Daughter clashes with dad over his teenage girlfriend

Published 8:25 am Friday, December 11, 2020

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DEAR ABBY: I’m really uncomfortable about my father’s new relationship. He is 50 and dating a girl who is 19 — only two years older than I am. She went to my high school.
I think their age difference is disgusting. He knows how I feel about it, and he doesn’t care. We fought, and I told him I wouldn’t talk to him anymore. I would rather live with my mom full time than spend half my time at his house.
I haven’t seen or spoken to him in more than a month, and I am hurt that he would choose his girlfriend over me. My father and I were never super close, but we had a decent relationship. I looked up to him.
Without him in my life I feel like something is missing. I have tried to get over how I feel and force myself to accept the situation regardless of how uncomfortable it makes me feel, but I just can’t! I have lost respect for him. I feel like he is a pervert.
How can I take his parental advice seriously or listen when he tries to discipline me when he is dating someone my age? It makes me wonder if he treats his girlfriend like his daughter and tries to parent her, too — which is just creepy. What can I do to feel better? — HATES DAD’S TEEN ROMANCE

DEAR HATES: I would love to know how that girl’s parents feel about this love match. Your father may be flattered that someone so young would have a romantic interest in him. Being with her may make him forget that he’s 31 years older — past middle age — and think he’s a cool young dude again.
When there is that great an age difference, the older person is usually the one calling the shots, and the balance of power in the relationship is unequal. If your father is parenting her, it may be because she needs a “daddy” and it makes him feel important.
You’ll start feeling better as soon as you accept that you can’t control what your father does and realize that his relationship with your contemporary may not last. In the meantime, focus on your studies.
DEAR ABBY: The world seems bleak to many of us who are self-quarantined. I ordered quarts of ice cream from a local ice cream company, picked them up at the store with coolers and ice packs in my car and delivered them to the front doors of several friends. As I was driving away, I called and told them to check their porch. They were all surprised and pleased to have a little pick-me-up for their day.
Last night, one of these friends dropped off cinnamon rolls. She knocked and left. She wanted them to be at our house for breakfast today. Neither of these were big, expensive items, but they brought a smile when there isn’t much to smile about these days. — PAY IT FORWARD IN THE SOUTH

DEAR PAY IT: Comfort food comes in many forms — ice cream, baked goods of every variety, chocolate. And it’s all the more tasty when shared among friends as you have described. All of these quick fixes work, at least for a little while. I am now trying to repent from my torrid affair with pralines ‘n’ cream ice cream.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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