Dear Amy: I am married to a man with three kids. The oldest is 18, and she lives in another state. She doesn’t have the best relationship with her dad (my husband).
Columnist Amy Dickinson (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
When we first got together, my husband was still getting divorced, so it was a lot of drama. I am only 29 and have never been with a man who has children.
His oldest is angry that I never reached out to her.
In my defense, we were going to visit last year, and I thought we would meet then. But she wouldn’t meet because she was mad at us. Should I reach out now?
Dear Wondering: You are likely closer in age to your husband’s daughter than you are to him, and yet you seem to have completely forgotten what it was like to be a teenage girl.
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From the timing you suggest, this girl’s formative teen years were consumed by her folks’ dramatic breakup. You and her father didn’t wait for his divorce to start dating (kids keep score, her mother has probably mentioned this a few hundred times, and these things matter to them).
Step-parenting always begins with friendship, and friendships are the result of bids for connection.
Yes, your efforts might be denied or dismissed, but the reason to reach out is so that later — when she is more mature and the situation is more stable — she can see that you’ve been trying all along.
Keep it simple: An email or DM saying, “I’m so sorry we haven’t met in person yet; we’d love for you to visit us if you are able. I’m sorry things have been so hard, but I’m really looking forward to getting to know you.”
Dear Amy: My husband and I have a seven-month-old baby.
My husband has never been a sympathetic person. I have always accepted this about him. However, now with the baby I find myself needing more emotional support than he can give me.
The long nights with a nursing and poorly sleeping baby have left me feeling exhausted and needing some reassurance and comfort from my husband.
Whenever I broach the subject, he tells me that he works so I can be home (I work too, but fewer hours and from home), and that he doesn’t feel bad …read more
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