Speak up about concerns
Q I’ve been dating a man for 19 months. We’re both divorced and have raised teenage daughters. He met my daughters briefly, and my close friend. We talk about the future together, more travelling together, etc. Neither of us wants to get remarried or live together now. I’m concerned that he’s not told his younger daughter. He said that when he separated from his ex five years ago, his youngest took it hard.
Should I believe he’s concerned about his daughter? Or is he hiding me and doesn’t consider our relationship important enough to share with her?
How do I handle this?
Am I Being Hidden?
A You mention only his youngest daughter, which suggests you’ve met an older one. But you don’t say that.
I suspect that, similarly, you haven’t spoken up about your concern. You have to say — though not harshly — what his “hiding” you means. Explain that, as a mother, you understand his thoughtfulness about not wanting to upset his daughter.
But since she must know he’s dating someone (her sibling would’ve told her, or even her mother), he’s handing her emotional control over his life.
What’s needed for father and daughter now is counselling, to reassure his unceasing love for her. And that dating someone doesn’t weaken their bond.
Professionally guided counselling is crucial to bring out the girl’s fears and for him to comfort her while still being entitled to his adult choices.
Explain that you think he’s doing both his daughter and you a disservice by not being open and honest.
He may not agree right away, but he’s wrong not to for the girl’s sake.