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by Abigail Van Buren

Daughter Is Reluctant to Be Divorcing Mom's Confidante

DEAR ABBY: Our older daughter is almost 40. It has taken me decades to finally face the fact that she is self-centered, deceitful, manipulative, promiscuous, and enjoys the chaos and drama her bad choices cause. It has wrecked her life and is ruining her children's lives as well. Her lifestyle is radically different from ours and that of our younger daughter.

We have distanced ourselves. It's not that we don't love her -- we just cannot accept the way she chooses to live her life. Her teenage children have begun to mirror her bad behavior. I feel guilty about it, but the drama is more than I can stand. Are we terrible parents? -- DESPAIRING MOM IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR DESPAIRING MOM: No, you're not "terrible." In a case like this, backing off is a rational, self-protective reaction to the reality that your daughter is an adult and responsible for her own choices.