Dear Abby: My fiance, “Allen,” and I have dated for almost three years and have been living together for three months. When we met, he had been divorced for more than two years. Allen has a 13-year-old son and a 19-year-old daughter. His kids learned about me after we had dated a year. His daughter, “Jen,” attends college out of state. When she visits home, she stays only with her mom.
Last summer, Allen and I decided to buy a house together, found the perfect one, and went to make an offer when Jen stepped in and said if we lived together before August, after she returned to school, she wouldn’t have anything to do with him. He told me I couldn’t live with him until August.
I was devastated, but I didn’t have a choice. Now we have a house together, Jen said she wants to spend time on Thanksgiving here at the house without me or my kids. She cried to her dad, saying if he doesn’t do this he’s excluding her and choosing my kids and me over her.
I’m torn. I feel like her behavior is extremely rude and he shouldn’t give in to her, but she said she’ll only see him under these conditions. Do I leave my house for a few hours on Thanksgiving? – Disrespected Out West
Dear Disrespected: It’s time for you and Allen to have a serious discussion. Jen’s demand is unreasonable. Have you set a wedding date yet? Does he plan to allow his daughter to control both of you once you are married?
Her father could visit with her elsewhere the day before or after Thanksgiving.
Dear Abby: I’m 17, and a friend of mine who lives out of state, “Jane,” has just told me she has dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder). Do you know where I can find help for dealing with a person afflicted by this? She doesn’t want to tell her psychiatrist, and so far, only I and another friend know about this. – Worried How to Behave
Dear Worried: If your friend’s psychiatrist doesn’t know that she has dissociative identity disorder, I would hesitate to accept her self-diagnosis and so should you. The kindest thing you can do for her would be to urge her to fully disclose any symptoms she’s been experiencing to her doctor, because if what you have written is accurate, she has not been doing that.