Daughter’s relationship choices disappoint mom
DEAR ABBY: I have a 23-year-old daughter, “Julia,” who I am close with. She has been in a relationship with “Joey,” a guy her age, for four years and living with him for the last 16 months.
Joey’s a great kid who hasn’t had a lot of support in his life. I have been like a mother to him, and we are very close. He works hard, earned a college degree and plans on a career in law enforcement. I love him like my own.
The issue is, Julia has been working a part-time evening job. She works with a man I’ll call “Nick,” who is 10 years older and has a child. She has started having an affair with him. She claims to love Joey but is “torn” because she’s bored and wants to “have fun.” I am upset and devastated.
From the sound of him, Nick doesn’t have many great qualities. I believe she’s making a grave mistake and risks losing a great future. I have tried getting her to see it, but I don’t think I’m getting through. Should I continue or back off and see what happens? I feel like I am betraying Joey because I know about this. — TORN-APART MOM
DEAR MOM: As much as you might wish to, you cannot live Julia’s life for her. From your description of your daughter, she’s not ready for marriage or even a permanent commitment. Joey may be the catch of a lifetime, but if she can’t appreciate him and the life he has to offer, he isn’t the man for her. Step back and allow her to make her own mistakes, because that’s how people learn. And when the truth comes out, tell Joey how sorry you are that things turned out the way they did and that you will always love him like a son.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a 50-yearold woman, and this is the second time my dad has mentioned that he and Mom thought about aborting me before I was born. He qualifies this statement by exclaiming, “I just called to let you know I’m so GLAD your mother and I didn’t go through with the abortion, and how HAPPY I am that you are here.” The thing is, until he said it, I never knew it had crossed their minds.
He knew his statement upset me, yet he brought it up again tonight in a phone call, with even more disturbing information — that they had even gone to a doctor to get it done! He uses subtle ways to sneak the new information in, even though he knows it’s hurtful. What is his motive? What does he want? Why does he do this? — PERPLEXED IN ALABAMA
DEAR PERPLEXED: Saying something one knows is hurtful is cruel. If you haven’t discussed this bizarre scenario with your mother, you should. Could dear old Dad be losing it? Is he seeking gratitude from you? Was he drunk when he made the call? His behavior is so far from normal I can’t imagine why he would say such a thing TWICE. Because he may be trying to get a rise out of you, consider deflecting with humor or sarcasm or simply hanging up.