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Section: children, relationships, behavior, family

Dear Ann Landers,
I have been going with a man for three years. "Jerome" has a 5-year-old daughter, and I don't know how much longer I can tolerate that child. She tells her father where to sit, where to stand, when to go out and what to eat. She walks around his apartment and insists on holding his hand, no matter what he's doing. She even goes to the bathroom with him. (He says she cries if he locks her out.) If she awakens in the middle of the night, he allows her to sleep with him. Jerome is divorced, and his daughter spends two nights a week at his place. I realize she misses her father, but this seems to me a very unhealthy attachment. When she is with him, she won't play with her toys or watch TV. She only wants to sit on his lap. This child has so many hang-ups it saddens me. Jerome says I am jealous of her, but I don't believe this is true. What do you say, Ann? -- Ready To Give Up in Richmond, Va.

Dear Richmond,
Dump Jerome, unless you are willing to play second fiddle to that pathetic spoiled brat for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, her brattiness is not her fault. Her father (probably guilty about the divorce) has catered to the child to the extent that he is totally under her thumb. Adios, Jerome, and the sooner the better.

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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!

Reader Comment
For the sake of the child, dump Jerome. The child has lots of problems and she does not need someone in her life like you. You do not like her and are not sure you can tolerate her much longer.

Reader Comment
I agree that there are clearly some issues going on here, but the phrase “pathetic spoiled brat” is absolutely uncalled for. It sounds like the child has attachment disorder and needs to see a psychologist, not be dismissed as a spoiled whiny child who’s stealing her father from his girlfriend.

Reader Comment
I agree that Jerome should be dumped immediately. The child has any issues and certainly is intolerable. This is her father's fault for putting up with the child's ridiculous demands and will only increase as she becomes older. She does need help but it will be a long road if any recovery is possible. Her mother

Deming NM's Comment
Something is definitely wrong. Dump Jerome and call Child Protective Services while the kid has a chance to be helped.

Reader Comment
Call child protective services?? For what?

Chh's Comment
Deming: what the hell?!?

Andy's Comment
She's been going with Jerome for three years and she is just now getting fed up with his brat, not HIS crazy behavior? Something is wrong with her, too. Yes, she should dump him immediately.

Reader Comment
I'm surprised by the comments. This child has issues as a result of the divorce. Have some empathy. Family counseling may help if she wants to save her relationship with Jerome.

Maryann's Comment
He gives in to her inappropriate demands because she cries? This man and his daughter have an unhealthy co-dependent relationship. If you are going crazy now, it will only get worse after you are married. Move on. This is a package deal you do not want to be a part of.
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:

Dear Readers,
, 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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"At every party there are two kinds of people - those who want to go home and those who don't. The trouble is, they are usually married to each other."
-Ann Landers