- Dear Ann Landers: I am planning to marry the love of my life in June.
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Section: mental-health, children

Dear Ann Landers,
I am planning to marry the love of my life in June. "Phillip" is a terrific guy except when it comes to my 12-year-old daughter, "Beth," who is very sweet but has attention deficit disorder. Phillip does not understand that she needs to be reminded of things over and over. When he asks her to do a chore, he expects her to jump to it immediately. He doesn't realize that Beth is easily distracted and forgets. She isn't being deliberately disobedient. I think Phillip is being too hard on Beth when he says she needs more discipline. I agree that Beth may resent Phillip's presence in my life, but it doesn't help when he yells at her all the time. I love him dearly, but I'm having second thoughts about what marrying him might do to my daughter. Help me make the right choice. -- Unsure in Baltimore

Dear Unsure,
Put Phillip in touch with the authority who diagnosed Beth's problem. When he understands it better, he will be a lot less judgmental. Work at smoothing the way between him and Beth. And don't let Phillip get away. In a few years, Beth will be gone, and you could be very much alone.

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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!

Janan's Comment
I would say that a man who yells at your 12 year old daughter is not a man you wnt in your house or in your life. For any reason. Period. Unlike some boyfriend, your daughter will never 'Be Gone." Your birthed her, she is yours. You brought her into the world and must see her through it. Additionally, unlike a hostile man (one who yells), your daughter WILL be there for you all your life. That man will probably yell at you too if he hasn't got the self control to keep from yelling at a 12 year old. And who is he to tell her to do chores? He's not her father or even married to you yet. If your daughter has ADD, it is something you must help her with that and put her needs first. At 12 years old she is forming her self identity and learning life coping skills. Her long term survival is more important that some mis-construed idea of what a perfect man is. Hint: a perfect man does NOT yell at your 12 year old daughter. Can't believe you even asked, and Ann Landers, you are from an old era, but even my grandmothers would not advise a woman to over look her daughter.

WritersWriter's Comment
Children with neurological problems never go away from their parents' lives. Most will need close family ties for all of their lives. Many have warm personalities and it is sad that this man cannot make the shift needed for her to feel comfortable in her own home. If you are at the point of marriage and he has not learned how to interact with your special needs daughter he is not the man for your household. The love of your life is your disabled daughter and the right man for you is the one that can love, understand, and respect both of you.

Maryann's Comment
This is probably the most awful advice Ann has ever given. This woman's twelve year old daughter has a handicap and the man she plans to marry is "yelling at her all the time." Ann tells the woman "Don't let him get away. In a few years Beth will be gone." Yes, Beth will be gone all right--out of her mother's life forever. The man's animosity toward this 12 year old girl will only get worse after he marries her mother. Dump him now. I think Ann must have either been drinking or ill to give such terrible advice.

Reader Comment
I would rather be very much alone than married to someone who yells at my daughter all the time.

Reader Comment
Sorry to criticize Ann, but her answer to this was a heartbreaker! The Mom is fortunate to have proof of this man's insensitivity and temperament BEFORE she says I do. I suspect if the child was this mans biological daughter he would take a more active role in learning about/supporting her disability. Hope mom and child will head for the hills while there's still time!!!

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Reader Comment
I would dump him! My child comes first!

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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:

Dear Readers,
, My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies."
-Ann Landers