DR. WALLACE: My father died four years ago, and this brought me great pain because I loved him very much. He always referred to me as "Daddy's little girl," even though I was 15 when he died. It took me over two years to adjust to life without a father, and I ended up getting really close to my mother.
Then, a little over a year ago, my mother started dating. She got serious with this one particular guy, but of course, he could never take the place of my father. Recently, my mom told me she was going to marry her new boyfriend. I was totally shocked and upset! I told my mom that I didn't want her to get married until after I'm away at college. She said she was getting married in a couple of months, and she wasn't going to change the date just because I wanted them to wait.
Since then, we have not discussed this topic at all. So, lately, I've been thinking to myself, am I being selfish with my request? — Will Always Be Daddy's Little Girl, via email
WILL ALWAYS BE DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL: Your mother's happiness is of the utmost importance to her, of course, but it does not mean she thinks anything less of you. This is a tough situation for each of you. Your mother likely feels voids in her life, just as you do. It's just that your mom has lived with a husband for many years and misses the companionship and support that your father provided, which is likely a reason she wishes to remarry.
I fully understand and respect your feelings, and I would also encourage you to do everything possible not to create conflict between you and your mother. She needs your love and support at this time. Your request was not motivated by selfishness. You just wanted to be separated from your house when Mom brought home a new husband. Your feelings are totally natural and even quite common in this type of situation. In time, you will adjust to your mom's husband. He will never replace your wonderful father, but hopefully, he will treat you with respect and love and be a reliable family member in your household for the few years that remain before you go off to college.
ALL MY LETTERS MEAN NOTHING?
DR. WALLACE: I'm 18 and kind of confused. My boyfriend just got out of prison. He was in there for a year and half, and for the entire time he was incarcerated, we faithfully wrote to each other, sometimes two or three times per week.
When he was in prison, he wrote that he loved me and that he couldn't wait to see me when he got out. He said we would be together forever once he regained his freedom. Well, when he finally got out of there, he saw me only one time! And now when I call him, he says he's always busy or has some job he has to apply for. He never gives a solid, realistic reason why he won't see me.
I still love this guy, even though his actions now are hurting me very much. What should I do? What can I do? — Feeling Like Only a Pen Pal, via email
FEELING LIKE ONLY A PENPAL: Individuals who have "restricted mobility," such as those in the military or in prison, always want to receive mail and any type of communication from those they knew before their mobility was limited. They like to feel wanted and remembered by those they left behind in previous chapters of their life. Sometimes, when they've been discharged or released, those left behind remain behind — and sadly for you, this appears to be the case.
Don't sit at home one more day waiting for his call. Get involved with people who enjoy doing things that you enjoy doing. Life is too precious to waste brooding, especially on someone who obviously does not have your best interests at heart. If he were truly interested in your feelings, he would have spent some time talking to you about his (and your) present and future. He is communicating with you, however, by his lack of communication. Take him at his lack of words. He's either not interested in you or very much interested in someone or something else.
You asked me what you should (and could) do. It's quite simple advice here: Move on.
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.
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