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Is it appropriate?

Joined: 1/20/2015
Posts: 1
About three months ago, my fianccee's 2nd cousin moved in with us. She had been inappropriately touched by her step-dad, and as a 17 year old, giving her some place safe was of utmost importance.

In the meantime, I was driving her to school 3 days a week and allowing her use my vehicle after dropping me off at work, to get to school, and afterwards she would pick me up. My fiancée would allow her to drive her truck on the other two days during the week with a similar arrangement for work.

I am a 44 year old nurse and military officer and my fiancée is 33 year old college student and professional project management assistant. We took her cousin in because it was the right thing to do. I have added her to the auto insurance in the meantime. However, her cousin has been staying with her stepmom lately and not checking in with us regularly.

We have asked her to contact at least one of us twice a day, but she is not consistent enough. She was supposed to come home Sunday, from her step-mom's house, but she did not contact us at all, and still by Tuesday, my fiancée didn't follow up with her. She has been staying at her step-mom's house since the New Year.

I contacted her while I was picking up my dry cleaning before work, to see how she as doing, and when she was thinking of coming back. After our conversation, I called my fiancée to let her know what we talked about. She told me it was weird a 44 year old man was having a private conversation with a 17 year old. I told her I was calling from a place of concern and nothing else. I would do the same for any of my soldiers, friends or family. She demanded if I felt the need to contact her cousin, I should ask her to do it. We have conversations in the car on the way to work, we talk at home, while my fiancée is at work. Am I being inappropriate?
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Comment by etiquette

Joined: 11/5/2013
Posts: 38
Having a conversation is not inappropriate, as long as the discussion was as you say - out of concern. So in that sense it is not weird. If you are living with someone and sharing their space, and making joint decisions about how to incorporate this guest into your daily lives, then some ground rules need to be established and followed - by everyone. The ground rules need to be established by you and your fiancee and followed by everyone. If the guest cannot follow these rules, then having her move to her step-mom’s is a fine idea. You have certain responsibilities around safety that must be acknowledged. If you are really concerned about this child, a chat with the step mom is in order. A chat with your fiancee is also in order. If she sees you as an old man who acts inappropriately around teenage girls, you have some issues to clear up. I hope this helps.

- Jay
The Etiquette Guy
Twitter @etiquetteguy
Posted: Friday, April 24, 2015 6:31:20 PM
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