Ask Amy: I’m contemplating a future with awful children

DEAR AMY: My boyfriend of eight years has raised perfectly awful children.

They lack basic kindness and empathy toward their father — and toward others in general.

Columnist Amy Dickinson (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

I have raised two children of my own who volunteer, assist with nonprofit organizations, and are wonderful and caring individuals.

We mainly spend time around my family; his children are in college.

We don’t spend any time with his daughter. She won’t accept that he is even dating me (I ruin her perfect picture of what a family is), and his boys are very selfish and self-centered.

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Their behavior leads my daughters to question why I would stay with my boyfriend and tolerate his kids’ behavior.

We don’t live together, and I try to distance myself from much interaction. But when I hear his children speak to him disrespectfully, it leads me to doubt whether we can ever be together because of the way they act.

My boyfriend and I are in our 50s and have been working toward a combined life for some time. His kids cause me to question our future.

Before moving ahead in selling houses and possibly marriage, I would like to know how to reconcile these differences in my own little brain and be OK with one set of offspring acting one way and the other one acting completely differently. I wonder how I can manage to tolerate this if I stay with my boyfriend.


DEAR WORRIED: Overall, your judgment (your children are wonderful/his are awful) reveals a lack of empathy toward a set of young people who may be hurting, lashing out, or perennially angry. Where is your empathy? Where is your kindness?

If you have been in this man’s life for eight years, and his kids are in college, then the two of you have had plenty of time to try to influence these young people.

If your boyfriend didn’t influence them because he let someone else (presumably his ex-wife) raise them, then he’s a neglectful parent.

If your boyfriend did raise them, then he’s a deeply flawed parent. And in letting his children reject you, he’s demonstrating that he’s a flawed partner, too.

Many college-age people go through a self-centered jerky phase. It is possible that these young adults are still maturing, and …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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