Dear Abby: I have a daughter, “Molly,” who is in her late 30s. Her father and I divorced when she was an infant, and I raised her, with help from my family, until I remarried. Her father had visitation and paid child support, but that’s where it ended. Throughout Molly’s life, I have taken care of all medical expenses, extracurricular activities, etc., and I sacrificed so she could have what she needed.
The problem I’m having is that she treats me badly, while her father, his family, her husband’s family and members of my family are put on a pedestal. The disrespectful way she talks to me and her superior attitude have sent me into depression. She doesn’t answer texts or return my phone calls unless she feels like it or wants something.
There’s the possibility that I’ll be coming into some money soon, and I’ve been thinking about changing my will and not leaving her anything. I am seeing a therapist to figure out why I can’t tell her how much her words and actions hurt me. I love Molly very much, but I don’t like her. Shouldn’t she be the one in therapy to figure out why she treats me this way?
— Mistreated Mom in Georgia
Dear Mom: People don’t usually seek therapy unless they are hurting, as you are. Don’t waste your time waiting for her to seek help for something she doesn’t think is a problem. Your daughter is fine with the status quo because you haven’t drawn the line and demanded to be treated with consideration. I don’t know if she’s aware that you are about to come into money, but when she finds out, you may discover she has a sudden change of attitude.
If the money comes through, I hope you will spend that windfall on things you enjoy — travel, cultural events, all the activities you missed out on while sacrificing for Molly. You deserve it; she doesn’t. Please tell your therapist I said so. I’m quite sure your therapist will agree.
Dear Abby: I renovated and moved into my girlfriend’s house a year ago, to the tune of $80,000. We have been together 12 years and agreed that although neither of us wants to remarry, we should stop paying two mortgages because we are nearing retirement and should save money.
She has an old cat that is peeing all over the house. She says, “What do you want me to do about it?” I’m asking her to help me figure something out, but after more than a year of dealing with her cat peeing on everything from my children’s beds to the carpets, nothing has changed. What can I say to get through to her that this is ruining our home and potentially getting people sick? I can’t have guests over because of the smell.
— Frustrated Over the Feline
Dear Frustrated: You and your girlfriend should discuss this with the cat’s veterinarian to find out if the animal’s behavior is age-related and can’t be controlled or a behavioral problem that can be corrected. Please don’t wait to do it! You have my sympathy.
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