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Annie’s Mailbox

Daughter deserves another chance

September 14, 2011

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Q. Several weeks ago, my husband’s 35-year-old daughter, “Sheila,’’ sent me a friend request on Facebook. She has not been in touch with us since she turned 18, when my husband no longer had to pay child support. They were never close. The only time we heard from her was when she wanted money.

I told my husband about the request, and he said to ignore it. But Sheila is now married with a child, and I’d like to think she has matured and wants to reconnect with her father. His impression is that she wants something from us. Out of respect for my husband’s wishes, I did not respond to Sheila’s request.

I feel stuck in the middle. I think he should get to know her again and meet his grandchild. I do not want to go behind his back to establish contact. What should I do?

STUCK IN THE MIDDLE IN KANSAS

A. An 18-year-old girl is apt to behave much differently than a 35-year-old married mother. As the adult during the divorce, it was your husband’s responsibility to maintain a relationship with his child. We think Sheila deserves another chance. Encourage your husband to make contact. He has a grandchild to think of. And if she’s only after money, he’ll find out soon enough. (He can always say no.)

Q. I am a single mom in my 40s. I’ve been divorced for two years and am dating again for the first time in more than 20. I recently met a great guy. I was very upfront and let him know early on that I was looking for a long-term relationship. I am very traditional when it comes to dating and marriage.

In turn, he made it clear that he was not sure what he wanted. We go out to dinner and dancing, and I’ve met several of his friends. This seems like a relationship to me, but I don’t want to make assumptions. It’s only been six weeks, but I need to know: Do I talk to him again and tell him how I feel at this point? My heart and my head are telling me two different things.

HOPELESS ROMANTIC

A. You are in too big of a hurry to make this permanent. Yes, it’s a relationship, but that means nothing when it comes to the long haul. This guy has told you that he isn’t ready to commit. You haven’t been dating all that long, and if you demand to know his future intentions, you will push him away. Enjoy what you have and hope there is more down the road. But if you are in a rush to get married, look elsewhere.

Q. I sympathize with “Tired of Wet Beds,’’ whose 14-year-old stepson has enuresis. I went through the same thing with my daughter, who wet the bed until she was 11.

I discovered that an allergy to the lactose in milk can cause bed-wetting. After my daughter was off whole milk for three days, she stopped wetting the bed completely. If the stepson has any sensitivity to dairy products or if he was allergic to milk as a baby, this could be the root cause. There are milk products available with pre-digested lactose already in them that might help. Taking him off dairy for a few days may prove an easy and inexpensive solution to the problem.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT

A. Dozens of readers suggested that lactose intolerance could be a factor in bed-wetting. We hope “Tired’’ will check it out.

Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 West Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.