Arts & Leisure

Caught in the middle of divorced folks

CHILDREN of divorce can often be caught in the middle.

Dear Marilyn,

My parents have been divorced for almost eleven years. Neither one of them has been dating anyone else since that time. Recently, however, my mom has met a guy and has started dating him. He seems like a nice man. My dad, however, is extremely angry about the situation. He calls me about 10 times a day to ask me what my mom is doing.

   I feel very uncomfortable when he starts grilling me about her. I told my mom what my dad has been doing. She called him up, and asked him to stop asking me questions about her. I don’t think that conversation went very well.

My dad has not stopped calling me, and asking me questions. He asks if she is home, and where my mom and her new boyfriend are going on their dates, and other personal questions about them.

I honestly don’t know what to do now. I love both of my parents. My dad is usually so smart, that I just don’t get this new development in our lives. This whole situation is making me very sad.

Signed, Caught In The Middle

Dear Caught In The Middle,

   Many times young people think that when you become an adult, you get to leave all of life’s mistakes behind. This is not the case. Many adults make mistakes too.

   Your dad is making a very big mistake. He should not be calling you and asking you these questions. He also should not be putting you in such an awkward and unhappy situation.

   Since your mom has asked him to stop asking you these questions, and he has not done so, it is time for you to stand up for yourself directly.

   The next time he calls, let him know clearly that you are not going to answer his questions about your mom. Let him know that you love him, and that you love her, and that his questions are very difficult for you. Tell him that you are not going to talk about her any more.

   Then, if he starts asking you the questions again, remind him of what you had said, and change the subject. If he comes back to it, tell him you are going to end the call, and do it.

   Do not feel guilty, or that you are being unkind to your father. You aren’t. The only way that you can get out of being caught in the middle is to firmly remove yourself from the situation.

Dear Marilyn,

You know the saying that says, “don’t do anything that you wouldn’t like to be done to you.” Well, I live by this rule.

I have a problem. My boyfriend’s best friend has been dating my girlfriend for about a year now. They are “close friends with benefits”.

My boyfriend recently confided in me that his friend has two other ladies in his life that he sleeps with besides my friend. He told me not to tell my friend, as his friend would get mad at him.

I have no doubt that what my boyfriend has told me is true.

I don’t know if I should tell my girlfriend even though my boyfriend asked me not to. She will be so unhappy if I tell her. Also, I would be letting my boyfriend down, as he asked me not to tell her.

I am really not sure what I should do. It seems to me that I am breaking my rule if I don’t tell her, as I would want to know if the situation was reversed.

What do you think that I should do? Please help.

Signed, Worried Friend

Dear Worried Friend,

   I think you should stay true to your values, and tell her. Also, let your boyfriend know that you are going to tell her. Explain the reasons that you must tell her.

You must be true to your own values at all costs. You do not need your boyfriend’s permission to let her know. It is understandable that he wants to be loyal to his friend. However, his friend is being a rat.

   If your boyfriend is angry, that will tell you a lot about him. If he understands your position, then that will too.

   Let your girlfriend know exactly what has been going on. If you lose your boyfriend over this issue, then you will know that your boyfriend and you do not have the same values. It is good to find that out now.

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