Plans for happy future are upset by return of old rival
DEAR ABBY: I had a baby girl with my longtime best friend, "Adam." "April" is now 3 weeks old. I thought everything would be OK as co-parents because, even though we're not together, we get along and almost never fight.
Six weeks before April was born, Adam began seeing a girl we both knew from high school. The girl, "Jenny," and I have a horrible past. She used to bully me.
My problem with Jenny being around is she's disrespectful. She and Adam argue all the time because she forces things that shouldn't be a problem into becoming a problem. When I visit so Adam can see April, Jenny often interjects her own opinions about my baby as if she knows better than I do.
I recently found out that Adam is planning to marry Jenny. We have been fighting because I don't want her around my daughter. Adam believes it's not fair to push her out of the room when April is around, and that Jenny should be a part of family events reserved for only parents and the child, like taking formal pictures and such.
Am I irrational or crazy? I care about Adam because of our long history of friendship. I did a lot to help him get off drugs and keep his life together, and now here she is messing it up. I told him if he's happy with her, then fine, but I don't want Jenny around my baby. We cannot seem to come to an agreement unless I fold.
— CO-PARENTING ON THE EAST COAST
DEAR CO-PARENTING: You are neither irrational nor crazy. I'm sorry your relationship with Adam didn't work out as you had hoped it would. However, if Adam marries Jenny, she will be April's stepmother. It would be unrealistic for you to expect she leave the room when you bring the baby to visit her daddy. In that case, it might be better if you accept the things you cannot change.
DEAR ABBY: My fiance, "Allan's," great-grandfather recently passed away. We lived with him, as did Allan's mother and uncle. Allan was his full-time caregiver.
My fiance's mother is thinking about buying the house and says we should all pay rent to her. I have lived here for six years and I'm comfortable here. The one thing I'm wary about is, if it becomes her house, that she'll start treating us like children.
Allan and I are in our late 20s. I'm not comfortable walking on eggshells, and I'm afraid she will make it clear that we are living in HER house. In my opinion, if people are paying rent, it should feel like their home, too.
Am I being a brat? And once it becomes her house, should I just lay all my worries on the line to her?
— NOT A CHILD IN THE WEST
DEAR NOT A CHILD: You are not being a brat. You are an adult, and an intelligent one. By all means lay all your concerns on the table — the sooner the better. That way, Allan's mother can either allay them, or you and your fiance can make plans to find another place to live. If his mother needs the income that would come from having renters, she may be less inclined to behave as you fear.
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