Dear Abby 8-9-14

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Aug 9, 2014
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 15-year-old girl who has two younger brothers. My parents are good people, but they can be extremely harsh and cruel. They curse us out and scream at us for petty things almost every day. I told my best friend about it and she said that it is emotional abuse. I disagree.

I have always been told that every parent yells at their kids. Maybe not every day, but regardless, everyone gets mad sometimes. I honestly didn't even think there was such a thing as emotional abuse.

I don't know what to do. I have been suffering this almost my entire life. I didn't think that it was abuse. Am I being emotionally abused? I would appreciate your help.-- TIRED OF THE TIRADES

DEAR TIRED: The answer to your question is yes, your friend is correct. Because your parents have been doing this on a regular basis, it qualifies as verbal/emotional abuse. Be glad you now recognize it, because their lack of control isn't normal.

Their anger and frustration may have nothing to do with you and your siblings. The problem with this kind of abuse -- as opposed to physical abuse -- is that although it is damaging, it is often not taken seriously.

If there are family members or close friends who can intervene, help your parents to see how damaging their lack of control is and convince them to get help, you should confide in them. It might be a good idea for you and your brothers to spend as much time with friends in healthier families as you can. This will get you out of the line of fire and enable you all to see what normal family interactions are like.

DEAR ABBY: I have been dating a divorced man, "Chris," for four years. He has a son who is 16. On the weekends Chris has his son, I become the "invisible girlfriend." Sometimes the three of us will go to a movie or out to eat, but I am never welcome to spend the night.

Chris and I have talked about living together, but never in depth. Unless I bring it up, he never says anything about it. When Valentine's Day came around, Chris asked if we could celebrate it a few days late because he was scheduled to have his son that night. I was heartbroken because even a Valentine dinner for the three of us was out.

I am beginning to think there is no future with Chris. He seems fine just dating and seeing me every other weekend as someone to hang out with, but not to commit to. Suggestions?-- DISMISSED IN DENVER

DEAR DISMISSED: When you started dating Chris, his son was 12. It seems to me that what he has done is put his parenting responsibilities before anything else, and I respect that.

If romance and marriage are what you're looking for, I suggest you stop asking Chris about living together and ask instead about whether the two of you have a future. Chris has been treating you like a friend with benefits for four years. The pattern is set and it isn't likely to change by itself.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#2 Aug 9, 2014
Lw1: So how many times a day do your parents talk to you about these "minor" things bevore they lose their temper because you are not doing what you are supposed to do? Verbal abuse my ass. Its them talking tou you in the only manner that actually results in you getting your ass in gear.
boundary painter

San Antonio, TX

#3 Aug 10, 2014
Rather than shoot a fire ant with a rifle, LW1 should concentrate on getting good grades in school, see what after school work opportunities or college prep options she has and take proactive steps to be self-supporting.

Glance into the future for LW2:
(a) She spent a weekend away from Chris and liked it better.
(b) She stepped back and let Chris, as well as his son, miss her--or not.
(c) She talked to Chris and his son and together they identified areas they each would like to improve in getting along with each other.
or
(d) other

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#4 Aug 11, 2014
LW2: I can see not wanting an overnight when son is there. That's a no-brainer. LW is too self-absorbed to see that. I also don't think they should live together without marriage while the son is srill a kid. But not all 3 having dinner is weird, Of course, V Day is an awful night to go to restaurants.

LW1: Tonka brings up an excellent point.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#5 Aug 11, 2014
Stina2 wrote:
LW2: I can see not wanting an overnight when son is there. That's a no-brainer. LW is too self-absorbed to see that. I also don't think they should live together without marriage while the son is srill a kid. But not all 3 having dinner is weird, Of course, V Day is an awful night to go to restaurants.
LW1: Tonka brings up an excellent point.
I disagree on the living together and sleepover. The son is 16, not some naive little child that needs to be shielded from the reality of this adult relationship. They've been together for 4 years. I would feel more like you if this was a relatively new relationship, but they've ben together longer than my wife and I were on the day we got married. The living tohether while unmarried thing does not violate my sense of morality.

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#6 Aug 12, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
I disagree on the living together and sleepover. The son is 16, not some naive little child that needs to be shielded from the reality of this adult relationship. They've been together for 4 years. I would feel more like you if this was a relatively new relationship, but they've ben together longer than my wife and I were on the day we got married. The living tohether while unmarried thing does not violate my sense of morality.
I just don't think it's the right example to set. Whther or not "everyone else does it" in reality, that isn't the example I'd want to set for my child - and 16 is still a child. And, seriously, the LW can't handle a weekend without a sleepover?

After 4 years, if they haven't gotten married, they probably aren't going to get married. If LW wants to play house, she might need to find a new boyfriend.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#7 Aug 12, 2014
Stina2 wrote:
<quoted text>
I just don't think it's the right example to set. Whther or not "everyone else does it" in reality, that isn't the example I'd want to set for my child - and 16 is still a child. And, seriously, the LW can't handle a weekend without a sleepover?
After 4 years, if they haven't gotten married, they probably aren't going to get married. If LW wants to play house, she might need to find a new boyfriend.
Pertaining to setting examples, I don't think that having a live in girlfriend is a bad example assuming it is a stable ltr. I disagree with the notion that getting married is the only acceptable lifestyle example for kids.

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#8 Aug 13, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
Pertaining to setting examples, I don't think that having a live in girlfriend is a bad example assuming it is a stable ltr. I disagree with the notion that getting married is the only acceptable lifestyle example for kids.
We agree to disagree. A stable ltr means a committment. Living together or having "sleepovers" isn't a committment. If people want to do that when kids aren't involved, it's one thing. But when kids are involved, it's a whole different isuue. You are teaching your kids that relationships are a revolving door when you do that.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#9 Aug 13, 2014
Stina2 wrote:
<quoted text>
We agree to disagree. A stable ltr means a committment. Living together or having "sleepovers" isn't a committment. If people want to do that when kids aren't involved, it's one thing. But when kids are involved, it's a whole different isuue. You are teaching your kids that relationships are a revolving door when you do that.
Is marriage the only acceptable commitment? Take sleep overs out of the equation. You said you disagreed with even with them living together. And I would hardly call a 4 years running monogamous relationship a revolving door.

That's a longer commitment than a lot of marriages. Hell, I can think of 2 former couples I know that dated for longer than that, then got married, and both were divorced in in less than 2 years. One of them has been in his subsequent unmarried relationship for at least 6 years. Living together . Other than religious reasons, I don't see them as a poor example of a relationship.

Again, my opinion, I am perfectly ok with the idea that a couple can be happy and monogamous long term without having marriage on the horizon and be a better example than some married couples.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#10 Aug 13, 2014
It is possible that his divorce settlement has a "no-cohabitation while teh kids are present " provision.
Used to be (as in the 80-90's) in some states doing that could cost you custody rights although I would be surprised if Colorado had that rule presently.

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