Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Girlfriend's jealousy could be a deal breaker

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My mom and I have a strained relationship. She was (and is) abusive and manipulative. She also has borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder and PTSD from abuse that occurred when she was younger.

I realize what hell she went through as a child and I still keep in contact with her because I don't want her to feel abandoned.

I now live in another state with my fiancé and his two kids. They call me "mom" and I adore them.

My mom wants me to bring the kids for a visit. She hasn't seen them in five years, but frankly neither my fiancé nor I want to subject them to her erratic behavior.

She continually asks when she can see them, but I never give her a firm answer. She's never going to see them again. I want to protect them. How should I have that conversation with her? Or should I continue to let it be "maybe soon?"

-- Devoted but Hesitant Daughter

Dear Devoted: Your mother is mentally ill. This is very challenging, but her illness is not contagious. You grew up in her household and you know best the nature and extent of her behavior, but I wonder if your insight could help you to make a totally supervised visit with the kids that would be safe (and probably short).

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If your judgment tells you that there is absolutely no way you will visit -- at least for now -- you should tell your mother, "Mom, I don't know -- I'm thinking about it but it doesn't seem like a good idea right now." It would be kind of you to keep in touch by sending her photos and sharing nice moments with the children, so she feels somewhat connected.

Dear Amy: You blew it in your answer to "Sober Sally," who was wondering if she could leave her baby with her mother-in-law, who was drunk. Amy, the woman is a drunk. The child should never be in her care.

-- Disappointed

Dear Disappointed: I stressed this parent's need to advocate for her baby, in every situation. Readers responded that this mother-in-law would likely lie about whether she was drinking, and I take your point.


(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, 16650 Westgrove Drive, Suite 175, Addison, Texas, 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.)



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