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I can’t stand my father’s wife but want to say goodbye to him – Chicago Tribune

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I can’t stand my father’s wife but want to say goodbye to him – Chicago Tribune

Dear Amy: Several years ago, my father and his wife visited me for a week.

I spared no expense trying to ensure that they enjoyed themselves, particularly his wife. (She married him after I was grown. My own mother died when I was five.)

The week was full of shopping, casino time, outdoor activities, and sightseeing.

I thought it went great.

After our “guests” departed my wife dropped a bomb on me. Apparently, my father’s wife had spent the week trashing both my father and me to my wife. She advised my wife to divorce me and to “take him for everything you can.”

I was LIVID! How DARE she?

After hearing this, I picked up the phone and called my father to demand an explanation and to get an apology.

His wife answered the phone and I do admit that I didn’t hold back. (I called her a “rotten b**ch.”)

I then told my father, only to have him lay into me.

I hung up on him, and ended up writing him a long letter where I laid out my position. I demanded an apology; otherwise I never wanted to hear from him again.

I haven’t heard from him since.

Also, I guess my wife took his wife’s suggestion, because she did end up divorcing me, while my father is still married to his “prize” of a human being. Go figure.

My father is now in hospice care. He refuses to see me or speak to me because of how I spoke to his wife.

I want to see him one last time and to let him know that I love him.

I can’t STAND his wife and believe that she is playing a role in manipulating his decision to shut me out. What do I do?

– The “Bad” Son

Dear Son: You are blaming everything that has happened on your father’s wife. However, you seem to have set subsequent events in motion by reaming her out, using unacceptable (and unforgettable) language. Of course your father defended her! What choice did he have?

(And isn’t it possible that your ex-wife invented or inflated what she reported to you?)

After your aggression, you boxed your father in further by demanding an apology and laying out your non-negotiable, without copping to your own unfortunate behavior.

You let this go on for years.

I suggest that you travel to see your father immediately in order to try to make peace with him before it is too late. You should suck it up and apologize to his wife (she likely controls access), apologize to him, and do everything possible to reconcile.

Dear Amy: Our youngest son is transgender.

Our daughter refuses to include him in family gatherings unless he goes as his former name and gender.

I have been going along with their separate holidays because my daughter and her husband have young children and they don’t want to explain anything about transgender issues to them.

It is often the only time my husband and I are invited to see the grandchildren.

If I insist my daughter accepts her (now male) sibling, I believe we would no longer be included as well.

I feel like a coward, and it is difficult having separate family holidays.

We’d welcome your thoughts.

– Sad Mother and Grandmother

Dear Sad Mother: Your son can’t “go as” his former name and gender because life isn’t a costume party. He should not be forced to cosplay as a woman in order to be in sister’s living room.

Your daughter has created an alternate reality for herself and her children where your son does not exist. She has decided to erase him.

And you have gone along with this. Not a parent’s proudest moment.

I think you should let your daughter know that you are genuinely sorry that this is so hard for her, but that her choice has caused you a lot of heartache, and that you can’t erase one child in order to admit another.

Dear Amy: “Unsure” wrote to you that they had discovered they were half-siblings with a brother through genetic testing. The mother then confirmed they had been conceived through IVF.

You questioned whether they were actually half-siblings, but genetic testing on one person would reveal DNA relationships with everyone.

– Correction Needed

Dear Needed: Many readers had issues with both the question and my response. My assumption was that the true DNA sibling relationship would only be revealed if the brother also submitted for testing. My apologies for the confusion.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)



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