DEAR ABBY: Our daughter turns 5 soon, and my wife still breastfeeds her to bed every night and wakes her a few times a night for more breastfeeding. This has had negative consequences on our marriage.
All my daughter’s peers have been weaned and have been sleeping alone through the night for the last three years. Our daughter’s mouth is filled with cavities, and my wife’s breasts are no-touch zones sexually. My wife refuses even to consider stopping. Is it time for me to leave? — PERPLEXED DAD IN WISCONSIN
DEAR DAD: No, it’s time for your daughter’s pediatrician and her dentist to be informed about this because it may not be healthy for your child. Your wife appears to be fostering dependency instead of helping the girl to achieve independence. Your wife may think she has been doing the right thing, but if her own emotional needs are so great that she can’t alter her parenting style, you may want to consult a licensed family therapist for guidance.
DEAR ABBY: Our 28-year-old daughter, the mother of two, is in the middle of a divorce from her husband of three years. The divorce is not yet final, but she’s already involved with a new man. He is eight years older, jobless, has terminal cancer, lives with his father and is raising his 6-year-old daughter. This relationship seems wrong in so many ways, we cannot imagine how this could ever come to any good.
My daughter is intelligent. She has a promising management position with a big company. But she’s not the kind to listen to any advice, and has never made good decisions when it comes to men. Any advice from you would be greatly appreciated. — UNSURE IN TEXAS
DEAR UNSURE: Because you love your daughter, be patient and supportive. There is no way to “save” a daughter who consistently makes poor choices about men and won’t listen to advice. Some people have to learn life lessons the hard way. The sooner you accept it, the better your own life will be.
DEAR ABBY: My hubby and I are in our 50s and have been happily married for 26 years. We have no children. As we look ahead (hopefully many years) to the disposition of our assets once we’ve passed, we wonder, what do childless couples do with their formal wedding portraits? I’m positive that our siblings would not want or have room for such large photos, and the photographer is no longer in business. I hate to think mementos of such a treasured event in our lives will be tossed in the trash. Any ideas? — SUSIE IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR SUSIE: If any of your relatives views him- or herself as the family historian, offer the portraits to that person to be given upon your demise. Or, although the portraits are large, they could be digitized and added to the family tree. This way, your relatives could have the digital versions, and you and your husband could have the originals placed in your coffins with you when the time of departure arrives.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.