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“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

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#1
Jan 28, 2013
 
DEAR ABBY: Although I love my 7-year-old daughter, "Emma," I do not "like" her. It's because I dislike my ex-husband, "Scott," so much. He was verbally and emotionally abusive and left me while I was pregnant. The experience left me hurt and humiliated, and I continue to harbor resentment toward him.

I'm happily remarried now, but Emma is a constant reminder of my bad marriage. I feel she's selfish, rude, lazy and disrespectful -- characteristics Scott possesses. I have little tolerance for her behavior and I'm hard on her. Sometimes I feel like I'm talking to him instead of to a little girl.

I have seen several therapists, but nobody has been able to help. I have been told, "Your child isn't your ex so you need to get over it!"

Compounding the problem is the daughter I have with my second husband, a little girl I adore beyond words. She's sweet, kind, friendly and essentially the opposite of Emma. I love this child more than I love Emma, and I'm disgusted with myself for feeling this way. It was Scott who hurt me, but I can't get past the hurt. Abby, what can I do?-- DISTRESSED IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR DISTRESSED: Try harder to rebuild the bond you didn't form with Emma when she was born because of your anger at her father. It can still be done, but it will take work on your part. Emma's behavior may be the result of how you have treated her, and if you can change, so may she. I'll share with you a letter I printed several years ago from another mother who shared your problem:

"DEAR ABBY: The best advice I ever received for coping with my contrary daughter was from a neighbor who had a surly girl of her own. She made a conscientious effort to be more demonstrative to her daughter, hug her more and hold on a little tighter to show her how valued she was.

"I tried it with my daughter, going out of my way several times a day to express my love for her. It was awkward at first, but I persevered. I committed myself to loving that unlovable being, and slowly but surely it paid off. At first, she would lean away, but eventually she would ask me to hold on 'just one more minute.'

"My daughter is 24 now and on her own. Her life isn't what I would have hoped for or expected, but that's OK. I'm her touchstone for love and acceptance. I can't imagine my life without her.-- ANOTHER MOM IN CALIFORNIA"

Emma may be a difficult child, but she's not stupid. She sees the difference between how you react to her half-sister and the way you treat her. A first step for you would be to apologize to her, put your arms around her and tell her that from now on you will try to do better as a mother. Emma didn't ask to be born, and you owe her that.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married 10 years. We didn't have a wedding. Instead, we went to the courthouse -- just the two of us with a couple of witnesses -- and had a small reception a few months later.

Having been a part of some very nice weddings recently, I mentioned to my husband that I wished we would have done something more special for our wedding. Now he wants to renew our vows with a huge wedding ceremony. Would it be appropriate to have a big ceremony now?-- WONDERING IN IOWA

DEAR WONDERING: I think it's a wonderful idea. Ten years of wedded bliss is something to celebrate, and I see no reason why you shouldn't do it with the ceremony of your dreams. Other couples have done it, and so can you.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#2
Jan 28, 2013
 

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1 Wow, Just Wow. I got nothing. Your a total nut job and your daughter is paying the price for your stupidity.

I pity your kid, I really do.

2 Go, live a little, most guys would have ho-humed about it.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#3
Jan 28, 2013
 

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LW1: This is just sad. Your daughter will grow up to hate you and you deserve it.

LS2: Have whatever friggin party you want. Who cares.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#4
Jan 28, 2013
 
LW1: Poor kid. You'd better change your attitude NOW; there has to be some positive things that you can focus on until your better maternal instincts kick in. As they say in AA, fake it 'til you make it.

LW2: You have my permission to do whatever the f*ck you want. <eyeroll>

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

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#5
Jan 28, 2013
 

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L1. Abby.
I have a sister who you and others might be tempted call a "half-sister".
She's almost 40 now and never once in my life did I think of her as being a "half".
Despite biology, she is in fact my full sister through and through.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#6
Jan 28, 2013
 

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L1: My first thought was this had to be a fake letter -- it's so off the charts hostile to that little girl. I hope that little girl finds someone in her life who truly can love her for who she is. Hopefully, it won't be drugs and some awful guy when she's 15. Although it probably will be.

L2: Call it an renewal of vows for your anniversary and do not collect wedding gifts.

Since: Mar 09

United States

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#7
Jan 28, 2013
 
L1: Disclaimer: I'm not a mom. But I have a little bit of sympathy for this LW. She KNOWS she has a major issue, has tried therapy, and wants to fix it. Maybe she needs to keep trying therapists until she finds one she clicks with.

L2: Sure. Go for it.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

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#8
Jan 28, 2013
 
1 Nut job! Get help soon.

2 Whatever.....

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#9
Jan 28, 2013
 
Maybe the best thing for the kid would be to go live with dad?

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#10
Jan 28, 2013
 

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j_m_w wrote:
L1: Disclaimer: I'm not a mom. But I have a little bit of sympathy for this LW. She KNOWS she has a major issue, has tried therapy, and wants to fix it.
Perhaps she feels the best way to fix her issues is to drown Emma in the bathtub.

