Carolyn Hax: Two letter-writers with compelling stories come back with an update

Carolyn Hax
Columnist September 23, 2013

Recently I republished columns on which readers hoped for updates. Two of the original letter writers responded. The first is the woman who was being asked to help care for her teenage son’s baby, even though she had urged the baby’s mother to place the child for adoption.

Dear Carolyn:

Carolyn Hax started her advice column in 1997, after five years as a copy editor and news editor in Style and none as a therapist. The column includes cartoons by "relationship cartoonist" Nick Galifianakis -- Carolyn's ex-husband -- and appears in over 200 newspapers. View Archive

I wanted to give you an update to “Teen son’s baby needs your love.”

The child is now 21 / 2 and we all have a strong bond and successful relationship. Here are some of the highlights from the past two years.

The baby’s mother was not happy with the living arrangement she had at her mother’s home so for five months she and the baby lived with us. This was a perfect way for us to really bond with the baby. After five months, the mother chose to move out of our house.


(Nick Galifianakis/For The Washington Post)

From that point on, we had contact or visitation 50 percent of the time. At the beginning of her senior year, she and her boyfriend moved into an apartment. The good news is we have known this boy most of his life and think he is a good guy. We live in a small town. Hopefully this relationship will endure. We have gone to court twice to legally establish the 50-50 custody arrangement.

Your big question is, how did my son evolve? He is amazing. He was tentative the first year. He did what he was required and not much more. Then a miracle transpired. The baby turned 1. He started walking, talking and specifically saying, “DaDa.” That was all it took. My son is a better father to his son than many men twice his age. He never complains and has enormous patience. He asks questions, learns quickly and looks up information. It is a blessing to watch.

So there you have it. Thanks for reposting my letter and allowing me to see just how far we have come.

A Loving Grandma

The second update is from the letter writer whose fiance had thrown a lamp at her, and who wondered whether to forgive him because she still loved him.

Dear Carolyn:

Thank you for republishing my letter to you about my (ex-) fiance who threw the lamp at me. To answer your question, since you were wondering (and I’ve wondered, too) . . . no, my words never reached him.

He insists that he was not aiming for my head. He never apologized. And as a matter of fact, he got very angry with me for even mentioning that he threw a lamp at me! He never got it. Never.

He never took responsibility for what he did and how he could have hurt me physically, not to mention mentally! He only said that he was sorry that “it” happened and that he doesn’t want to dwell on the past.

This was four years ago, and it has taken me a long time to get over that broken relationship. I never went back with him. But I still want to sometimes.

L.

Thank you, both of you, for checking back in. (And, L., if you haven’t taken it, the reputable-therapy suggestion still stands — so good for lingering pain.)

Write to Carolyn Hax, Style, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071, or tellme@washpost.com. Sign up for Carolyn Hax’s column, delivered to your inbox early each morning, at http://bit.ly/haxpost.

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