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    Ask Amy

    Dad may have to choose between his child and partner

    Q. I’ve been with my partner for four years. We lived together for two years until his job took him six hours away. We have been maintaining our relationship, long distance.

    Our plan has always been for him to move this summer in order to be with me in my career following school. Marriage has been a topic of conversation for several years. In his “ideal world, we would already be married.”

    He was on board with our plan to reunite until two weeks before my first day at work. Now, he is hesitant, and possibly not going to move with me for several reasons: His son lives nearby him, and also every time he moves in his career, he has to start over at the bottom.

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    We talked openly about my job locations and how far away from his son he was willing to live. We decided on an eight-hour distance. My new job is just under eight hours, but now he feels it is too far away.

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    Amy, he promised and convinced me that he would move when the time came. Although I understand his situation, I feel betrayed.

    Two years of long distance has been extremely difficult, and we always looked at this move as the light at the end of the tunnel.

    My job is very specialized and would be difficult to maintain in his location.

    I want to continue moving forward in our relationship, but I’m scared there may be no future now.

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    Scared

    A. Nothing interferes with our “ideal worlds” quite like children do. Because, once you take on the role of a parent, your child becomes an integral part of your ideal world.

    Your best-laid plans are falling apart, in part because this father does not want to live eight hours away from his child. When you first discussed this, it might have seemed doable for him, but two years of living so far away from you might have opened his eyes to the extreme challenges of maintaining a long-distance relationship with his child.

    Do you think it’s ideal for a child to have his father live so far away? Are you comfortable having a child engaged in a long-distance relationship with his parent, that has proven to be a huge burden and stress for you (an adult)?

    You can choose to feel betrayed, or you can grow up and realize that life is full of imponderables, loss, change, and the compromises that partners occasionally have to make in order to be together. Let your guy state his needs, honestly and openly. And then you have a choice to make. Base it on your own priorities and goals.

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    Q. Recently my wife went on a girls’ vacation to Las Vegas. I was supposed to go to Las Vegas five years ago with my guy friends, but that never happened.

    She was having a good time and obviously wanted to call me to talk about it, but every time she called, I got angry and shut her down because I was upset that I wasn’t on this trip.

    I am very confused about the right way to handle this situation. Should I be supportive and happy for her, even though this is something I wanted but couldn’t have?

    Upset Husband

    A. Well, they say that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, and by being a jerk during your wife’s happy phone calls, you are basically ensuring that the slogan has legs. I would think that — at least on one level — you would be happy that your wife wanted to share what she was doing in Sin City.

    In families, jealousy over one another’s cool experiences is natural, but a smart partner anchors to the more generous response. Think about how differently you would both feel now if you had responded, “Wow, honey! I’m holding in my own jealousy because I’m happy you’re having a blast. I love you, and I want you to have a good time.”

    Q. “Say no More?” was asked by a friend to harbor an undocumented teen “on the run from ICE.”

    I bet you’ll receive tons of negative responses for your advice. This kid is in this country illegally. No one should ask anyone else to break the law.

    Disgusted

    A. As I said in my answer, “These are challenging times.” I do believe there are instances when morality or personal ethics should override laws. And yes, scores of people disagree with me.

    Amy Dickinson can be reached at askamy@amydickinson.com.