DEAR AMY: I am a divorced woman about to turn 50 in a loving relationship with a man the same age. We live two hours away from each other but see each other every week. My guy has a 21-year-old daughter who lives with him. She is rude, has no household responsibilities, has no job and no driver's license, has been in community college for two years and needs another two to receive her associate degree. She totally relies on her dad for everything! In the beginning, she also came along on some of our dates! I have talked to him about her reliance on him, her behavior and her lack of maturity. He says he is working with her on growing up. In the past, he had a second marriage that failed. He says she does not like her mom and had a terrible relationship with her stepmother. She has no female friends. We have talked about marriage, but we are both still cleaning up some of the mistakes of our past. I am not in a hurry to marry and will not move into a house under these conditions. However, I do want to marry him and make a life together before I am 60. Is there hope for a future with this wonderful man?
DEAR WORRIED: It sounds as if you're willing to devote up to a decade for your guy's daughter to grow up and develop a life of her own. However, in 10 years, all of you in this triangle may only be 10 years older, not 10 years smarter.
The pattern so far in this man's life is that his relationship with his daughter is the primary one for him.
Do you want to spend the next 10 years of your life correcting and trying to control this pair?
You should face your future with the idea that, realistically, if you choose to be in a family with him, you will also be in a family with her. I suggest you continue to enjoy him at a distance. Given the dynamic in his household, distance sounds ideal.