Since: Mar 09

United States

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#11
Jan 28, 2013
 

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edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Perhaps she feels the best way to fix her issues is to drown Emma in the bathtub.
If she felt that way, she would have done it by now instead of writing to Abby. Right?

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#12
Jan 28, 2013
 
LW1: You suck.

LW2: As long as it isnít a gift receiving occasion and you want to foot the bill, go for it.
PEllen

Chicago, IL

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#13
Jan 28, 2013
 
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Perhaps she feels the best way to fix her issues is to drown Emma in the bathtub.
There are enough reports like that in the news Dog that it isn't funny.
PEllen

Chicago, IL

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#14
Jan 28, 2013
 
RACE wrote:
Maybe the best thing for the kid would be to go live with dad?
Interesting there was no mention of that. Maybe LW loves teh kid enough not to inflict Dad on her.

Other suggestion: enlist a female family memeber who can be an emotional surrogate mom. That way Emma will get what she needs while LW works out her issues

Since: Mar 09

United States

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#15
Jan 28, 2013
 
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
There are enough reports like that in the news Dog that it isn't funny.
I don't think he was trying to be funny. It's a valid point; what if the LW gets so frustrated that she pulls a Casey Anthony?
PEllen

Chicago, IL

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#16
Jan 28, 2013
 
j_m_w wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't think he was trying to be funny. It's a valid point; what if the LW gets so frustrated that she pulls a Casey Anthony?
I toss that back to EDog- were you serious or snarky or just stirring the pot?

(I don't take offense at much he writes. This comes real close though)

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#17
Jan 28, 2013
 
j_m_w wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't think he was trying to be funny. It's a valid point; what if the LW gets so frustrated that she pulls a Casey Anthony?
Even if it doesn't go that far, the LW could easily start beating this kid, especailly as she gets older and mouthier.

But as you point out, at least she sees that she has a problem. That might stay her hand and/or her tongue long enough for her to change her ways.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#18
Jan 28, 2013
 
I was not trying to be funny. The woman is gonna hit her breaking point soon. If she really does care for the kid, she should give it up to someone. Family members, the kid's grandparents, someone. Otherwise the resentment will just keep growing.
EJG

East Hartford, CT

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#19
Jan 28, 2013
 
dahgts wrote:
DEAR ABBY: Although I love my 7-year-old daughter, "Emma," I do not "like" her. It's because I dislike my ex-husband, "Scott," so much. He was verbally and emotionally abusive and left me while I was pregnant. The experience left me hurt and humiliated, and I continue to harbor resentment toward him.
I'm happily remarried now, but Emma is a constant reminder of my bad marriage. I feel she's selfish, rude, lazy and disrespectful -- characteristics Scott possesses. I have little tolerance for her behavior and I'm hard on her. Sometimes I feel like I'm talking to him instead of to a little girl.
I have seen several therapists, but nobody has been able to help. I have been told, "Your child isn't your ex so you need to get over it!"
Compounding the problem is the daughter I have with my second husband, a little girl I adore beyond words. She's sweet, kind, friendly and essentially the opposite of Emma. I love this child more than I love Emma, and I'm disgusted with myself for feeling this way. It was Scott who hurt me, but I can't get past the hurt. Abby, what can I do?-- DISTRESSED IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR DISTRESSED: Try harder to rebuild the bond you didn't form with Emma when she was born because of your anger at her father. It can still be done, but it will take work on your part. Emma's behavior may be the result of how you have treated her, and if you can change, so may she. I'll share with you a letter I printed several years ago from another mother who shared your problem:
"DEAR ABBY: The best advice I ever received for coping with my contrary daughter was from a neighbor who had a surly girl of her own. She made a conscientious effort to be more demonstrative to her daughter, hug her more and hold on a little tighter to show her how valued she was.
"I tried it with my daughter, going out of my way several times a day to express my love for her. It was awkward at first, but I persevered. I committed myself to loving that unlovable being, and slowly but surely it paid off. At first, she would lean away, but eventually she would ask me to hold on 'just one more minute.'
"My daughter is 24 now and on her own. Her life isn't what I would have hoped for or expected, but that's OK. I'm her touchstone for love and acceptance. I can't imagine my life without her.-- ANOTHER MOM IN CALIFORNIA"
Emma may be a difficult child, but she's not stupid. She sees the difference between how you react to her half-sister and the way you treat her. A first step for you would be to apologize to her, put your arms around her and tell her that from now on you will try to do better as a mother. Emma didn't ask to be born, and you owe her that.
I'm sorry to have to say this, but this is NOT the 1st letter of this type that Abby has published. Too many children get hurt too badly by this kind bad parenting by selfish adults who behave like children themselves. The LW will pay a very high price down the road, unless she gets herself and her older daughter the help that they need ASAP.

Since: Jan 10

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#20
Jan 28, 2013
 
L1: You're a horrible person. but you knew that.

L3: It would be ridiculous inappropriate. You HAD your wedding. Just because it didn't come with a big party doesn't make it any less legitimate.

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