“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Dec 7, 2012
DEAR AMY: I'm a divorced father of a teenage daughter. I've been seeing a fantastic divorced mother of three young children (ages 4, 6 and 8) for more than two years. I was seeing a therapist for my own personal growth, and we attempted couples counseling to work on some issues, but things did not improve, mostly because she wasn't working on herself.

About six weeks ago, I decided to break it off. We had no contact for a few weeks, then decided to reunite. Now things are really good and our commitment is strong. I am even buying a home on the same street as my girlfriend to work on combining our families.

Her children seem to feel that I didn't just break up with their mom, I broke up with them. The 4-year-old even asked me why I broke up with him. I didn't know what to say.

I don't know what my girlfriend said to the kids. I fear that she showed her anger and hurt. Now she wants the two of us to talk to them about the breakup and our commitment to each other. I question if this is appropriate because we are not married.

I said that I would participate, but if the kids ask me why I broke up with their mom I would only say that this is an adult conversation. I believe it will come up. How do you suggest we handle this discussion, and what should be the message to the kids?-- "P" in P-town

DEAR "P": If you left their mother and didn't have any contact with the kids for several weeks, I have news for you -- you did break up with them. Without engaging them in personal issues, you should acknowledge that this would be confusing and sad for them.

I agree with the idea of both of you sitting down with them to reassure them and answer any questions they might have. But I agree with you that, short of getting married, there is no "commitment" information to share -- other than your friendship and personal commitment toward them.

It's OK to say, "Recently I needed time away from your mom to sort things out. But I'm completely cuckoo crazy about you kids and I'm always on your side, no matter what. Do you understand that?"

DEAR AMY: My beautiful, blond, brilliant daughter has two master's degrees. She is hard-working and successful in every way except with men, which she runs through like water through a sieve.

Her marriage lasted three years (he wanted out).

She has moved some guy into her new home. Here's another Christmas present I must buy for another man who means nothing to me. Additionally, my 75th birthday is coming up. I do not want to include this guy for either celebration.

He has no college education and nothing to offer. My warning to her that he is a user falls on deaf ears. She is the only one in her group without a husband, and she is "lonely."

How to handle her insecurity and my annoyance?-- Frustrated Mother

DEAR FRUSTRATED: Let's stick with you. Your scrutiny and judgment might be contributing to your daughter's insecurity. She is certainly doing a good job of fulfilling your lowest estimation of her.

Unless she is leaving these guys on your doorstep like my cat does with his nightly mouse, then you really shouldn't have to weigh in.

If you don't want to include him in Christmas or your birthday celebration, then say so. This will alienate your daughter, which might be exactly what you hope to do.

Your annoyance is definitely in your power to control. I suggest you try harder.

DEAR AMY: You asked to hear from readers who had been "called out" for being odorous. I had a boss who told me, "I would rather be in a war zone than tell you this, but other employees have said that you have body odor."

Of course I'm glad he told me. Ultimately I figured out the source of the problem. But it was mortifying.-- Formerly Odorous

DEAR FORMERLY: Ugh. This sounds extremely challenging. I give you both credit.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#2 Dec 7, 2012
L1: This relationship is not working. STOP trying to force it to work.

L2: You realize YOU raised her, right? I have to wonder how you talked about her father and other men as she was growing up. Maybe look into a mirror to see why she has issues with men.(and c onsider the possibility that your daughter isn't "all that" despite looks and education.)

L3: Yes, you're supposed to wash "down there."

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

#3 Dec 7, 2012
LW2 - If I'm calculating right, your daughter is 45 to 55 years old. Why are you still trying to run her life?

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#4 Dec 7, 2012
L3: "Ultimately I figured out the source of the problem."

Was it your butt?

“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#5 Dec 7, 2012
LW1: Holy drama batman. I think when a relationship is right, things sorta come naturally and aren't so difficult. You aren't even married yet and living under the same roof and are already going to counseling, which didn't seem to work. I would have cut bait when you broke up with her the first time. It's not fair to any of the kids to be involved in your dysfunctional roller coaster relationship.

LW2: First, MYOB. Second, realize that you raised her and likely contributed to her difficulties with men. With that understanding in mind, maybe you can be a little bit more understanding yourself ... given your own short comings as a parent.

LW3: How can't you know that you smell terrible? Do people need to tell you when you are hungry too?

Brooklyn, NY

#6 Dec 7, 2012
L1: On the plus side.....you'll have a built-in babysitter.

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#7 Dec 7, 2012
L1. You're such a blockhead.
Do not buy a house on her street. She was there first.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#8 Dec 7, 2012
loose cannon wrote:
L1. You're such a blockhead.
Do not buy a house on her street. She was there first.
Yeah, that's just going to make it awkward if/when they break up again.

Hi de ho, neighborino...

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#9 Dec 7, 2012
That's exactly why I was avoiding apartments that were literally across the fence from Nick's building.
Sam I Am

Memphis, TN

#10 Dec 7, 2012
1. After two years you break up, then reconcile and shortly thereafter decide to buy a house on her street? Good grief, how bad did your parents mess you up? You and your lady are raising the next generation of Ask Amy letter writers.

2. Buy a bunch of McDonald's coupon booklets, tell your daughter that, until she settles down, that's all the thought you're going to put into gifts. Otherwise, whether you daughter is fickle or a b-i-t-c-h or whatever, sorry but you're just along for the ride.



“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#11 Dec 7, 2012
L1: I agree with everyone. He should NOT buy a house on the same block. Blockhead.

L2: It's her life. At 75 you'd think you'd realize it's her choice. Just b/c he doesn't have a college education doesn't mean he has nothing to offer.

L3: Interesting how he thought of a war zone.

Marina, CA

#12 Dec 7, 2012
LW1: Sounds like you've had a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Definitely continue with the counseling. I agree with everyone about NOT buying a house on the same block, at least until you both grow up.

LW2: What Toj said.

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