DEAR AMY: My 37-year-old daughter is three months pregnant.
Her boyfriend doesn’t want the baby, but she does. Their relationship is on the verge of disintegrating, so chances are she won’t get much, if any, support (moral or financial) from him.
She is in no position to support this child. She works part time in a restaurant, bringing in no more than $100 per week.
Furthermore, she has just been accepted into the nursing program of a college and intends to start classes in two months.
I think she is completely unrealistic. She’s an adult, but she doesn’t seem to be thinking rationally. I don’t see any hope for this situation. (I’m a retired 71-year-old living in a different state from my daughter.) What do you recommend or suggest? I haven’t told her my reservations. — Flummoxed
DEAR FLUMMOXED: The usual template is for the single expectant mother to freak out, panic and worry about her future — but you have put voice to the raw reality of what it can be like to watch a loved one step into this tender and life-changing status. This is scary for you.
You don’t mention why your daughter has been so underemployed, but her choice to go to nursing school is a sign that she is charging forward positively.
Do not share your reservations with your daughter. You realize how challenging her life will be, and she either doesn’t realize it or she is optimistically moving forward with a determination to do her best.
Remember that a baby’s life unfolds one day at a time. Thinking too far ahead is overwhelming.
This is the time for you to bury your second-guessing and declare: “I’m here for you. I’d like to help.” You need to be a gentle, supportive presence. Why? Because it is best for the mother and the child to start their family life feeling emotionally secure and supported.
DEAR AMY: I’m 17. For the last four years, I have been aware of my father maintaining an account on a website that matches cheating spouses and a special email account to go with it.
I have kept the information (including some rather disgusting emails and messages I’ve read that show he’s obviously had a few affairs) to myself, but as I approach college, I wonder whether I should do something about it.
It’s my parents’ marriage, not mine, so maybe I’m supposed to just stay out of it, but I also hate the fact that it’s going on. — Worried Son
DEAR WORRIED: I chose to redact the name of the website because, frankly, I don’t want to publicize its function, but I will verify that yes — this “dating” site’s tag line is: “Life is short. Have an affair.”
Your father’s behavior has put you in a terrible position. I can imagine how disappointed you are. His behavior will likely affect how you view relationships, and I can only hope that you make a determination to be a better man.
You should tell your father that you are aware of his activity. Tell him how you feel about it.
There is no right answer about whether you should tell your mother about this. As you very wisely say, this is their marriage.
The X factor here is that your father may have exposed your mother to STDs, and she has a right to know.
Choose your moment wisely (perhaps after you’ve left for college). Confront your father and email your mother a link to the web site, saying you know your father has an account.
DEAR AMY: “Desperate to Come Out” was a young man worried about how to come out to his mother. I went through this such a long time ago that I had almost forgotten that people still struggle with this process.
Thank you for giving people a voice to tell their story, and for your commitment to equal treatment. — Already Out
DEAR OUT: It is my pleasure. Thank you.