Baltimore Sun

Mom, daughter want to move to own place

- By Amy Dickinson askamy@amydickins­ Twitter@askingamy Copyright 2022 by Amy Dickinson Distribute­d by Tribune Content Agency

Dear Amy: I’m a 33-yearold woman. My daughter is 11. She and I live with my parents.

My parents own the house, and I pay them rent each month.

Both of my parents are in their early 70s. My father works part time.

They don’t seem to need the extra money that my rent provides (they are always buying new games and gadgets for themselves).

I want to have my own life. I want to move into my own apartment with my daughter.

I searched for apartments, made a budget and I even concluded that I would continue to pay my parents the rent money I currently pay, so they wouldn’t be without that income.

When I told my parents of my plan to move out, they gave me this story about how sad they would be, and how they feel like I’m abandoning them at their time of need.

I don’t supply anything but money. I don’t take them to doctor appointmen­ts or the grocery store.

I’m usually at work during the day. My mom home-schools my daughter, and I wasn’t planning to change that.

I just have a need for my own place. How can I help my parents to be more comfortabl­e with this?

— Mother/Daughter

Dear Mother/Daughter:

Your parents have a considerab­le attachment and emotional stake in you and your daughter.

That’s how parents and grandparen­ts roll! It’s not just about the rent money you pay to them. They are attached to you. Their lifetime investment is in you.

And just as parents sometimes give their children a gentle nudge out of the nest, you are going to go through a reverse of that process.

Offer your gratitude: “We could not have gotten this far without you.”

Offer an affirmatio­n of their feelings: “I know this will be an adjustment for all of us. I’m going to miss you, too.”

Offer lots of reassuranc­e: “We’ll still see you almost every day, and I’ll always be there if you need me, just as you’ve always been there for me.”

And then — make your plan, don’t let them manipulate you, and start the next chapter of your life.

Dear Amy: I have a longterm friend (for over 45 years) who adopted a wonderful, sweet, adorable shelter dog at the beginning of the pandemic. However, over the past two years, her laser focus on this dog has become a rapidly growing problem which borders on obsession!

It’s fine if she wants to spend lots of her time and money on the dog, but every conversati­on starts with a story about what the dog has done, how no one can take care of the dog to her standards.

If one is having a serious conversati­on with her and the dog does something “interestin­g,” she will literally interrupt the conversati­on to talk about the dog.

I love this dog, too, but her focus on her pooch makes me not want to be around her or the dog.

How can I help her understand that her lack of self-awareness is a problem that is affecting not just our friendship, but her friendship­s with many other people? I care a lot about her, which is why I want to see if there is a way to bring this issue to light without hurting her feelings.

— Doggone Frustrated

Dear Frustrated: Repeat after me: “I care about you. I also care about your dog. But this relationsh­ip is now dominating your life, and I am feeling dismissed and neglected. Your lack of self-awareness has become a problem that is affecting our friendship.”

My point is that you already know what you need to say. Speak for yourself (not other people), and understand that delivering this truth might upset her.

Very long friendship­s can survive the occasional truthful course correction.

Dear Amy: “Past Completed” reported that three bullies from her past reached out to her for forgivenes­s.

In your response, you mentioned that you believed the pandemic had caused many people to reflect on their actions.

It occurs to me that a lot of people are using the pandemic as an excuse for all sorts of things.

How long do you think this will continue?

— Wondering

Dear Wondering: I plan to keep it up as long as possible.

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