Stepdad victim of a ‘train wreck’

I married my wife, “Debbie,” more than a decade ago. I genuinely believe we were brought together by divine providence.

Dear Annie: I married my wife, “Debbie,” more than a decade ago.

I genuinely believe we were brought together by divine providence.

The only thing that troubles me is our kids — Debbie’s children from her first marriage.

They didn’t get off to a great start — the biological father is a deadbeat dad, philanderer, alcoholic and a repeat-offender criminal. I wish I had been there from the start, but that’s the way it goes.

I’ve had a lot of catching up to do.

Debbie’s son is terrific — smart, friendly, talented and putting himself through college. The daughter, however, is a walking soap opera.

She’s had two kids (one at age 16), several abortions, multiple divorces and broken relationships, and she’s usually strung out on pills and pot.

Her current boyfriend is a married man.

The oldest granddaughter lives with her father, who married someone else and has built a solid family. The younger granddaughter (age 11) lives with her mother.

The kid does all the cooking, housekeeping and grocery shopping. My stepdaughter even tried to get the girl to fake a urine sample for a drug test.

My wife and I are at the end of our rope.

We cannot endure anymore of this woman’s drama. We know we can’t fix her, so right now, all we want to do is rescue our granddaughter before her life is ruined.

I feel like I’m aiming a squirt gun at a forest fire. How can I help my family? — Stepfather of a Train Wreck

Dear Stepfather: Is the father of this child capable of caring for her?

If so, you should encourage him to ask for custody. Barring that, you and your wife ought to consider petitioning for guardianship of your granddaughter.

The best way to “rescue” this child is to get her out of her mother’s home and into a stable, loving environment. Please make every effort to do so.

Dear Annie: My husband and I have been together for 25 years, and the entire marriage has consisted of his continuous lies about money, gambling and drinking.

The latest adventure is his obsession with Internet porn and singles websites.

We attended counselling individually and as a couple.

He knew these things were ruining our marriage and vowed over and over to change.

Instead, he played me. He would change just long enough for me to forgive him.

But I have stopped playing his game. We share a house, and that’s about it.

Years ago, girly magazines were just pictures. Today, there is streaming video of real people who call you by name and can even contact you.

After I read the conversations my husband had with other women, any intimacy went out the window. He wonders now why I had a hard time showing him affection.

Guys need to stop and think with their hearts and not their computers, and realize the permanent damage these things can do to a marriage. — Over and Out

Dear Over: We agree that Internet porn is a huge problem these days, creating intimacy and trust issues in relationships.

Your husband also has other problems and seems unwilling to work on them.

So we have to ask — why are you still with him?

Please give some serious thought to your alternatives.

They might be more attainable than you think.

Dear Annie: This is for “At the End of my Tether in South Dakota,” who is frustrated with her daughter’s filthy room.

The easiest way to deal with this is to tell the daughter that her room is her own business, but she may not have anything in there that can bring vermin into the house.

This means no food in her room, and the trash needs to be emptied regularly.

Mom should keep the door closed and let the daughter be a slob, but draw a line where it affects the sanitation of the house.

It is not about the daughter. It is about health and safety. — Ventura, Calif.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This unicorn was stolen from the small community of Delia, northeast of Drumheller on Friday and was recovered, with its bronze horn broken off, on Saturday. RCMP are looking for information on the suspects.
(Photo from RCMP)
Unicorn statue stolen from Delia recovered

Statue found with horn broken off in field about 15 km from Delia

(Advocate file photo)
Lacombe man whose manslaughter sentence was rejected by judge has new lawyer

Judge rejected proposed seven-year sentence for manslaughter in connection with 2019 homicide

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a news conference at Rideau cottage in Ottawa, on Friday, March 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Liberals to release federal budget with eye on managing crisis, post-pandemic growth

OTTAWA — The federal government will this afternoon unveil its spending plans… Continue reading

Patches are seen on the arm and shoulder of a corrections officer in the segregation unit at the Fraser Valley Institution for Women during a media tour, in Abbotsford, B.C., on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Correctional Service Canada says three inmates at Fraser Valley Institution recently tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Drumheller Institution inmate dies in custody

Inmate’s April 15 death under investigation

In this image from NASA, NASA's experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s experimental helicopter Ingenuity rose into the thin… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

In this Feb. 24, 2020, photo, the Olympics rings are reflected on the window of a hotel restaurant as a server with a mask sets up a table, in the Odaiba section of Tokyo. The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with less than 1% vaccinated. This of course is spilling over to concerns about the postponed Tokyo Olympics that open in just over three months.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Will Japanese Olympians be vaccinated ahead of the public?

TOKYO — The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with… Continue reading

PSG's Kylian Mbappe, right, greets Bayern's Lucas Hernandez at the end of the Champions League, second leg, quarterfinal soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich at the Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, France, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
PSG, Bayern the big names missing from Super League plan

DÜSSELDORF, Germany — The plan for the new Super League soccer competition… Continue reading

In this image released by Paramount Pictures, Marion Cotillard, left, and Brad Pitt appear in a scene from "Allied." (Daniel Smith/Paramount Pictures via AP)
Leo Carax’s ‘Annette’ to open Cannes Film Festival

Leo Carax’s “Annette,” starring Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver, will open the… Continue reading

From left, Producer Doug Mitchell, actor Chris Hemsworth and director George Miller attend at a press conference to announce the new "Mad Max" film at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney, Monday, April 19, 2021. (Mick Tsikas/AAP Image via AP)
‘Mad Max’ prequel shot in Outback to be released in 2023

SYDNEY, Australia — A prequel to the “Mad Max” movie franchise starring… Continue reading

In this Feb. 1, 2021 file photo, emissions from a coal-fired power plant are silhouetted against the setting sun in Independence, Mo. President Joe Biden faces a vexing task as he convenes a virtual climate summit on Thursday. He is expected to present a nonbinding but symbolic goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that will have a tangible impact not only on climate change efforts in the U.S. but throughout the world. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
Biden pressed on emissions goal as climate summit nears

WASHINGTON — When President Joe Biden convenes a virtual climate summit on… Continue reading

Women wearing masks wait near an advertisement ahead of the Auto Shanghai 2021 show in Shanghai on Sunday, April 18, 2021. Automakers from around the world are showcasing their latest products this week in the world's biggest market for auto vehicles. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
VW, Ford unveil SUVs at China auto show under virus controls

SHANGHAI — Volkswagen, Ford and Chinese brands unveiled new SUVs for China… Continue reading

Investigators from the Vancouver Police Department were in Chilliwack Saturday, collecting evidence connected to a double homicide. (file photo)
Police investigate shooting death of man outside downtown Vancouver restaurant

Vancouver police say one man was killed in what they believe was… Continue reading

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start registering people 18 years and older for COVID-19 vaccines

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government says it’s inviting people 18 years… Continue reading

Most Read