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by Abigail Van Buren

Daughter Complains That Dad Only Has Eyes for Girlfriend

DEAR ABBY: I was 11 when my father left. I'm 16 now and it is still very difficult for my mom and me. Dad was involved in my life until he met his 28-year-old girlfriend. He's 54.

I have told him I'm not comfortable around her and I don't want to be in her company. It's embarrassing when they hold hands and hug in front of me and my friends. I spend one night a week at Dad's and I want him all to myself. Even when I'm there he locks himself in his room and spends all night talking on the phone with her. I have asked him to pay attention to me, but he doesn't get it.

Last year, he told me he "had a dream" that I was going to get a little sister or brother. He asked how I felt about that, and I was honest. I told him thinking about him having sex with a woman so young makes me sick. Dad doesn't see that she's using him for money and a green card. I want him to be discreet and keep his private life private.

I live with my mom six nights a week, and I think that gives Dad plenty of time to spend with his girlfriend. What can I do to get him to focus on me on our one night a week together? -- MISSES MY DAD IN RHODE ISLAND

DEAR MISSES YOUR DAD: Your father's girlfriend may make him feel like he's 16 again, but that isn't an excuse for him to act like it.

You have communicated clearly to him that you need more of his attention than he's giving. The next person to deliver that message should be your mother. Perhaps he will pay more attention if he hears it from another adult.

In two years you will be 18 and gone. The time he has with you now is precious and he should recognize that fact and stop squandering it.