Dear Abby: Good deed for daughter turns into a disaster

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: I have a daughter who married a less-than-capable provider because she was pregnant. She’s sloppy, hasn’t seen a dentist in five years, barely keeps her room clean and is very overweight. She lives with us now because she decided, finally, to go back to school.

We let her live in an apartment we own, and it became so full of roaches — because they didn’t clean their dishes or floors — that we left it “as-is.” We are afraid to buy anything for them to live in again, because they have no regard for their things, their child’s things or any place they live. What should we do when she finally gets a job, if that happens? Do we move her someplace and let her mess it up? Must we take care of everything?

— Raising a Child-Adult

Jeanne Phillips

Dear Raising: It’s a hopeful sign that your daughter has finally decided to return to school. However, from your description, she may be severely depressed and need to be seen by a doctor. That she would raise a baby in a filthy roach-infested dwelling has me concerned about her ability to function as a parent.

Be a little more patient with your daughter and encourage her to follow through with her schooling. If the apartment still belongs to you, have it professionally cleaned and permit her to stay in it AS LONG AS IT IS KEPT CLEAN ENOUGH THAT THE BABY CAN SAFELY LIVE THERE.

Once she graduates and finds employment, give her enough money for a down payment or a deposit on an apartment. Look after your grandchild while she’s working if her husband is incapable of doing it, which likely will be the case. Most important, make sure your grandchild is properly cared for.

Dear Abby: When I was in high school, I stopped going by my short nickname and began going by my more formal given name. Everyone has been respectful, except my significant other. When he met me 20 years ago, the change had already occurred. Yet he continues to call me by the nickname. He does it whenever he talks about me to others, and it often leads to my being in a social situation and having to correct people.

When I have tried to impress upon him how important this is to me, he says I am being “trivial.” Abby, it is my NAME, and I think I have the right to be called what I want. I consider his refusal to understand how I feel a sign of disrespect. Am I wrong?

— Call Me by my Name

Dear Call: No, you are not wrong. Your significant other should have made more of an effort to call you by your preferred name 20 years ago. Had he done that, by now it would have become habit. Correct him every time he uses the wrong name, whether it’s in private or in public.

For many people, this would not be a deal-breaker. However, because it is for you, it may be time to consider replacing him with someone who wants to help you be the person you want to be, rather than put a stumbling block in your way.

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