Visit with her grandchild includes another child

Posted: April 16, 2013

DEAR ABBY: My daughter died in a car accident two years ago. She and her boyfriend, "Reed," had a 4-month-old daughter, "Angela." Since then, Reed has been very understanding and liberal with visitations. However, it didn't take him long to find another girlfriend, who has a 4-year-old daughter I'll call "Madison."

The first time I went to pick up Angela, the new girlfriend hinted strongly that I should also take Madison. I didn't like it, but I took her. Abby, Madison is the meanest, rudest child I have ever met. I saw her push Angela down and laugh. Then she tried to smother my granddaughter by sitting on her head on the couch.

I don't want to take Madison anymore. But if I don't take her, I'm afraid they won't let me visit Angela. Do you have any advice? - Angie's Gram in Missouri

DEAR GRAM: If you haven't already spoken to Reed and the girl's mother about her behavior, you should. Madison may act out because she's jealous of Angela. If she had pulled the shenanigans with me that she has with you, I would have taken her home immediately.

You are not a built-in babysitter, which appears to be how you have been made to feel. Nothing will change until you broach the subject.

DEAR ABBY: I feel fortunate to find myself with the love of my life at 24. We are clearly headed toward engagement, but I am hesitant. I am afraid I won't give him what he deserves.

I dated a man for three years. We talked about our future, made plans, and then I changed my mind. The pain I caused was terrible. I still regret hurting him, although I don't regret leaving. I'm afraid I will do it again.

Am I being foolish and letting my anxieties run away with me?

- Susan in Connecticut

DEAR SUSAN: You are not the same person you were in college. You have grown and are obviously more aware of the consequences of your actions.

Because you are anxious about making a commitment to "the love of your life," it's time to schedule an appointment with a licensed counselor to discuss it.

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