fam­ily, Nancy ac­tively tries to dis­cour­age him, re­mind­ing him that he wasn’t treated prop­erly. Fam­ily mem­bers have sug­gested to Nancy that she al­low her hus­band to han­dle his re­la­tion­ship with his daugh­ter on his own, but she’s un­will­ing to do that.

I hope Nancy’s hus­band reads this and sees him­self. Per­haps other men with con­trol­ling wives will, too. He should re­mem­ber that his re­la­tion­ship with his chil­dren pre­dates his mar­riage to Nancy and that he needs to honor that re­la­tion­ship and quit be­ing so pas­sive around his wife. — On the Side­lines, but Been

There

Dear Side­lines: Many men would rather aban­don their chil­dren than fight with their wives. They also fig­ure the kids don’t need them that much. But truth­fully, kids al­ways need their par­ents’ love and sup­port, and once a hus­band takes a firm stand on the is­sue, the ar­gu­ments tend to be shorter, and the wife of­ten backs off. But it takes some ini­tial ef­fort. And by the way, this dy­namic works with ei­ther spouse. There are hus­bands who push their wives to move away from their kids, and the wives al­low it. Some­times it bor­ders on an abu­sive, iso­lat­ing re­la­tion­ship.

You can’t force some­one to grow a spine. You’ve ex­pressed your opin­ion to Nancy, and she has cho­sen to ig­nore you. We hope her hus­band finds a way to rec­on­cile with his daugh­ter be­fore the es­trange­ment is per­ma­nent.

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