Some com­pas­sion for re­la­tion­ship be­tween fa­ther and daugh­ter

Antelope Valley Press - - VALLEY LIFE - An­nie Lane Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­[email protected]­ators.com

Dear An­nie: I have been in a re­la­tion­ship with my boyfriend for a year and a half. We are both di­vorced. He’s in his late 50s, and I’m in my late 60s. His daugh­ter is in her early 20s.

When she’s with us and there’s a con­ver­sa­tion, she will talk di­rectly to her fa­ther with an oc­ca­sional glance to me. Even her body lan­guage is telling. If we’re stand­ing up, she will step be­tween us to make sure her back is to­ward me while she talks to her dad. This has hap­pened nu­mer­ous times — to the point where it has made me very un­com­fort­able.

He lost his adult son about four years ago in an ac­ci­dent, so I see where he’s at as far as be­ing closer to his daugh­ter. But I don’t know how to han­dle the way she is with me around. I try not to take it per­son­ally, but af­ter a while, I started to be­lieve that she is do­ing this de­lib­er­ately. I have tried to en­gage in the con­ver­sa­tion to be a part of it, but she has a way of ma­neu­ver­ing things so that once again, she is talk­ing di­rectly to her dad and I am ex­cluded.

Help! I don’t know what to do.

— Feel­ing Left Out

Dear Left Out: While your boyfriend’s daugh­ter’s be­hav­ior is cer­tainly rude, it is not worth con­fronting her about it di­rectly. Re­mem­ber, she is in her 20s, and you are in your 60s. Try and be the big­ger per­son, and cut her some slack. She re­cently lost her brother, and I can’t tell in your let­ter where her mother is. That is a lot of loss for a young woman to deal with. Be com­pas­sion­ate and as kind as pos­si­ble to her.

When you are alone with your boyfriend be­hind closed doors, tell him how much her be­hav­ior hurts your feel­ings. Maybe he could of­fer you some in­sight as to why she is be­hav­ing this way. You might also ask him to talk to her and en­cour­age her to give you a chance.

Dear An­nie: Here’s an­other house­guest prob­lem. We live in the coun­try, where it’s beau­ti­ful, and we have many vis­i­tors. They typ­i­cally stay for at least three days but never bring more than one or two bot­tles of wine.

Be­cause we grow a lot of our own food, they think our gro­ceries don’t cost very much. If they do bring some­thing, they go through the fridge to take back what­ever we haven’t eaten. We love the vis­its and don’t mind the length of the vis­its, but how do I sug­gest that they con­trib­ute more to the ta­ble?

— Feel­ing Used and Abused

Dear Feel­ing Used and Abused: There is a first time for ev­ery­thing, and now is that time. If you love their vis­its and don’t mind them stay­ing, then tell them ex­actly what you would like them to con­trib­ute. Re­mem­ber, peo­ple are not mind read­ers. The best way to com­mu­ni­cate what you want is to say it.

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