Dear Abby: I’m 16 and have a 13-year-old sister. Our parents are divorced, and we live with our mother. We used to see our dad on visitations every other weekend, but he moved away, so now we see him for two weeks in the summer and one week during Christmas. We talk to him a lot and have a good relationship. We’re scheduled to visit him soon.
Dad lives in a one-bedroom apartment and when we’re there, he lets us stay in the bedroom and he sleeps on the couch. He has just told us he is “coming out of the closet” and has a partner who is living with him. They plan on getting married now that it’s legal. When I asked him what the sleeping arrangements will be, he said he hasn’t figured it out yet, but will work it out.
We’re really not surprised to find out that Dad is gay, and we can accept that. But we’re really uncomfortable about spending two weeks in a one-bedroom apartment along with his partner when we don’t even know what the sleeping arrangements will be. We’d like to find a way to get out of the visit, but we don’t want to hurt our dad, and because of the visitation agreement, he has the right to have us for two weeks every summer. What can we do?
Uncomfortable in California
Of this I am sure, your father and his partner will welcome you with open arms and do everything in their power to show you a good time. You and your sister should go and try to be gracious guests. I agree, the space may be cramped, but it’s only for two weeks. After they marry, they may move to larger quarters.
If you don’t enjoy the visit, keep in mind that in two years you will be 18 and no longer “obligated” to spend three weeks with your dad. But if you give this a chance, you may be very pleasantly surprised, so think positive.