The Reporter (Lansdale, PA)
Attempt to connect with beau’s daughter fizzles
I’m divorced and have been dating my guy friend for five years. We recognized after we started dating that we love each other, and we planned to move in together after a year of dating. I was so excited when we started making plans that I reached out to my guy’s exwife and daughter as a friendly gesture.
His daughter was getting married later in the year, so I tried to reassure her that I understood how stressful a big wedding is, and I wouldn’t be offended if I wasn’t invited. I wasn’t invited. Following the wedding, the first time I met his ex-wife and children was excruciating. His daughter was very unpleasant to me.
Now, years later, the situation has not improved. If I try to be Facebook friends, his daughter accepts my offer, but limits what I can see. This is ridiculous. After five years, I would like to just gently close that door. Is that being mean or realistic?
— Tried, And Tried Again
DEAR TRIED » When you reached out to your partner’s daughter, perhaps you came on a little too strong. It seems like a warm and caring gesture, unless your relationship was the reason his marriage ended. Have you talked to your partner about it? Perhaps he can help. This situation won’t improve if you “gently close the door.” You don’t need to track his adult daughter’s activities on Facebook. (If she hated you, she would block you entirely.) It couldn’t hurt to step back and stick with the status quo, and that’s what I recommend.
DEAR ABBY » My husband and I have been together 30 years and married for 25. We have four wonderful adult children and four beautiful grandchildren. We started our family very young and are now entering our 50s. I’m ready to get out and travel the world, but my husband wants to move closer to one of our children to help with the kids. We have had many loud conversations regarding my unwillingness to raise children all over again. I love my grandchildren, but having been a mother since I was 16, I’m enjoying my newfound freedom.
Our son and his wife both have successful careers. They can afford quality child care, and I don’t see the need for us to uproot our lives and move hours away just to be on-call babysitters. I love the town we live in, and I’m starting to resent his relentless “persuasion” and suggestions that relocation is what “most grandmothers would love to do.” Advice?
DEAR STAYING » Having raised four wonderful children since the age of 16, your feelings are understandable. I will assume that your husband wants to uproot your lives because he is retired and has nothing meaningful to occupy his time. Please do not allow him to wear you down if you are not equally enthusiastic about becoming an on-call babysitter. You deserve to travel if you have the means to do it. He could take that time to travel to wherever your son and his family live and give them a break in your absence. That way you will both be doing something you enjoy.