DEAR ABBY: I have a 23-year-old daughter, "Julia," who I am close with. She has been in a relationship with "Joey," a guy her age, for four years and living with him for the last 16 months. Joey's a great kid who hasn't had a lot of support in his life. I have been like a mother to him, and we are very close. He works hard, earned a college degree and plans on a career in law enforcement. I love him like my own.
The issue is, Julia has been working a part-time evening job. She works with a man I'll call "Nick," who is 10 years older and has a child. She has started having an affair with him. She claims to love Joey but is "torn" because she's bored and wants to "have fun." I am upset and devastated.
From the sound of him, Nick doesn't have many great qualities. I believe she's making a grave mistake and risks losing a great future. I have tried getting her to see it, but I don't think I'm getting through. Should I continue or back off and see what happens? I feel like I am betraying Joey because I know about this. -- TORN-APART MOM
DEAR MOM: As much as you might wish to, you cannot live Julia's life for her. From your description of your daughter, she's not ready for marriage or even a permanent commitment. Joey may be the catch of a lifetime, but if she can't appreciate him and the life he has to offer, he isn't the man for her. Step back and allow her to make her own mistakes, because that's how people learn. And when the truth comes out, tell Joey how sorry you are that things turned out the way they did and that you will always love him like a son.