DEAR ABBY: One of our daughters (18) has been rebelling for the last couple of years. She’s not doing well in community college. She is dating a drug user and has been caught in lie after lie, including about spending the night at friends’ homes.
She has now decided she no longer wants to live with our rules, which include staying enrolled in college full time and making progress, doing a few household chores, telling us where she is going and when we can expect her home, and having no overnighters. She has moved out and in with a friend.
We know she’s immature and will grow up eventually. We are heartbroken but understand we can’t control this. We are praying for her safety.
We have an out-of-town wedding coming up and have decided to make a family vacation out of it. On one hand, we want to include her, not wanting to destroy what little relationship we have. On the other, we do not want to be “used” for a fun vacation. Because she has chosen to live on her own as an adult, she must pay her own way (which she can’t afford). Should we take her or not? — MOM OF AN ALMOST-ADULT
DEAR MOM: Your daughter has made a choice — to be out from under your thumb and on her own. The “price” for her independence is being unable to depend upon you and your husband to foot the bill for her expenses.
Would she be running wild and staying out all night if you take her with you? You would have to set some rules beforehand and get her to agree to abide by them if she is going to be included with her sibling(s). A positive experience as a family may be what you all need right now. But only you can decide whether it’s worth taking the chance.
DEAR ABBY: I am recently divorced, but my husband, “Danny,” and I still see each other. The other night he mentioned that his ex-girlfriend texts him. He also allows her to follow him on Instagram but says he isn’t following her. It really bothers me because she and Danny were in contact when we were married, “just as friends” is what he said. He repeated with 100% certainty that he has no interest in ever getting back together with her.
I spend a lot of nights at his place, and he spends nights with me, so I guess I have to trust his word, but it’s eating me up inside. I have asked him to not allow her to follow him on Instagram, but he has not done that yet. He said he doesn’t care who follows him. — UNFOLLOW IN CONNECTICUT
DEAR UNFOLLOW: I’m confused. Exactly what is your question? You say you are divorced, but you are still acting — and thinking — like you are Danny’s wife. He’s a free man now, and you not only do not have the right to dictate who should or shouldn’t follow him on Instagram, but also don’t have the right to tell him he can’t see another woman if he wishes.
Face it, you are BOTH free now. You can’t be cheated on by a husband who is no longer your husband. Consider this: It might be healthier for you to spend less time with Danny and devote more time to moving forward with your life.