My boyfriend has two grown children, ages 25 and 18; I have one, 28. We started dating when the kids were much younger.
He and his ex-wife still took their kids out to buy gifts for each other on Mother’s day, Father's day, birthdays and Christmas.
His ex has been remarried for 16 years and her husband’s unaware of the gift-giving between them.
I was okay with it earlier but, now I feel they’re too old and should buy their own gifts (both work part-time).
I told my boyfriend, he agreed and told his ex.
She agreed… but then their 18-year-old daughter, came over yelling at her dad and blaming me.
He caved in and is still buying gifts.
I don't like the example they’ve sent their kids… that it’s okay to lie and deceive a mate.
Also, there’s supposed to be a $100 limit, but the daughter’s been choosing more expensive jewelry for her mom.
I fear that if the stepdad finds out, he’ll pummel my boyfriend. How do I stop this?
Back out of this - it’s between his children and their parents. While it may bother you, it’s not harming you or taking anything away from you.
Partnering with someone who has adult children from a previous relationship often involves making concessions you’d not agree to if you were the direct parent.
The risk of your guy being “pummelled” because his wife’s kids push their dad to buy her nice things supposedly from them several times a year, is minimal.
Besides, if her husband objects, he’ll get her to stop the practice which is what you want.
But do get your boyfriend to tell his daughter that the request was not meant to distance her from her mother in any way.
My son’s girlfriend of one year is 31, he’s 28. She hasn’t worked steadily and lives with her parents.
Our problem is her eating habits. If restaurant meals come with vegetables, she’ll pick them up with her fingers and remove them.
Then, she slices everything on her plate into pieces. With forearms and elbows on the table, she then shovels it in, with her mouth mostly open. She ate an enormous meal at our house.
She’s way overweight and there are other things that we can overlook if my son chooses her.
But the lack of table manners, gluttony and overeating is making our family uncomfortable at the table.
My son’s gained weight since being with her and has adopted the arms-on-table manner.
Should I speak to her? Or to my son?
Retching at The Table
Oops, you’re approaching an awkward matter in a way sure to shame and antagonize this woman.
If you make critical comments or deliver unrequested etiquette lessons, you may end up distancing them both.
You can raise this with your son only with great sensitivity: When alone with him, suggest a positive reason for commenting, as in: “When we’re eating with you and your girlfriend, we want to enjoy the time together and a shared conversation.
“But she seems to be rushing through the meal. I hope she can take time to chat with us.”
Leave it at that.
Meanwhile, when serving dinner, leave the vegetables off her plate. In a restaurant, you can quietly say to her, “You can tell the waiter that you don’t want any vegetables.” That’s all.
Either your son will talk to her, or he won’t. And she may not change.
FEEDBACK Further concerns over signs that an eight-month-old baby needs a pediatric specialist’s development review (Aug.14):
Reader – “I suspected my grandson was autistic since he was age one, but his pediatrician said he wasn’t since he had eye contact.
“At two and a half, his pediatrician said no autism since he responded when called. But he only observed him for 15 minutes while I babysat him for years.
“Finally, when assessed and observed by an early child education specialist and a speech pathologist for three hours, autism was detected.
“I wish I’d known about free early intervention services (available in some locales) much sooner.”
Reader #2 – “It’s very concerning when a child’s not displaying typical signs of expected development stages.
“Please encourage another health care inquiry, at least to a public health clinic.
“Or start with a call to the Nurse Line to receive some carefully considered questions, support and assistance.
“Mother and baby need more thorough help.”
Tip of the day:
New mates should stay out of small matters between a partner and his/her ex, regarding their adult children.