DEAR ABBY: I'm engaged to be married to a wonderful woman who has a 6-year-old daughter with her ex-husband. They share joint custody.
His controlling nature was a major factor in her decision to end their marriage. Even now, after being divorced more than two years, he tries to control her life. One way is by insisting on pictures of the three of them at every function where they are all present. First day of school, graduations, etc., he has to have pictures taken of him along with my fiancee and their daughter as if they are still one big, happy family.
He's now engaged to someone as well. I can only assume his fiancee must find these "not a family" pictures as strange as my fiancee and I do. The reason we haven't shut him down when he insists on these pictures is that we think maybe it is a nice thing for her daughter to have pictures of herself with her mom and dad. But we dread every event because we know he is going to expect this. Will it do the daughter any harm to stop him the next time he starts insisting on this increasingly awkward situation? -- IN THE PICTURE, TOO
DEAR PICTURE: Because this practice made your fiancee uncomfortable, she should have put a stop to it when it began. She should not do anything that makes her uncomfortable. A way to deal with it now without roiling the waters would be to wait until you and your fiancee are married -- and her ex and his fiancee are married -- and make it a group photo of the entire blended family from then on.