“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Jan 29, 2014
DEAR AMY: I'm a 26-year-old single father with a daughter who is 5. My ex and I split when our daughter was an infant.

I had a girlfriend "Debbie" for three years. We lived together and shared custody of the child. She was a crucial part of my daughter's life from the ages of 1 to 4.

Debbie and I have been apart for 16 months but have stayed in touch. My daughter will talk about Debbie as if they just hung out the other week. After 16 months of zero contact, she still asks when she is going to see Debbie.

When I told Debbie, she brought up the idea of public visits with me and my daughter with the hopes of the two of them becoming buddies down the road.

The child's mother thinks our daughter will one day forget Debbie, and seeing her would tease the child about the possibility of Debbie and me getting back together.

I don't want to toy with my child's emotions; Debbie and I know we're done for good.-- J

DEAR J: You cannot make someone "disappear" from your daughter's mind and heart simply by removing contact. Every adult in her life is vital to this child's development and she is proving this by keeping "Debbie" present, even if the two never see each other.

Because Debbie seems to have been a loving and involved co-parent and a benign force in your daughter's life, you should promote them spending time together (along with you) occasionally.

Your ex is mistaken: Your daughter will not forget Debbie, even if her memories of their time together change or fade. Seeing Debbie will replace the buildup in your daughter's imagination with real-world experiences and a more balanced attachment.

Seeing you and Debbie peacefully go from being partners to friends will demonstrate to her that people don't just disappear from a person's life when they move out and move on. What a wonderful lesson for her.

DEAR AMY: After several dating experiences in college, I happened upon a great guy while studying abroad. After returning to the U.S., nearly daily contact galvanized me over the subsequent years to find opportunities to visit him.

Love blossomed, but these discontinuous periods of proximity made our relationship ephemeral. He was never comfortable with my proposal to call him my "boyfriend," yet there was always a clear implication of mutual monogamy.

Recently during a drunken lapse of judgment I kissed a complete stranger. I felt I owed my boyfriend a confession. Unfortunately, he was planning a trip here to visit.

I apologized for my mistake, but he has not communicated with me since. He has admitted to more than a stray kiss before, so I can appreciate how he must be feeling -- but this is not the first time he has cut off communication with me.

I worry about his nonconfrontational approach. Nearly five years in, I no longer know how to proceed. His silence is debilitating, but I still believe giving up on each other would be a lifelong mistake.-- Hopelessly Impaled

DEAR IMPALED: This man is not your boyfriend (according to him). He does not require (or deserve) a confession about a stray kiss.

His silence is not impaling you. It is setting you free, because this relationship does not have a future.

Five years is a long time to invest in a relationship that is so one-sided. Unless he initiates a conversation or shows up on your doorstep, it's over. Even if he does, it's most likely still over.

DEAR AMY: Thanks for backing up "Exhausted Gran," who did not want to baby-sit her grandchildren. Grandparents do not always make the best baby sitters. Many don't have the energy to keep up with small children, some are too indulgent or unwilling to follow the child's routines or the house rules, and some frankly just don't enjoy small children.

There is nothing about being a blood relation that makes a grandparent a better caregiver than a loving, energetic, conscientious baby sitter like the wonderful ones who have cared for our daughter.-- Mother of a Preschooler

DEAR MOTHER: I agree. Thank you.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#2 Jan 29, 2014
1- Leave Debbie alone. She wants nothing to do with you and has no obligation to your daughter. I imagine you're ex wife would be upset about some other woman playing the mommy role.

2- Wow are you clueless. Get over him and move on.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Jan 29, 2014
1 Good advice, and the man did not get bashed!

2 Wow, used up all your big words didn't you. Oh, and your signature is a real Freudian slip if I ever saw one.
Blunt Advice

Millburn, NJ

#4 Jan 29, 2014
1. The daughter has to learn and accept that her parents will have boyfriends and girlfriends come and go. Pretty much like divorces without the legal aspects.

2. True.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#5 Jan 29, 2014
L1 has some strange phraseology. LW and Debbie shared custody? Debbie is not the mom.
Anyway, obviously, LW and Debbie are still in contact and she is trustworthy so I see no reason not to have contact. The broad label of "aunt and uncle" cover a wide rage of non traditional adults for kids. The more reliable well meaning grown ups in a kid' life, the better.

L2 is living in a fantasy world. She merely gave the overseas guy an excuse to end things. Or, maybe he got married or hit by a truck. Regardless, ts over. LW makes it sound like a plot from an opera, not real life.

