DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My mom and dad divorced nearly four years ago. It was more my mom’s idea, I think, and my dad has had a rough time of it. Since the divorce, my mom has dated a couple of guys. I didn’t love either one, but I tried to be cool with it if they made her happy.
Two months ago my dad started seeing a woman from his gym. “Ellen” seems nice enough, and my dad seems to be really into her.
My mom is always asking about Ellen and my dad and trying to get me to rate Ellen compared to her, which makes me feel really awkward.
How do I deal with my mom’s curiosity without causing problems for myself? --- DATERS’ DAUGHTER
DEAR DATERS’ DAUGHTER: Your mom’s pressuring you about what’s going on in your dad’s world smacks of the manipulative games practiced on their children – of any age – by some divorced parents. She’s taking advantage of you being her window into a life she may not be entirely ready to let go of, even though she’s appeared to have moved on.
You need to remind Mom that not only was the divorce her idea, as you understand it, but that she was the first to dive back into the dating pool, and it’s only fair and natural your dad does the same. Be honest with her about how uncomfortable her pumping you for details makes you, and be very clear that you aren’t going to discuss your dad’s personal life with her anymore.
Your mom may also be worried that you’ll develop the kind of bond with Ellen she’s exclusively had with you all these years. So now’s a good time to reassure your mother that she still’s and always will be your #1 Mom, just like it says on that necklace you bought for her at the elementary school holiday shop when you were seven.