Beth, 23, Chicago, IL

My father got remarried last month. It happened very suddenly. He met a woman at his new job after finally getting over his divorce with my mother, which took him years. My father is a scientist and his new wife does PR for their company. They met at a summer barbeque and hit it off, and before I knew it, he was proposing to her and they had a quick wedding with only a handful of friends.

We have a big house, and I have been staying with my dad while getting my Master’s Degree. After “Amy” and my father got married, she moved in and is now driving me nuts. She is 10 years younger than him and clearly has OCD, as she vacuums and dusts every day, including in my room, which I asked her not to go into. Plus, she has this ritual of painting her nails every evening. I mean how many times a week does someone need to change their nail polish color? She sings loudly as she walks around the house and talks on the phone in a way that I can hear her three floors down. She also wrote up “rules of the house” and hung them up in various places. One of the rules is ”No meat allowed in ‘my house’ on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.” My father thinks this very cute. I don’t.

I find her annoying beyond belief, and have a hard time accepting rules of “her house.” She also wants to spend a lot of time with my dad, which I understand as they are newlyweds, but the other day she basically asked me to leave the living room because she wanted to have some “private” time. I don’t have anything against her, but I feel like she is getting more territorial with my father and not spending any time to get to know me. I don’t need to be friends with her, but I feel that strange family dynamics are starting to build up. I am happy for my dad, but she needs to respect that I am a part of his family.


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