Calgary Herald

Don’t let mother’s anger control your actions

- ElliE e-mail ellie@thestar.ca. see ellieadvic­e.com.

Q: My dad had an affair and left my mother for the her; they’ve now been married 10 years. Although I resent my father’s wife for getting involved with a married man, I’ve accepted her as she seems to make him happy and loves him.

However, my mother has not moved on. She expects me to only meet my father alone and have no relationsh­ip with his wife at all. If I spend time with both my dad and his wife, do I just not tell my mom about it so she doesn’t get upset and call me a bad daughter?

— Torn

A: You are not the keeper of your mother’s anger. If she hasn’t moved on in 10 years, that’s her choice. Though you needn’t ever say this to her, you should realize that your father wasn’t “stolen” away by this woman. Something was missing in the previous marriage at the time he met this woman, and he’s as responsibl­e for being with her as she is.

You’ve already accepted that she makes him happy and you want him in your life, so accept her, too. It’s part of your own maturing process to stop bearing your mother’s bitterness.

Just say, with conviction, that you love her, she’ll always be your mom, but you can’t keep seeing your dad without his wife, and you need to see him within his normal life, not in private, isolated meetings.

Q: I’ve been in a common-law relationsh­ip for seven years. We both have children from previous

relationsh­ips and we all live together. My parents respect him and his children. But his family seems to think my children and I don’t matter.

Years ago, he proposed. I thought we’d be married by now, he’s said we’ll get married one of these days. I’d like to get married, but feel this is all it’ll ever be. Should I give up?

— Second-Rate

A: Where’s your voice and your backbone? Speak up to this man and insist he tell his parents they must acknowledg­e your equal status and that of your children in your joint household. If he does nothing about it, forget the proposal, he’s become too comfortabl­e the way things are. If he gets it that his parents are disrespect­ful, use your voice to start planning a wedding date. Here again, if he dithers again, decide what you want for yourself and the kids.

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