Dear Annie: I am a 50-year-old woman. I have two adult children and two grandchildren. I am a recovering addict. My daughter chose to stay with me during all those painful years. Now, after many years alone, I finally met someone who loves me, and I love her — yes, "her." My partner is a woman. "Sally" and I have been living together for almost three years. I moved out of state a year ago to be with her.
Here is my issue: My son is OK with my relationship — and is respectful and kind — but my daughter is a whole different story. She is not happy with my decision to be with another woman. She and Sally have had arguments, and I am tired of being put in the middle. They curse and say very harmful things to each other. I have spoken with Sally about this and asked her nicely to stop getting upset and saying these hurtful things. I've asked the same of my daughter. They ignore my requests and continue to not like each other and to treat each other with disrespect.
I really don't know what to do. My daughter doesn't want me to even talk about my relationship to her or around the grandkids. She wants me to pretend Sally doesn't exist. What can I do? — Stuck in the Middle
Dear Stuck in the Middle: It's unfair of your daughter to not give your partner a chance. Maybe she is having a hard time accepting your new relationship because it's with another woman and that doesn't fit with the image of who she believes you should be — in which case, she should adjust her picture. Or maybe this is a matter of overprotectiveness and would happen even if you were seeing a man. It's probably a bit of both.
And then there's Sally. You should always strive for a good relationship with your partner's family. If a good relationship isn't possible, then you should at least go for a polite one. If even that's not possible, then it becomes about finding some sort of peace with that. What you absolutely should not do is scream and curse at your partner's family members. Sally might rationalize it as her defending you, but really she's just making your life harder. Ask her to go to couples counseling so you can find sustainable ways of coping with the stress you face as a couple.
Dear Annie: Please tell your readers about the importance of having an optimal level of vitamin D. The majority of doctors do not include the test for D in routine labs, especially for those who are younger than 65 and have not had a problem bone scan.
Vitamin D is actually a hormone, and it is found in every cell in the body. It is believed that a large part of the population is low in D. The reasons may not be known, but it is true that for many, just getting lots of sun does not ensure an adequate level. A low vitamin D level is often found in people having dementia, fibromyalgia, acne, depression, ADHD and many other maladies and diseases. Whether a deficiency in D is the cause or not is not known, but it is reported that the immune system improves with increased amounts of D.
Learn your D level and the level of your children. It is an easy and inexpensive way to possibly improve your health and maybe decrease your risk of future health issues. — L
Dear L: Always good to have a reminder to take one's vitamins (in appropriate doses).
You're right that there are many health risks associated with vitamin D. According to the National Institutes of Health, bones can become thin or misshapen without sufficient amounts of vitamin D. For more information, see the NIH fact sheets (https://ods.od.nih.gov) and talk to your doctor.
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