Dear Abby: I’m happily married to a great man. I have a young daughter from a previous marriage, and my husband has two teenagers, a boy and girl, from one, too. We have struggles, but one is getting increasingly difficult to deal with.
I think my stepchildren are “too close,” if you know what I mean. They flirt, constantly touch each other and playfully tease each other (A few people have even mistaken them for a couple). My husband doesn’t seem to notice this unhealthy behavior. How can I get through to my husband or deal with this?
Repulsed in Pennsylvania
Dear Repulsed: Was the relationship between your husband’s kids making you uncomfortable before you married their dad? If so, did you bring it to his attention at that time?
Family relationships can vary, and because I haven’t witnessed what you have observed, I can’t advise you other than to suggest that family counseling might be in order to see whether the kids have a normal sibling relationship or if it has crossed the line.
Dear Abby: Last spring we helped our daughter’s longtime friend move out of the college dorm room she shared with our daughter. Her parents are divorced and weren’t available to help her move or give us money to help her, and she had just broken up with her boyfriend.
We rented a van and offered to let her stay at our home as long as she helped pay for groceries and got a job. She got the job, but never helped pay for food or did anything around the house, including keeping her room clean.
After two weeks, she and her boyfriend got back together, and she was spending every night with him at his parents’ house. She would return to our home to eat, wash clothes, shower and use the Internet. I finally had to tell her this was not acceptable, and that she needed to decide to either live here or move in with her boyfriend. She moved out.
Now, it is uncomfortable when she comes around. I don’t feel I did anything wrong, but my daughter thinks I shouldn’t have made a big deal out of her sleeping at her boyfriend’s house and using our house as a place to park her stuff, eat and wash her clothes. What do you think?
No Time For Freeloaders
Dear No Time: You were generous to be as supportive as you were of your daughter’s ex-roommate. This has nothing to do with her sleeping at her boyfriend’s. You asked only that she behave like an adult and contribute by paying for her food and keeping her room clean. She didn’t keep her part of the bargain. You shouldn’t feel uncomfortable; she should, for not behaving responsibly.
Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.