Girl­friend has an ex is­sue

Los Angeles Times - - COMICS -

Dear Amy: I’m in a 10-year re­la­tion­ship with a great gal. I’ve been di­vorced for over a decade.

My part­ner can’t stand be­ing near my ex-wife. She was able to deal with her at my youngest son’s wed­ding last year but de­vel­oped more dis­gust for her af­ter that.

Now that same son is grad­u­at­ing from grad­u­ate school. My part­ner can’t bring her­self to at­tend the event and as­so­ci­ated din­ners, which my ex will at­tend.

She wants no con­tact with my ex in the fu­ture.

My older son will be mar­ry­ing next sum­mer, and that may be an is­sue, too.

Both sons live in the area. They typ­i­cally do not in­vite their mother to ac­tiv­i­ties that in­clude my part­ner.

What is the best way to han­dle this go­ing for­ward?

She wants to in­form both boys of her stance on this but with­out dis­cussing her feel­ings about their mother.

Any sug­ges­tions?

Con­fused in Colorado

Dear Con­fused: If your part­ner starts skip­ping events to avoid your ex, then I as­sure you your sons will in­tuit her feel­ings about their mother. When they hear her say, “I’m go­ing to skip the grad­u­a­tion and ev­ery fu­ture event to which your mother is in­vited, for no par­tic­u­lar rea­son,” they will draw the cor­rect con­clu­sion.

You don’t pro­vide any de­tails about the bad blood, but with two sons living lo­cally and get­ting mar­ried and per­haps hav­ing chil­dren at some point, your part­ner is mov­ing in the wrong di­rec­tion. She should be­come more, not less, able to tol­er­ate her de facto step­sons’ mother. As it is, her re­fusal to at­tend func­tions where the ex is present will be an on­go­ing stres­sor for your sons.

Your part­ner is a grownup. She should def­i­nitely stay home if she wants to. But it can be quite easy to deal with peo­ple at cer­e­mo­nial func­tions like grad­u­a­tions and wed­dings. You just nod hello, smile for the cam­era and avoid close con­tact by en­gag­ing with oth­ers.

Dear Amy: I have been dat­ing a girl for eight months now. We share ev­ery­thing. I’m 17, and she’s about to turn 16.

The other day she was go­ing to a show with some friends, and they were plan­ning to get some weed be­fore­hand. She smokes weed about once a month.

I asked why she smokes, and she said it’s the only way to re­lieve anx­i­ety. I have never smoked and don’t plan on it.

This re­ally sad­dens me and I try to be sup­port­ive, but I just don’t know what to do any­more. Should I say it’s me or weed? I love her a lot but I have been raised su­per anti-drugs. I don’t know what to do any­more.

Con­fused

Dear Con­fused: Your girl­friend is mak­ing choices fairly typ­i­cal of an im­ma­ture kid. What she is do­ing is not only dumb but also il­le­gal. It is also bad for her still-de­vel­op­ing brain.

Stud­ies show that for teens peer re­la­tion­ships are more inf lu­en­tial than re­la­tion­ships with par­ents. So yes, if you want to try to per­suade your girl­friend to give up pot, tell her how much you don’t like it, and tell her you don’t want to be with her if she smokes. Don’t say “It’s ei­ther me or the weed.” Say, “If you choose to smoke, I’m go­ing to choose not to be with you.” Send ques­tions to askamy@ tri­bune.com or by mail to Ask Amy, Chicago Tri­bune, TT500, 435 N. Michi­gan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

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