Romance blossoms within blended ‘family’

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, December 13, 2023

DEAR ABBY: I have been dating my boyfriend, “George,” for 17 years following our divorces. I have three grown children. He has four – two of whom are still at home. We have never lived together.
My daughter and George’s son (still at home) had a crush on each other when they were teenagers. Fast-forward 10 years – they have reunited and expressed their love for one another. Although George cares deeply for all my children, I’m afraid he feels my daughter may not be the best choice for his son. She is unemployed and has health issues, and his family’s opinions (they are VERY outspoken and value a strong work ethic) weigh heavily on his son.
George “parents” his adult children who are still living with him. (George stayed home until he got married at 30.) His parenting style includes hollering at his kids when they’re not tending to their chores or his directives or they’re staying out all night. This could possibly come between us. I should add, he’s always been good to me in every way. What do you think of all this? – LESS CERTAIN IN THE EAST

DEAR LESS CERTAIN: What I think should have no bearing on any of this. The “children” are all adults. You can’t orchestrate their lives for them. You and George need to calm down and let this scenario play out. Que sera, sera.
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DEAR ABBY: My daughter, a smart, lovely, professional young woman, was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She graduated summa cum laude from graduate school, and I am obviously very proud of her.
The problem is, she seems depressed and has gained a lot of weight (50-plus pounds) on her small frame. I know she’s sensitive about her weight, but when I visit her, she does not watch what she’s eating, and her sweet-aholic boyfriend either doesn’t care or is unaware of the damage diabetes can have on an overweight person.
My father was diabetic and died at 55. By then, he was blind, and every part of his body had been affected by this terrible disease. I need to do something, but I don’t know how to approach her about this. I don’t want to alienate her, but I know she’s headed down a very destructive path if she doesn’t take better care of herself. Please give me some ideas on how to HELP. – ALARMED DAD IN THE SOUTH

DEAR DAD: Have an in-person conversation about this with your daughter and include her boyfriend. Explain to them that diabetes can run in families and can cause severe damage if ignored and left untreated, as you already know. Is your daughter aware that diabetes caused your father’s disability and premature death? She needs to know.
It is crucial that she consult an endocrinologist and learn to manage her condition, which may involve medication, modification of her diet and a regular schedule of exercise. Tell her you love her and will help her if she would like. Then cross your fingers that she will listen and her boyfriend will stop being her enabler.
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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.
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For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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