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Amy: Mom, daughter estranged over pregnancy-timing accusation

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • Chicago Tribune
  • January 5, 2013 - 12:46 PM

Dear Amy: My girlfriend is extremely sad over her troubled relationship with her only daughter. Her daughter has a 4-year-old girl and is expecting another child.

The problems began when my girlfriend confronted her daughter about the timing of her pregnancy. She said the daughter was trying to deceive her and the family that she got pregnant after she got married, rather than before.

Ever since then, the relationship has been nearly nonexistent, and she does not get to see her granddaughter.

Recently, she called her daughter to see if there was anything she could do to help out with the expected grandchild, but her daughter said she didn't want her in her life right now because she didn't want to deal with any stress from her.

My girlfriend is sad about not being able to see her grandchildren and doesn't know what to do next.

Should she go to visit her daughter and grandchild, or should she stay away as her daughter requested?

Amy says: Your girlfriend should admit that her accusation was a breach, and she should apologize. The timing of her daughter's pregnancy is really none of her business; to confront her over such a deeply private issue is to invite drama.

The mother should recognize that her daughter has the right to obscure the date of her child's conception, unless by doing so she creates harm to others or commits legal fraud of some kind.

If the mother asks her daughter to forgive her -- with no strings attached -- they should be able to repair their relationship. She should concentrate on relationship repair rather than on restored contact with her granddaughter.

How to break up

Dear Amy: I am a 30-year-old woman and have been dating a 40-year-old man. He has never been married. I want to be married, but I'm wondering if he will ever settle down. All he cares about is his job and how he looks. He's obsessed with getting new cars, which he says he needs because he thinks they impress women. I don't want to date him anymore, and I want you to tell me how to break up with him.

Amy says: Here's how to break up with a commitment-phobe: You say, "Honey, I love you. Will you marry me?" The only hazard here is the need to protect yourself from flying gravel as he peels out of your driveway.

If you lack the nerve to call his bluff in this way, you need only say, "You and I want different things. I need to break up with you."

Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribune.com.

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