Dear Annie: My husband has twin 28-year-old daughters. They are hardworking and smart, and any parent would be proud of their achievements.
I began dating my husband five years after his divorce, and we married three years later. However, when I was supposed to meet his daughters, they told him they would chase me away if I visited. The relationship went downhill from there. They threw my possessions into the backyard while we were not home, threatened to kill me, vandalized our house, tried to run me over, ambushed me with a bucket of water when I stepped out the door, were cruel to my dog and more. We moved 2,000 miles away.
Now that our parents are getting old, we are thinking of moving back to our hometown to be near our families. But I don’t know how to handle his daughters. They text, phone and email their dad, but never acknowledge my existence. We send birthday and Christmas presents from both of us. Their mother and I get along well, but she only chastises them by saying they are “exhibiting inappropriate behaviour.” They still live with her, and I think she is intimidated.
My husband owns a farm nearby and we have been trying to sell it, but the daughters use that property and chase all prospective buyers away. We have offered to sell it to them at a good price, but why should they buy it when they can use it for free? We can’t afford two house payments.
My husband has no leverage with them. He won’t do anything that could get them into legal trouble that may affect the rest of their lives. I don’t know what to do. — Anguished in Oregon
Dear Oregon: These spoiled brats have been out of control for years because they have two ineffectual, spineless parents, and there never have been any consequences for their behaviour. Your husband can sell the farm by having a broker handle prospective buyers by appointment only. But make it clear to your husband that if they vandalize your home, threaten you or hurt your pets, you will call the police. And he should convey that message to his errant daughters.
Dear Annie: Here’s my two cents about dogs’ names. While visiting my daughter, her four-year-old neighbour asked me, “What is your name?” When I replied, “Lucy,” he said, “My friend has a dog named Lucy.”
Unless you make up an original name for your pet, someone will have the same name. I discovered that Lucy is among the top names for dogs. I still laugh about it. Lighten up, people. — Lucy in Shreveport, La.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.