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 that, if we lived together before August, when she was to return 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 that if he didn't do this, he was excluding her and choosing my kids and me over her.
This will be my first holiday with my fiance, and I was really looking forward to it. We were having friends and family over. But now, because of her request, he wants me to leave for a few hours in the morning.
I'm torn. I feel like her behavior is extremely rude and that he shouldn't give in to her, but she said she would only see him under these conditions. Do I leave my house for a few hours on Thanksgiving, or tell her that she's welcome, but that the kids and I are staying in our own home?
- 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?
You and your children should not have to vacate your home in order for her to visit with her father. Jen is an adult, and if she prefers to avoid the reality of your existence, it's her choice. Her father could visit with her elsewhere the day before or after Thanksgiving.
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). I don't know how I should behave around her now, because large parts of our history have correlated to her various identities. Some have come onto me, but others seemed to hate me.
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 to her doctor any symptoms she has been experiencing, because if what you have written is accurate, she has not been doing that.