DEAR ABBY: My 21-year-old daughter has a 6-month-old child. The father is a 36-year-old man who was recently deported to Mexico. He continues to contact her and wants her to travel to Mexico to visit him. I am terrified of all the things that could happen to her if she goes.
I don't trust him. I keep thinking, will he try to keep the baby? Will he try to keep them both, or entice her to do something illegal? (He had an earlier felony conviction.) Am I overreacting? How can I get her to recognize that these types of things happen all the time?
- Mother in Illinois
DEAR MOTHER: The most important thing you can do right now is calm down. Your daughter is an adult, and you need to treat her like one. You are within your rights to express your concern, but if she wants to go, you cannot stop her.
If I were her mother, I'd approach it this way: Offer to take care of your grandchild while she visits the baby's daddy. That way, she can get a look at how he's living and what he is doing. Suggest she take lots of photos with her. But unless she is absolutely sure that the environment is safe for her child, the little one should stay north of the border.
His friend's making it feel like a threesome
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend's friend "Keira" moved back here to help take care of his mom. He has known her for more than 10 years. They didn't have an intimate relationship; it was more of a friendship than anything. He's very loving toward me and treats me like gold. The problem I've been having is, he doesn't understand how some things bother me.
For instance, when the three of us went to dinner, they were sharing food by feeding each other. I'm sure people probably thought they were a couple. When I asked him why he didn't put some food on a plate and give it to her, he didn't have an answer. Also, they watch TV in bed together. He thinks these are normal "friend things" to do.
I'm not a jealous person, but I have my limits. We don't live close, so we see each other only a few times a week. Keira doesn't pay anything to live there. He said that she had nowhere to go and that it was his agreement with her that if she came home with him, she would always have a place to stay.
I like her, but sometimes feel like I'm dating both of them. He's clueless. They are dependent on each other. She fixes things around the house, and he lets her borrow his car for work. Am I just being petty?
- Third Wheel in the East
DEAR THIRD WHEEL: Forgive me if this seems negative, but your boyfriend's primary relationship seems to be with the girl who is living with him 24/7 and watching television in his bed, rather than with you.
Step back and look at it rationally: Keira's living with him, taking care of the house and his mother, spending time in his bed, hand-feeding him, and the few times a week you see him, she's coming along. He may treat you like gold, but it looks more like fool's gold to me.