Amy: Daughter doesn't want widowed father to live near her

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • Chicago Tribune
  • January 12, 2013 - 1:43 PM

Dear Amy: Many years ago my family lived in a Communist country. My wife and I faced many challenges to come to the United States. After coming here, our main goal was the well-being of our daughter. She got a college degree and is now a successful professional, married and with a daughter of her own.

My wife died 25 years ago. I live alone on the West Coast. My daughter lives in the Northeast.

After I retired, I wanted to relocate close to my only child and grandchild. I don't need financial help; my only desire is to see them at least once a month. My daughter does not want me to live close to her or even to visit them (I told her that I will stay in a hotel) because my presence makes her "nervous."

I asked many times what the things are she does not like and expressed readiness to correct my behavior. No answer from her. She wrote that she is grateful to me for what I did raising her and that she loves me (but does not want to see me). What should I do?

Amy says: In a way, your daughter has chosen exile from her home; there may be something about this impulse that you understand (more than you realize). If you want to visit her, then you should plan a trip to her area and let her know several days ahead of time that you will be in town and would like to see her.

Even if this does not result in a reconciliation, you would feel better knowing that you tried. Give her the opportunity to express herself and be open to talking, even if you don't like what you hear.

Beyond that, you should do your utmost to build a life for yourself wherever you want to live. Join organizations, develop friendships with people your own age and reach out to people from your home country who live in the States.

Texting rudeness

Dear Amy: I'm responding to the issue of texting while at a social gathering. The reason this is rude is because of the message it conveys: "Your gathering isn't worthy of my whole attention."

What should a host do when a guest is texting? Option one is ignore it but also never invite the person back. Option two is to attempt to draw the guest into conversation with others. Option three is to sidle up to the guest and say, "I'm sorry you aren't able to be here for the party." If the guest doesn't correct his or her behavior, do not invite the person back.

The most important gift a guest can give a host is his or her genuine presence. That is what the guest is agreeing to provide when the invitation is accepted.

Amy says: I absolutely agree. Thank you.

Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at

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