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Now with a baby, daughter fears new beau

DEAR AMY: My daughter was married for 14 years. They were not able to have children. Her ex was verbally abusive and convinced her she was the one with the fertility problems. After her divorce, she became involved with a man and soon became pregnant. She had told him she could not get pregnant, and he was angry and accused her of lying. They are still together, engaged to be married, and now have a beautiful daughter. However, usually when he has had too much to drink, he will bring up the fact that she "lied" to him and trapped him. She has told him that they can raise their daughter together without being married. When not drinking, he seems devoted. There are two problems here: his drinking and his anger. He agrees he drinks too much and keeps promising to "cut back." I see him starting to be disrespectful, and I do not want to see her in another unhealthy relationship. I have told my daughter she is a strong, beautiful woman, and she should not allow anyone to belittle her. I've told my future son-in-law he needs to let go of his anger and get help for his drinking, but he does not see himself as the one with the problem. It breaks my heart to see my granddaughter exposed to this. What can I do?

-- Worried Mom


DEAR MOM: You seem to have clarity about this situation and have communicated your views to both parties.

Your daughter should not marry someone thinking he will change after marriage (the stress of marriage often makes these problems worse). She was in an abusive marriage for a long time and is embroiled in another relationship that seems headed in that direction. She is the common denominator. Use your influence to urge her toward change.

She should attend Al-anon meetings to learn how others cope with a loved-one's drinking. She should also see a counselor. She is embroiled in a pattern that could seriously undermine her future (and that of her child).

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