I’m a woman in my late-50s, widowed five years ago.
I was left depressed and lonely, sure I’d never again find love.
Three years later, I met a man who’d also lost his long-time partner and, miraculously, we fell in love.
We live apart but are together a lot. We’ve met each other’s families, everyone is accepting of our relationship.
But his daughter is a problem. She’s still “Daddy’s (spoiled) little girl” at 33, though married and a mother.
She’s constantly wheedling for more free goodies – he bought a large SUV for their family use, then got talked into buying a small luxury car just for her. (Her husband has his own car).
When she got “tired of all her responsibilities” (one child and a part-time job), her father paid for a week’s vacation with her girlfriends. He also pays for her nanny (her husband has a job but that money doesn’t get used for her “personal needs”).
So far, I say nothing about his indulgence of her. He knows that my own daughter is hard-working and lives independently.
I worry that if he knew my true feelings about his daughter’s greedy advantage-taking of her father, he’d side with her instead of me.
Millions of men and women who advocate for strong women having the confidence to use their voices, would like this father to know that his over-indulgence is actually harmful to his daughter’s personal growth.
Nevertheless, it’s likely best for now to not mix in about “Daddy’s little girl.”
He’s not asking for your thoughts, he’s not using your money, and it seems that he’s not affecting your time together.
This could change, however. If you build resentment about their relationship, and lose respect for him because of it, his daughter could be the cause of many fights.
When you get tired of not using your own voice and he’s unwilling to see he’s encouraging her dependence, your different attitudes will threaten to divide you.
The test will come if you two start to live together and share expenses. Be prepared for this.
My daughter’s grown up and successful, living on her own with her boyfriend, not far from me.
However, she either behaves very rudely towards me or ignores me for months.
I tried to still call her periodically, but her replies to questions like "how are you doing” were very evasive. Eventually, I gave up.
I’ve been a single parent, and providing a happy childhood for her was quite demanding. My other children are aware of her behaviour towards me, but there’s not much they can do.
She always has some reason for being rude towards me, or treating me like somebody beneath her.
I know she’s having a good life, friends, good job, so she’s not hiding some unpleasant truth from me.
Her behaviour hurts me very much. I know the other children love me, but I don’t know how to behave in her presence. Should I just try to forget I ever had her?
If other people have had a similar problem, I’d like to know, what they did in their situation.
Also, what would I do if she has any children?
Readers, please let this woman know through this column, about any positive moves you made to help resolve a similar situation.
To the writer, I suggest you simply keep the door open. Don’t accept outright rudeness, but let her know, you’ll be there if she needs you.
FEEDBACK Regarding the father concerned about his daughter’s strained marriage (September 27):
Reader – “I was in the same situation. Her husband could be mentally abusing her.
“I went for counselling about it, and my father got me an appointment with a lawyer to find out my rights in the marriage.
“Then, on his own, my father hired a private eye to follow my husband so I could learn exactly where I stood.
“He was having an affair. That was my ticket out.
“I was very grateful to my father for getting the facts for me without getting personally involved.
“I was able to make my own decision to leave or not.
“I’m now divorced and free of my ex’s mental abuse.”
Ellie – Wise moves by both your father and yourself. He directed you to learn for yourself, and he provided new information on your husband’s activities. But he left the crucial decision-making to you.
Tip of the day:
When a would-be partner’s adult child is a problem, time will bring the need and rights to speak up.