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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Dear Annie: Desperate to better relationship with my daughter

By Annie Lane Creators Syndicate

Dear Annie: I have been married for 32 years to my husband, who has three children from his prior marriage. The children are now in their mid-30s to early 40s.

We were all a big happy family until about four years ago. The middle child called to tell us that we were both bad parents. I asked her to tell us why she felt that way. She said she would call us back to explain, but that never did.

We would have liked to have communicated about whatever she was holding onto to move past this issue. Her dad could not get her to communicate the problem. We are so confused as to what she is thinking or feeling. We do not do any illegal drugs or drink alcohol; we brought these children up in church. We gave them a loving, fun home while they grew up. Their mother was very vindictive and untruthful to them about their father. Regardless, we would counteract this with being open and honest about our life with them.

No matter what we do, the two oldest daughters and our grandchildren refuse to have anything to do with us. The youngest son does call his dad about two times a year, but he has an issue with me. None of them will talk to us, no matter what we do. Cards we have mailed saying we love you, let’s get through this together without any judgment, result in no response.

We have asked our daughter-in-law, a social worker, to try to get the ball rolling on our behalf, but she doesn’t want to get in the middle. We have also offered counseling that we would pay for to overcome the problem(s). – Confused in Michigan

Dear Confused in Michigan: That is confusing indeed. Good on you for being willing to take the steps necessary to work through these problems – but are you sure that neither you nor your husband have any clue as to why all three children have an issue with you? Is it possible their “vindictive” mother is influencing their opinions? I would encourage both you and your husband to try to talk to each of his kids one-on-one. Without a little more information, it’s hard to know what you’re even trying to fix.

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