Ask Amy: Confrontation creates mother/daughter tension
By Amy Dickinson,
DEAR AMY: My girlfriend is extremely sad and depressed over her troubled relationship with her only daughter. Her daughter has a 4-year-old daughter and is expecting another child.
The problems began when my girlfriend confronted her daughter about the timing of her pregnancy. She said the daughter was trying to deceive her and the family that she got pregnant after she got married, rather than the truth, which was that she got pregnant before she got married.
Ever since then, the relationship has been nearly nonexistent, and she does not get to see her granddaughter.
My girlfriend is having problems dealing with this rejection. Recently, when she called her daughter to see if there was anything she could do to help out with the expected grandchild, her daughter said she didn’t want her in her life right now because she didn’t want to deal with any stress from her.
My girlfriend is deeply hurt, and now has given up on trying to continue a relationship with her daughter. My girlfriend is sad about not being able to see her grandchildren and doesn’t know what to do next.
Should she just go to visit her daughter and grandchild, or should she just stay away as her daughter requested? -- A Friend in Conn.
DEAR FRIEND: Your girlfriend should admit that her accusation was a breach, and she should apologize to her daughter. The timing of her daughter’s pregnancy is really none of her business; to confront her over such a deeply private issue is to invite drama.
The mother should recognize that her daughter has the right to obscure the date of her child’s conception, unless by doing so she creates harm to others or commits legal fraud of some kind.
If the mother asks her daughter to forgive her — with no strings attached — they should be able to repair their relationship. For now she should concentrate on relationship repair rather than focusing on what she wants to get out of this relationship, i.e. contact with her granddaughter.
DEAR AMY: I met my boyfriend about a month ago and we have had some great times together. We have already said we are perfect together and want marriage.
We live separately and the only time I see him is on the weekends. He is out of work now, but hopes to return soon. There are no money issues and we get along about everything.
I have two small children and work Monday through Friday. He and I adopted a kitten together, which he keeps with him and my kids see on the weekend. However, lately, he said he does not want to communicate on a daily basis. Well, yesterday I was having a bad day. My friend’s mother passed away, I got a ticket, I was just really sad and wanted to talk to my boyfriend. I texted him.
He came at me really irritable. He said he wanted his space and if I could not respect that, then I should move on. He said we are on a “break” and left it at that. He still has the key to my apartment and there was no closure. I am really confused. Is it okay for him to not want contact Monday through Friday?
If he decides he “wants me,” how do I reply? I love him but I’m not sure how to react. -- Confused
DEAR CONFUSED: This relationship is over. You have only known this man for a month and the relationship progressed way too quickly.
I find this man’s behavior alarming. You should err on the side of abundant caution and change the locks on your home. Do not contact him, and if he contacts you to say he “wants you,” only respond to say that you want “the break” to be permanent.
DEAR AMY: Thank you for the column you wrote recommending charitable giving before the holidays. I was happy to see some smaller, lesser-known charities included in this year’s list. -- Charitable Reader
DEAR READER: Your dollar can make a much bigger impact on a smaller, local charity. I urge readers to support the great work done in their own communities.
Write to Amy Dickinson at email@example.com or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.
2013 by the Chicago Tribune
Distributed by Tribune Media Services