Daughter’s one-sided relationship irks parents


Dear Abby: My daughter is a professional woman in her mid-20s. She works in a demanding field with a lot of overtime. She lives an hour away from us and is financially independent but depends on us often for favors.

She has been dating a man for a year and a half who doesn’t even call her his “girlfriend.” We have never met him. He sees her when it’s convenient for him, sometimes for an hour at 11 on a Sunday night after he’s spent the weekend with his friends. (We both know what to call that.) She has never asked him to feed or baby-sit her cat, help her move furniture, pick up an item from a store or anything. She asks us.

We are in our 60s. We feel it’s time for her to find a loving, considerate life partner, but she’s content with her present “relationship.” She has had relationships before with thoughtful, helpful guys, so I’m not sure why she is rationalizing this man’s self-centered behavior.

He is now moving 600 miles away but plans to continue seeing her. He hasn’t asked her to join him, although she considered uprooting herself from her job and family to do so. How can I make her see that she has no future with this man and needs to find a real partner in life? — Won’t Be Around Forever

Dear Won’t: Are you sure he isn’t married or in a long-term relationship with someone else? I don’t blame you for being a concerned parent, but this is a realization your daughter is going to have to arrive at in her own time. Badgering her is counterproductive.

Could it be your independent daughter likes the “freedom” this relationship provides? If you are doing your daughter favors the “boyfriend” should be providing, cut it out. It’s possible that the move he’s making will cause him to drift out of her life so things can end naturally. Cross your fingers.

Dear Abby: I am a morning person, and my newly retired husband is the opposite. At night in our bedroom, he reads on his iPad for several hours while I try to sleep. I am in bed by 11 while my husband usually stays up till 1 or 2 a.m. If I wake up, he’s on our couch in the bedroom with a glow of light from the iPad. But it bothers me that he is in the same room staying up to read.

We have been married 45 years and usually went to bed at the same time because of work, but now that he’s retired, he says he likes reading, watching movies or watching videos on YouTube. I think he should read in another room (better for his eyes) and not the room I am sleeping in. He doesn’t want to sit in our living room.

Bottom line: It bothers me that one person is doing an activity while the other sleeps or tries to sleep. What would be your advice? — Disordered Sleep in Colorado

Dear Disordered Sleep: Because you need a solid night’s sleep in order to function properly the next day, your husband should move to a different room if he wants to read so he won’t disturb you. It’s called demonstrating consideration for one’s spouse.

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