Daugh­ter given ev­ery­thing gives heartache in re­turn

Porterville Recorder - - COMMUNITY-FAVORITES -

DEAR ABBY: Ever since high school, our adult daugh­ter has had mood swings. My wife and I thought she'd grow out of it as she ma­tured, but she hasn't. At her re­quest we sent her to a uni­ver­sity far away, and we were proud that she earned her bach­e­lor's de­gree. We thought in­de­pen­dent liv­ing would do the trick, but her per­son­al­ity and be­hav­ior to­ward us didn't change.

She's an only child, and we spoiled her — bought her cars and paid for col­lege. I asked her to try for schol­ar­ships to help us out, but she didn't. She mar­ried and had two won­der­ful kids, but her mood swings per­sist. When I men­tioned she see a coun­selor or ther­a­pist as a way to get some third-party ad­vice and sort things out, she hit the ceil­ing and told me I was the one who needs ther­apy. Then she brought up my flaws and my past drink­ing prob­lem. Granted, I have made mis­takes, and I'm not per­fect, but I've learned and grown.

Af­ter 10 years she di­vorced her hus­band. She got cus­tody of the kids and the house. Her di­vorce cost us a great deal of money. Her au­thor­i­ta­tive and moody be­hav­ior is af­fect­ing our grand­chil­dren.

I love my daugh­ter very much and al­ways have. If you were in my shoes, Abby, what would you do for a more healthy and lov­ing re­la­tion­ship for all in­volved? — STILL HER DAD IN FLORIDA

DEAR DAD: I would look back and ex­am­ine all the things I did to fos­ter her be­hav­ior. An ex­am­ple would be pay­ing for her di­vorce. Then I would stop do­ing them and not re­sume un­til she agreed to con­sult a psy­chother­a­pist about her mood swings. Don't do it for her or for your­self. Do it for the sake of your grand­chil­dren.

DEAR ABBY: Be­fore I met my boyfriend of eight months, I planned a 10-day Ja­pan va­ca­tion for next year with my best guy friend, "J." We have been friends for eight years, and have never had any ro­man­tic in­ter­est in each other. Both of us want to visit Ja­pan be­cause it's on our bucket list.

J and I were both sin­gle when we started mak­ing plans. Then I met my boyfriend. My boyfriend knew from the be­gin­ning that this trip was go­ing to hap­pen next year. Be­cause the date wasn't "set in stone" or paid for un­til re­cently, my boyfriend thinks I should have called it off. He says I'm mak­ing the trip and my friend a higher pri­or­ity than him, and his feel­ings are hurt. He said if I was go­ing with a fe­male friend he wouldn't care.

I still want to take the trip. I feel can­cel­ing would be be­tray­ing my friend J. Am I be­ing a bad girl­friend? — TRIPPED UP IN THE EAST

DEAR TRIPPED UP: A "bad" girl­friend? No. An in­de­pen­dent one, yes. You say your boyfriend has known about this from the be­gin­ning, so this wasn't a sur­prise to him. If he was more se­cure about him­self and your re­la­tion­ship, he would know that J isn't a threat. Not only should you take the trip, you should also use the time away to de­cide if you want a life part­ner as in­se­cure as your boyfriend ap­pears to be.

Dear Abby Jeanne Phillips

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