(I really liked Race's observation about a Freudian slip

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

Location hidden

#6 Jan 29, 2014
Lw1- this is why it is so important not to rush into relationships when you have children. I know your question is about Debbie, but I don't think that's really the issue. It is about making sure that your daughter knows her father is always going to be there to listen to her and make sure that her needs are met. If she wants to see Debbie or her mom, then he will listen to her and try to make that happen, but she needs to have one person to be her rock that she can always depend on.

LW2 - hahahahaha! What a pretentious little twit! I bet she is reads too many romance novels and lives in a small town. He explicitly said that he is not her boyfriend, so there is no such thing as an implicit understanding of exclusivity, especially if he has told her that he kissed other girls. Hmmm, that might be a run-on sentence. If she were my sister, I would just buy her a vibrator and a subscription to Cosmo for her birthday. Poor guy.
Blunt Advice

Millburn, NJ

#7 Jan 29, 2014
Oops goofed earlier...
2. Move on. Find yourself a nice local guy.
3. True. Some, not all grandparents just want to admire the kids from a distance.

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#8 Jan 29, 2014
So, what happens when your next girlfriend objects to these play dates? It's been over a year since the kid has seen her so I would not being her back into your daughters life now, at least not in the one-on-one type of situation you are talking about. At most, I would include Debbie in larger groups for casual get-togethers with your daughter included and I wouldn't do it very often. And... slow down on including your little girl in future romances.
L2... go find a boyfriend. A real one. Who lives in this country. Go crazy and find one in your town. And quite trying to sound like a thesaurus. It isn't impressive. You only sound like an insecure pretentious little girl.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#9 Jan 29, 2014
LW1: I see nothing wrong with you and your daughter going to the zoo or a museum with Debbie every six months or so. But let this be a learning experience; don't be so quick to involve your child in your dating life and don't let someone move in with you unless you are married to that person.

LW2: <eyeroll> Such drama.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#10 Jan 29, 2014
ScarletandOlive wrote:
I would just buy her a vibrator and a subscription to Cosmo for her birthday.
:O

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#11 Jan 29, 2014
squishymama wrote:
LW1: I see nothing wrong with you and your daughter going to the zoo or a museum with Debbie every six months or so. But let this be a learning experience; don't be so quick to involve your child in your dating life and don't let someone move in with you unless you are married to that person.
LW2: <eyeroll> Such drama.
this

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#12 Jan 29, 2014
itser wrote:
So, what happens when your next girlfriend objects to these play dates? It's been over a year since the kid has seen her so I would not being her back into your daughters life now, at least not in the one-on-one type of situation you are talking about. At most, I would include Debbie in larger groups for casual get-togethers with your daughter included and I wouldn't do it very often. And... slow down on including your little girl in future romances.
L2... go find a boyfriend. A real one. Who lives in this country. Go crazy and find one in your town. And quite trying to sound like a thesaurus. It isn't impressive. You only sound like an insecure pretentious little girl.
Introducing your id to someone who you were dating for 3 years and ( based on the shared custody comment) were probably living with, is not moving fast at all.
Kuuipo

Marina, CA

#13 Jan 29, 2014
LW1: You have a good relationship with Debbie and she is open to the idea of having occasional outings with your daughter and you. Your daughter and Debbie established a relationship of their own, and it appears to be positive. I don't see how you'd be toying with your child's emotions by allowing them to visit once in a while. Also, Debbie and you are clear about your relationship and I think it's great that you have remained friends.

LW2: Find a boyfriend closer to home.

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#14 Jan 29, 2014
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
Introducing your id to someone who you were dating for 3 years and ( based on the shared custody comment) were probably living with, is not moving fast at all.
Introducing and getting to know each other is one thing, but having the girlfriend living with you and your daughter and playing mommy without the benefit of a commitment is. A little kid doesn't understand that. I think that was a huge mistake on the part of LW. Hopefully he doesn't make it again.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#15 Jan 29, 2014
LW2: I could write a lot of stuff here, but I'm not gonna waste my time. I'll boil it down to 1 simple sentence: You're an idiot.

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#16 Jan 29, 2014
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
Introducing your id to someone who you were dating for 3 years and ( based on the shared custody comment) were probably living with, is not moving fast at all.
He didn't introduce them after 3 years of dating. They were living together with Debbie being "a crucial part" of the daughter's life within a year of him splitting with the kid's mom. Not married, just living together, and that is too fast.

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