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home : columns : dear harriette January 17, 2019

1/5/2019 12:00:00 PM
Boyfriend and kids don't get along

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been divorced 15 years and have two adult children. Recently, my children told me they do not like the man I have been dating for several years and do not want him to attend any family events. I believe they don't like him because he is the complete opposite of their father. Also, he is an attorney, so it goes without saying that he is opinionated.

My boyfriend is willing to listen and does not argue constantly, but he does sometimes offer an opinion when one is not asked. I have explained to him that if a person is not seeking his opinion, he should not offer one. This is especially a problem with offering parenting advice to my daughter and son-in-law. It drives them crazy, especially since my boyfriend has no children. My daughter became infuriated after he told her how to parent, and they had a huge blowout. She wants nothing to do with him. His reaction was no better, and he let me know he does not care for either of my children. This makes me sick to my stomach. I love this man, and we have so much fun together; we seldom argue, and he treats me well. I feel I should end this relationship because there is nothing more important than my children and their families. Should I dump him, or am I not thinking rationally? -- Dump Him or Keep Him?, Seattle

DEAR DUMP HIM OR KEEP HIM?: Why not have a sit-down with your boyfriend and express to him how serious the challenge has become between him and your children. Explain that you love him and enjoy his company, but you cannot see a way to peace unless he modifies the ways in which he interacts with your children. Tell him that you have learned that it is important for adult children to manage their own lives, with little or no interference from parents -- that includes the boyfriend. Ask him to bite his tongue when he thinks about giving advice to your children. Point out that it never works. Instead, it causes strife.

Tell him that at this point, neither he nor they want to be in each other's company. Make it clear that if you have to choose, he will lose.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I live in a Midwestern community that has expensive water and sewer costs. I also exercise every day, and as a result, I drink a lot of water -- about 2 gallons of water daily. I've developed a habit of urinating in the bathroom sink when my wife is not home. Then I wash my hands, which rinses the sink basin at the same time. This uses a fraction of the water that flushing the toilet would use. Multiply that by dozens of times a day, and the savings are significant. Additionally, urine is sterile, the sink gets washed out afterward and my hands are clean. What are your thoughts on my actions? -- Will My Wife Be Pissed?, Cleveland

DEAR WILL MY WIFE BE PISSED: Your intentions are good, but your process -- not so much. Of course your wife will be angry. Invest in an eco-friendly toilet that uses minimal water for urination and more water for defecation. That one-time cost will help you save water and be hygienic.

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