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by Abigail Van Buren

Cross-Dressing Best Friend Wants to Go out as a Couple

DEAR ABBY: I am in a relationship with a woman 25 years my junior. We talked at length about some of the issues we might encounter before we embarked on a relationship. We love each other completely. Her father, however, strongly disapproves based solely on our age difference. He has stated that he had no issues with me personally.

She recently told me that she isn't happy and she wants us to spend some time apart. Neither of her two marriages worked out. She says I'm not the issue.

She wants to be with me, but her father would shun her -- and me -- if we were ever to be in the same room. He has actually said he'd walk out if I were present. She told me he was this way with her first marriage, which he did not approve of.

What do I do? I love her, but I can't get her to see how much I love and care for her and her two boys. How much space should I give her to figure herself out? -- TORN UP IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR TORN UP: The woman you love may be twice divorced, but she isn't free. She is firmly under her father's thumb. The age difference is the least of your worries.

Regardless of your feelings for her, because she says she is no longer happy with you, it's time to make a U-turn. And when you do, suggest that if she wants to have a future with anyone, it will happen sooner if she starts talking with a licensed therapist about her relationship with dear old Dad. She will never have a life of her own while he's running it.