Dear Annie: I am writing to you with a heavy heart. I have been married to my second wife for 20 years. We dated for two years, and she became impatient with my reluctance to get married. We both wanted kids, but her timetable was different than mine. Even though I was old enough to know better (46), I married her because she got pregnant. I am positive that she did it intentionally.
We are different. I am very clean and organized, and I work hard. She is messy to the point of dirty, stubborn, disorganized, lazy and vindictive. She has tried to sabotage my relationship with our two children who are now in their late teens.
In spite of her efforts, I have created a good relationship with my son. But my younger daughter is another story. She is like her mother: a spoiled brat. I know I am partly responsible for the way she's turned out. I would like to create a loving relationship before she goes to college in August. I know it's late to fix this, but do you have any suggestions? Â- Getting This Off My Chest
Dear Getting: It's never too late to try to mend relationships. The first one should be with your wife. You are terribly resentful, and it's obvious that you don't actually like her. Although you may have good reason, your children undoubtedly see it and react accordingly. It also fuels your wife's desire to get back at you. And finally, how you relate to your wife affects how you relate to your daughter, who has a similar personality. She identifies with Mom and may believe you resent and dislike her, as well. Get counseling - alone, with your wife or with your daughter.
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