DR. WALLACE: I'm 18, and my boyfriend is 19. We've been dating for over two years, and we love each other and plan to get married soon. The only problem with our relationship is his mother, who happens to despise me because he had previously been dating a girl his family loved. To top things off, he dumped her to start dating me.
At the moment, it's so bad that his mother refuses to talk to me and will not even allow me to enter her house. My fiance is an only child and likely qualifies as a mama's boy. When I try to get him to patch things up between his mother and me, he just smiles and says that his mother is a dominant woman who sees things only one way. He says it is pointless to try to change her mind.
Well, I'm dominant too, and I'm tired of being treated like a second-class citizen or worse. I called his mother recently on the telephone, used a nice tone of voice and tried to make peace, but she immediately hung up on me after calling me a terrible name. In your opinion, how important is it for my fiance's mother to accept me? — Out of the Circle of Trust, via email
OUT OF THE CIRCLE: It is extremely important that your fiance's mother accepts you, but this doesn't necessarily mean that she must like you; it means that she should at least be respectful and courteous to you when in your company. She's an experienced adult and should know better. It is unconscionable that she would call you a terrible name. Life is too short to be subjected to such abuse. You're definitely in the midst of a dilemma. You would face a long lifetime of avoiding your future husband's mother if you simply ignore the situation as it is. I suggest you ask your fiance to arrange a meeting with both his mother and his father together with you to talk things over and a civilized way. Such a meeting could clear the air and would at least put your future mother-in-law in front of you with another adult present to keep the peace. Win or lose, after this meeting, you'll be in a better place to evaluate your long-term options regarding both your relationship and this family situation.
DON'T CONTACT HER AGAIN
DR. WALLACE: I recently met a nice girl at the party, and I really like her a lot. I asked her for her telephone number, and she gave it to me. I called her last night, and her father answered the phone. When I asked to speak to her, he wanted to know who I was and why I was calling.
I told him we met a few days ago at a party and I was going to ask her out on a date. Her father then asked me if I knew how old she was, and I told him I thought she was about 16. He proceeded to tell me that she was only 13 and she was not yet allowed to date. I was really surprised because I had thought she was about the same age as me. She didn't look like she was only 13. She was well-developed and looked 16 or older for sure. Anyhow, I just told him he had a very cute daughter and hung up the phone.
After I thought more about it later, I was wondering why such a protective father would let his daughter go to a party where alcohol was served. She was actually sipping a beer when I talked to her, and that party didn't end until after midnight.
I'm now thinking her father was not being honest with me about her age. She probably is 16 or older. Do you think I should try to contact her again via one of my friends? Or should I just forget about her? It seems like she's a lost cause to me, with her father now being involved. — Anonymous, Fresno, California
ANONYMOUS: It's possible this girl may have lied and told her parents that she was spending the night with a girlfriend and her parents trusted her. But that's just speculation on my part and does not matter in your situation, as her father has now definitively told you his rule.
Remember that things are not always as they appear. Mother Nature is in charge, and some girls indeed look older (and some younger) than they actually are.
My advice is to not contact this girl again. It's best to look elsewhere for female companionship and find a young lady with a father who says that his daughter is at least 16 years old and allowed to date! As a 16-year-old young man, you will have many other opportunities to meet suitable girls to take out on dates. And I would be remiss if I did not mention that I absolutely do not approve of you attending parties where alcohol is being served to teenagers. Nothing good can come from being in such an environment at your age.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.