I met a woman after my wife died. My adult daughter annoys him – The Toronto Star


Q I am the father of two sons and two daughters. In total, I have seven grandchildren, from six to 14 years old. My first wife died suddenly five years ago and I eventually met a divorced woman through a senior dating site. These last years we lived together.

She is very outgoing which is good for me as I tend to stick to my hobbies and not socialize much. But my girlfriend has encouraged me to be more social, so we’ve entertained friends here.

My older daughter resents this. She says the house was originally decorated by her mother to be a gathering place for family, not for people who were strangers to her. This daughter has turned her own children against my partner. I don’t know how to handle the situation, especially since the kids are rude to her. what do you suggest

confused father

ATalk to your daughter privately. Tell her that you love her and her children and also that you understand that she is still grieving the loss of her mother.

You might even suggest that she attend grief counseling to help her keep her memories close and her love for her mother a constant, comforting emotion.

But be clear that you cannot accept the rudeness of the children, or her, against the woman with whom you have partnered. He has done nothing wrong and is now an important part of your life.

Would you rather be alone? Don’t you understand that aging still requires companionship and trust in someone helpful, kind and caring? Help her see that your friend is adding to your life, without taking or denying anything.

Q I am a divorced woman raising two young children in joint custody with my ex. He is a good father, so there have been no tensions.

We just couldn’t communicate anything other than everyday details. We both work, we have responsible jobs. But for seven years together I discovered that I had nothing more to say. Or, as one friend described it, “there was nothing.”

When we went to counseling together, it was obvious that we were like two ships on separate journeys.

Ever since our separation, I’ve tried to give the older kids weekends off during my weekends with them. My best friend urged me to take advantage of her father’s weekends to go on adventures with her and other singles.

One of the women brought her brother to join a group walk. He was staying with his visiting sister and there was no reason to exclude him.

A week later, he contacted me on social media. I was baffled and had no idea how to respond. He apologized for “intruding” but said he saw during the walk that I had a great sense of humor and really enjoyed my company.

So now what? Is this different from meeting someone online? I haven’t done this trail so I don’t know if it’s the same. A chance encounter with someone who seems genuinely nice and makes me feel my mood? Or just a guy who’s lonely and looking for a place to land?

Dating for beginners

A Use social media carefully. You know how he is and that he has a close relationship with his sister. For now just ask general questions like where you live, if you have kids (ie what is your relationship status).

Take your time with these conversations, but don’t put high hopes on him until you know more. Remember, in your previous union, you were passing ships. So if this guy is just testing the waters to try to date you or start something else, you need to know a lot more about him.

However, if dating is on the horizon and you trust what you’ve learned, enjoy it!

Ellie’s tip of the day

Older people who start over after widowhood often live longer and happier lives.

Ellie Tesher and Lisi Tesher are advice columnists for The Star and are based in Toronto. Email your relationship questions to: ellie@thestar.ca.

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