Dad disappoints ... again

Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - Send ques­tions to Amy Dickinson by email to askamy@tri­ or by mail to Ask Amy, Chicago Tri­bune, TT500, 435 N. Michi­gan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

Dear Amy: My par­ents sep­a­rated when I was 12, and at that point my fa­ther never re­ally both­ered with me again.

We started talk­ing again four years ago (six months af­ter my son was born).

My fa­ther comes to my home, takes me to din­ner ev­ery cou­ple of months and then seems to for­get about me un­til I call him up and ask how he’s do­ing.

I’ve al­ways had to put in the ef­fort and for­give and for­get, but he’s al­ways told me if ever I needed him for what­ever rea­son he would help me — or try to be there for me.

Last month I got into some fi­nan­cial prob­lems. He al­ways brags about how much money he makes, the va­ca­tion cottage he bought (that I’ve never been in­vited to) and his trav­els around the world.

He just paid $25,000 for my old­est sis­ter to go to school and is pay­ing her rent. I have never asked him for any­thing, but I thought — hey, why not?

I asked him to help me out — I didn’t men­tion an amount and, hon­estly, $20 would have suf­ficed. I needed some cash to tide me over un­til pay­day.

He acted as if I was hand­ing him a busi­ness proposi-

tion — like a “how are you go­ing to guar­an­tee this loan” kind of deal. Of course I would have paid him back.

He has never been there for me. Should I keep for­giv­ing and for­get­ting and keep mak­ing an ef­fort to have a re­la­tion­ship with him? Or should I dump him on the side like he’s done with me?

Hurt Daugh­ter

Dear Hurt: Your fa­ther is not a good par­ent (to you, any­way) — he seems to have left your fam­ily when you were young and has ne­glected you ever since.

Now you have come up with an­other way for him to dis­ap­point you — and he did.

All of this talk of “for­giv­ing and for­get­ting ” doesn’t seem to have done you much good. Per­haps it’s time for you to re­al­ize that you are no longer a lost lit­tle girl. You are an adult and a par­ent your­self. Use your words. De­scribe how his treat­ment makes you feel.

He is show­ing you that, de­spite what he says, he is not will­ing/able to be the fa­ther you want him to be. You don’t need to “for­get” this. You do need to ac­cept it.


Dear Amy: My dear friend of many years fi­nally met and mar­ried the man of her dreams. He seems like a nice guy, but he is in­volved in what ap­pears to be a shady busi­ness deal.

(From what my friend has told me, I be­lieve that he has de­frauded a lender out of sev­eral hun­dred thou­sand dol­lars.)

There is no ques­tion that he loves my friend and they are happy to­gether. So what is my prob­lem?

It keeps trou­bling me that I think he is at the very least un­eth­i­cal and, more prob­a­bly, get­ting away with a white-col­lar crime.

Is this any of my busi­ness? What should I do?


Dear Un­easy: No, this is none of your busi­ness. Some busi­ness prac­tices are un­eth­i­cal but, strictly speak­ing, legal. How­ever, if your friend tells you about a fraud and pro­vides de­tails to you, she is mak­ing it your busi­ness. You could gen­tly query her: “What you are de­scrib­ing sounds fraud­u­lent. Are you com­fort­able with this?”

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