Sign In or Register here


Merrily Preston
By Merrily Preston
Posted on Apr 06,2009
Filed Under Personal Development , Opinions,

Dear Merrily    
My husband's daughter has graduated from college. Her father continues to pay her car insurance, cell phone bill, and college loan even though they agreed before she went to college that she would help to pay the loan off when she found a job.

This daughter is the only child who speaks to him after a nasty divorce. He believes if he doesn't continue to support her, she will turn away from him.

(I am getting angry all over again!)

New wife/step mother - the "bad guy" - would be happy to help the daughter if she would make ANY attempt to help herself OR show appreciation.

New wife has suggested counseling. Husband feels guilty, . . . knows a counselor will tell him . . . to say "no".


Dear Help,

Your husband is leery of a counselor telling him to just say no, because he is cannot risk losing the last remaining member of his family.  The pain of his losses is probably huge and unacknowledged, as men tend to suffer alone.  More loss is not an option.

Well-intended agreements sometimes don’t work out.  Money is the bond now between father and daughter.  They will need time to establish a real relationship, where she can give up being the needy little girl and he can connect with her on an adult level.

You could choose the ‘good guy’ role by nurturing the growth of their relationship.  You would need to enjoy their process and be patient with your own discomfort with their financial arrangements, which clearly go against your values.

Your honest anger is refreshing and can be useful.  Anger is about someone invading our personal boundaries. Your husband’s financial arrangements with his daughter are in your space.

You could do some very useful investigation into your anger.  Look back at early anger around boundaries being invaded and around things over which you have no control.  Also, look at your strong beliefs about finances between parents and their young adult children.

Let me know how the situation resolves and what you learn from it.

Merrily Preston is an Intentional Life Facilitator, who lives in Woodbridge. Her column is exclusive to Local Kicks in Alexandria, VA. Email questions to, or use online form at

Loading Loading..

Shopping and Services Guide

Exclusive deals from the best locals!

Browse our highlighted partners
Spas, retailers, restaurants and…
so much more.