DEAR ABBY: My daughter Lulu moved in with a man Ill call Al a year and a half ago, telling us this was the man she was going to marry and spend the rest of her life with. So my husband and I welcomed him to the family.
They now have a baby, and still there has been no wedding. Al came to us eight months ago to ask our permission to ask Lulu to marry him. We consented. He appears to have had convenient memory loss about asking and without going into details has proven himself to be extremely self-centered, controlling, and a negative influence on what was once our happy, outgoing daughter.
We now realize that Al is someone we dont care to have in our family, and wed like to know how (if its possible) to rescind our blessing on their marriage.
CHANGED OUR MINDS
DEAR CHANGED OUR MINDS: If I were you, I wouldnt raise the subject of marriage with Al at all. Your daughters lover appears to be in no hurry to make any trips to the altar. Do, however, mention to your daughter that you had hoped shed find a husband who would cherish her and make her happier than Al seems to have. Be sure to let her know that if she changes her mind about him, youll welcome her back home with open arms. That way, shell know she still has a choice.
DEAR ABBY: My problem is that my mother is a control freak. I was raised to respect my parents, but I have just about had it with her controlling ways. She wants to dictate my hair length, color and style, my weight, my love life, what car I drive, what job I have and where I live.
My mother wants me to date only doctors. She has even threatened to cut me out of her will if I settle (her word) for someone who doesnt have a medical degree. I was interested in a man who owned his own business, but she made me so miserable that I simply stopped dating.
I want to respect her because she is my mother, and I know she loves me. Can you help me figure out how to get her to back off and let me live my life my way? By the way, I am 41.
DEAR PEACEFUL REBEL: Ill try. Start by talking with a licensed mental health professional, preferably one who specializes in helping young adults to individuate from controlling parents. Once you have a firm grasp of who you are, and what your proper boundaries are, you will be able to confront your mother. After that, you may want to consider relocation, because your mother is off the charts, and shes not likely to change.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in What Every Teen Should Know. To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.) Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.