Dear Annie: I have been living with “Clyde” for more than a year. He has a 25-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter. His divorce was long and painful, and his ex-wife involved both children in the mess. She continues to badmouth Clyde to her daughter.
Clyde and I live together and host this girl every other weekend. She is constantly making rude comments to her father and is disrespectful to me. She never says hello when she walks into the house and doesn’t thank me for cooking for her, entertaining her friends or anything else. She is a guest in my home, and I go out of my way for her.
Clyde refuses to confront her about anything, as she always runs back to her mother, who then calls Clyde and makes me sound like a terrible person. The girl is whiny, bratty and a total daddy’s girl. I have tried to like her, but between her nasty comments to her father and her rudeness toward me, I would prefer not to have her around. I know this could ultimately split us up, but I cannot tolerate this annoying child anymore.
I have asked Clyde to take her somewhere during the day and return her to her mother at night, but the divorce agreement doesn’t allow for that. Is there a solution to getting along with this girl? I am sick and tired of dealing with her every other weekend. – The Girlfriend
Dear Girlfriend: The two of you need to work together to do what’s best for this child, and she is not going to make it easy. She is plenty miserable herself, torn between a mother she wants to please by disliking you and a father who lets her get away with it. Clyde needs to set some ground rules to reduce the blatant disrespect. If he doesn’t know how to do it, we recommend family counseling.