Dear Annie: Beyond time to cut the cord
Dear Annie: I’ve been in this relationship for five years now, and my boyfriend, “Steve,” still puts his adult daughter, “June,” before me. I’m a parent, and I understand their relationship to a certain point, but there are boundaries crossed. June is 29. Every time she’s in a relationship, she ditches Steve. And then he comes venting to me about it.
Last year, she moved out and found her own place. Steve started staying with her, but she told him he had to go, because she was pregnant and her child’s father needed to be around.
So then Steve moved back in with me, and in my mind he didn’t come by choice; he came simply because he had nowhere else to go. That made me feel pretty awful.
And now here we are six months later: Her child’s father left again, and in barely any time at all, Steve moved back in with her. His excuse was that she needs help with the baby, being that she is pregnant again. I’m all for helping her out, but really, did he have to leave me to sleep alone at night?
When I speak to him about it, he says that it’s his daughter, as if that justifies everything. It’s so frustrating. It’s not as if he can’t help her while also living with me. And that’s not to mention that he didn’t even run it by me first when he made this decision. He just said, “I hope you don’t get mad; this is what I’m doing.”
I’m wondering how he could one day call me his wife and then move out without even talking to me first. I am not OK with this. He didn’t think about my feelings or my son’s feelings. Steve has been in my son’s life for so long that my son calls him dad. I’m really growing tired of how he puts her first for everything, forgetting that he made a family over here as well.
I am reaching my breaking point and he doesn’t get it. It’s been the same song and dance for a few years now. Am I wrong? — Anonymous, Please
Dear Anonymous: She’s 29. It’s time for him to stop acting like she’s 9. For him to try to pass this off as normal, acceptable behavior — to actually make you feel wrong for being upset — is preposterous. If you want to stay in the relationship, I urge you to see a couples counselor together, because some of these issues seem very deep-seated. If he still won’t cut the cord with her, it’s time for you to cut and run. You and your son deserve someone who treats you like a priority, not an afterthought.
Dear Annie: I just read the letter from “Bewildered in Vermont,” who is concerned that her nieces and nephews are trying to have her sister declared legally incompetent just so they have control of her assets. Your suggestion of getting a physician’s statement is excellent. It would be good to have it from the primary physician but also from a neuropsychologist. The other thing is to involve a local ombudsmen. They can help the sister navigate her senior rights and the legalities. — Senior Rights Advocate.
Dear Senior Rights Advocate: Thank you for the additional practical tip for “Bewildered in Vermont.” I’m printing it in the hope it lends some further clarity to her situation.
“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now. Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Go to http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.