Dear Amy: My husband and I have two amazing teenage daughters. They are mature, intelligent and conscientious.
I am very proud of them and I look forward to seeing what they do in my life, but that is also my fear.
They have witnessed an unhealthy interdependent relationship between their father and me.
Although we are currently working on a healthy solution, I am afraid that some of the damage has already been done.
Our daughters have never been in danger, and as parents we have always tried to prioritize their needs over our own, but I see some of my less admirable traits of low self-esteem and hints of his addictive behavior in them as well.
I am afraid that they will make the same mistakes and choose unhealthy habits and / or relationships.
What advice can you give to help them recognize and avoid this? I certainly hope these apples fall away from this tree.
Dear concerned: You do not outline the specific nature of the dynamics in your household, but I would venture to suggest that some of the traits you mention may be hardware for your daughters, while others are situational and learned behaviors (based on the dynamics of are witnessed and absorbed in early childhood).
It is important and helpful to be as honest with your teenage daughters as possible about your own mistakes, failures, and shortcomings, but when it comes to parenting, “do as we say, not as we do”
If you and / or your spouse are struggling with addiction, it is vital that your daughters receive responsible information and support. Introduce them to a group for relationships with friends and family, such as Alateen (Al-anon.org).
I think it is important to seek professional help yourself. The message should be: “I sought help for my problems; I work on my program and it helps. “Do not hide or condemn the role of therapeutic or supportive groups; these are lifelines.
In addition to all this talking, it is important to listen. Your daughters need to know that they can be honest with you and that you will listen to compassion and do your best to support them when they need it.
Dear Amy: My beloved husband of 45 died unexpectedly three years ago. He was the most loving and caring person I have ever met. I had a little daughter from a previous marriage when we met. He adopted my daughter and treated her and her son, who we had a wonderful time together.
My husband was 71 when he died. I could not go on with my life. People tell me I wouldn’t want to go on with my life, but he was my life. He was my best friend – he was everything to me.
I regularly cry to sleep.
What should I do now? My mom helped me the most, but she and Dad were married for 63 years until she died last year. The women in our family live long lives.
I keep praying and it helped, but I have to do something else.
Can you help?
Dear sorrows: I am very sorry for your losses. Grief is the most challenging of all emotions, because it detaches you from even the smallest pleasures of life in the world.
Connecting with other human beings in an authentic way will help you, but your grief effectively separates you from others.
You say that prayer helps, and because you seem spiritually oriented, I suggest you join a community of faith. The current pandemic has actually opened up opportunities for worship because so many worship houses have relocated their services online.
Researching your question, I looked at some inspiring services – all available online every day of the week. An internet search should start.
Professional grief counseling would help you immensely. Your doctor can help you contact a counselor. Your local hospice center will host personal (or online) grief groups where you can connect and interact with other grieving people. Think: Communication and community. This is the way forward.
Dear Amy: Allergy sufferers complained of a very serious allergy to poison ivy, often transmitted to it by dogs when they rubbed it on the sidewalk.
Instead of harassing dog owners, why didn’t you just suggest she use a different clue?
Dear disappointed: This is really the case with the path that the dog waves. Perhaps the dogs must use a different path.
You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send an email to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.