DEAR ABBY: My former spouse and I are divorced and share a 3-year-old daughter. Soon after the baby was born, my ex came out as transgender and now lives as a woman.
I have always been supportive of her transition, adopting her new name, feminine pronouns, etc., but now she wants something I’m not comfortable with. She wants our daughter to think she is her “second mommy,” not her daddy. She doesn’t want any association with being her biological father, and won’t even acknowledge it.
It would be one thing if we actually were a same-sex couple and the father was a random sperm donor, but my ex actually is my daughter’s father. All this so my ex can live in a fantasy world? This is causing a lot of tension between us. Am I right? Or is it OK to tell your kid a flat-out lie about who her dad/second mom is? – Thrown by it in Ohio
DEAR THROWN: What does your ex plan on telling this child when the question, “Where is my daddy?” eventually comes up? I do not advise lying. The truth always has a way of coming out, and believe me, it’s only a matter of time until this one does. Better your child not be caught flat-footed when it happens.
Your daughter should be told the truth in stages and in an age-appropriate manner. PFLAG can help you to figure out how to do it. It can be contacted at pflag.org or call 202-467-8180.
DEAR ABBY: A close female relative hosts “parties” quite often. When she sends the menu for each of us to choose what we would like to make, she states that all the recipes must be dairy-free, cheese-free, butter-free and soy-free. She is the only one among us who is on a special diet.
I agree that a few of the dishes should cater to her needs, but all of them? It really limits what we can make and inhibits some from bringing their “specialty.” Some of us feel she’s behaving in a very self-centered manner and that it’s wrong because she’s drawing all of the attention to herself.
Isn’t expecting 30 people to eat at the party based on her diet too much? She sees nothing wrong with it. When I invite her for dinner, I prepare something for her, but the rest of the meal is for the entire group. What is our answer here? – Limited in the East
DEAR LIMITED: If others feel the way you do, the answer is to tell your relative the truth – that what she’s asking from her guests is too much. Her behavior does seem excessively controlling. I can see her asking a few guests to prepare something taking into consideration her dietary restrictions, but frankly, I’m surprised so many people have been willing to continue to participate in these potlucks. From where I sit, they’re a lot to swallow.
DEAR ABBY: Do I have the right to respectfully, tactfully and straightforwardly ask my children’s father to leave his mistress/wife home during our son’s joint birthday party? – Hoping for a Yes
DEAR HOPING: Yes, you do. And when you do, hope that he will respectfully, tactfully and straightforwardly comply – but don’t bet on it.
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.