Cissy, Ian’s young adult daughter, will stop at nothing to break up her father and his significant other, Julie. Trying to make nice, Julie took Cissy on a shopping trip to a nearby upscale mall and treated her to lunch. No sooner did Julie drop her off than Cissy was on the phone to her dad, filling his ear with made-up stories about how Julie spends money like a drunken sailor. Ian better not marry her, Cissy warned, or she’ll quickly take him to the poorhouse. Knowing how frugal Julie is, Ian laughed it off and even teased her later about her alleged spending spree. Julie was furious. What should she do with her anger? Swallow it and pretend she doesn’t know what Cissy is doing? Set Ian straight? Confront Cissy and tell her to stop trying to sabotage their relationship?
Our Panel Weighs In
Steve: The good news is that Ian is on to Cissy and laughed off her tell-all about the shopping trip. Going forward Julie should aim for simple civility—neither overtly friendly nor overtly nasty—and one day maybe Cissy will come around.
Josie: Julie has a right to feel hurt and angry, but she should talk to a counselor about her feelings rather than jeopardize her relationship with Ian. Venting her anger in front of either father or daughter will come to no good.
Doug: Julie should make sure Ian will stand up for her, and then she should bring up the incident with the three of them in the same room. When Cissy sees that she's been called out in front of her father, she'll think twice before pulling this kind of stunt again.
Lois: Julie should make a stand now with both Cissy and Ian. If they are to have a future, he's got to insist that Cissy treat Julie with the respect accorded a wife. If Ian refuses to take her seriously or reprimand his daughter, it's better that Julie find out now before she invests any more of herself in this relationship.
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