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I am a 48-year-old man and have a 20-year-old daughter who is now away at a college abroad. Her mother and I divorced over a decade ago. However, when I remarried someone else around four years back, my daughter was not pleased with my decision. My wife has been very patient and treats my daughter like her own. But my daughter insists on behaving badly with her, not even attending family events if my wife is there. My ex-wife has encouraged my daughter in this behaviour but now I think that enough is enough. I refused to grant one of her many requests and since then she has gone completely quiet on me. Even though I pay her full college tuition, she snubs me while I continue to communicate one-sidedly with her, sending gifts and emails. How do I reconnect with my daughter and tell her that everything is not as sees it.
Dear Weary Father,
This is certainly a very difficult situation for you. However, my only answer is that you have to be patient. Your daughter is angry because she had to spend years of her life without her biological mother. This is not your fault but she has to blame someone and takes it our on your present wife as she cannot find anyone. All you can now do is continue to give her your love and support; hopefully she will realize and reciprocate someday. Children do not take well to the divorce of their parents. It is a traumatic experience for them and each express their frustration and anger in different ways. This is also very unfair on your wife so you need to pay extra attention that she does not feel neglected.
I have been married to my husband for over 30 years. He is a diabetic patient and was even diagnosed with a heart ailment. He has been a chain smoker and can't give up this habit despite all these medical ailments. I have tried many times to persuade him to stop smoking without success. My family and I even held several intervention sessions to tell him how important he is to us and why we want him to give up smoking. But he says that he can't function properly without his cigarettes. How can I persuade him to cut down, if not completely give up, this fatal habit?
Dear Concerned Wife,
As they say, you can take a camel to the well but cannot force him to drink. Some people just will not understand realize what is good or bad for them. This is not unusual as you will find many families struggling with such issues. Get him to meet people who have given up smoking successfully; he might realize it is not as difficult as he thinks it is. In such cases friends can be helpful to talk some sense into him. I can imagine your frustration but you have to keep on trying. Diabetes with smoking is a walking disaster and he must become aware of this.