Ask Amy: Girlfriend wants ex-wife to stay in the barn

FresnoMarch 4, 2014 

Dear Amy: My boyfriend has a problem — his ex-wife.

He and his family have owned a farm for over a century. During his divorce, he agreed to let his ex-wife have access to the barn so she could continue to care for her animals. That's OK, I guess. But here is the problem: He got custody of his two teenage daughters.

His ex-wife stops by the farm every day and feels that because her girls are there, she can come and go in the house as she pleases.

This makes it nearly impossible for me to have a relationship with him at his place.

He says he has asked her to keep her distance, but I say it's time he take action.

I need your help/advice.

— Gritting my teeth

Dear Gritting: To review: You are the girlfriend. You're talking about his house, his barn, his kids and his ex-wife.

If the children live with him and his ex is on the property every day, then it seems rational that she would come and go freely; after all, that is the setup they have established.

If he wanted things to be different, they would be different.

The decision you need to make is about you. Can you tolerate being a part of this household, just as it is — because this seems to be working for your guy. When it stops working for him, he will take steps to change it.

Dear Amy: I'm in high school. We have been friends with "Bill" since freshman year. He used to be funny, kind and easygoing. He had a great personality until recently, when his mother passed away from cancer.

From that day on, he gradually became ignorant and rude. As the days pass, more and more people have begun to notice his attitude and he is less liked throughout the school.

He claims he acts this way as a result of his mother's death, and to fill the void he now has.

How can we confront him about his attitude?

— Want our friend back

Dear Want: Your friend's world has been rocked, and he has changed because of it. You can probably imagine that he misses his mother every day. But can you also imagine that his life has been completely altered?

After a loss like this, it is common for people to act out in socially challenging ways (acting angry or depressed). You can help your friend by not dumping him now that he needs you. It sounds like he is willing to talk about his situation, so encourage him to talk about it.

 

You can contact Amy Dickinson via email at askamy@tribune.com, follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.

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