New beau just not up for family-man role
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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: When I re-entered the dating scene, I was an empty-nester. Both of my adult children had moved out and had solid careers. This was my time to enjoy some freedom — or so I thought.
I started dating and found a man who was loving, exciting and financially well-off. I made a promise to myself I was not going to settle — the man I would have in my life was going to have as much financial security as me, if not more. I would not be someone’s meal ticket.
Well, he had everything I wanted, and more. Shortly into our relationship, he moved in with me. I was truly living my best life — until my daughter had to move back home. She lost her job due to pandemic job restructuring.
My boyfriend was furious. He did not want her to move back home. He told me I had a decision to make — either my daughter or him.
I could not turn my back on my daughter. Losing her job was not her decision.
I tried to reason with my boyfriend that this was going to be a temporary situation, but he wouldn’t hear any of it. My daughter is now moving back home, and my boyfriend is moving out. I guess I should mention that he’s never been married, and has no children of his own.
— Heartbroken, North Kildonan
Dear Heartbroken: This financially successful man made it to middle age without a marriage or children. He moved in with you, but you haven’t mentioned any talk of marriage. Now he’s moving out, shortly after moving in. He didn’t want to lose the honeymoon situation, and you can’t really blame him.
Still, another fellow might have offered to help you and your daughter keep the place she has or find a smaller option until she gets a job. Either he didn’t offer, or you didn’t ask.
Bottom line? This fellow has never been a family man and is too old to become one. A question to consider seriously: Do you really want a man like this, when you care about family and probably hope for an active life with grandchildren one day? He may be attractive and well-heeled, but may not have this type of personality to offer.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My husband’s new wife of one year, has asked my children — ages four and seven — to call her Mom. I’m really having a rough time with this.
I’ve brought my concerns up to my ex-husband. He didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. He said, “She loves them like they are her own, and I just don’t want to cause problems.” Am I the one causing problems?
— Their Real Mother, Winnipeg
Dear Real Mother: If this woman also has children of her own at home, and your kids are not allowed to call her Mom, they might feel like they’re of lesser status when they are staying there.
It’s very awkward for some kids to call an adult by their given name. Some grown kids, who have been in that position, say they avoided calling the new parent by any name.
Your children have already been invited to call your ex’s wife “Mom,” and she is nice to them and your ex-husband says she loves them. Ask the children what they’d feel comfortable calling her.
If they’re a little older, they might say “Mom would be easiest, but we know you are our real mom.” Little children may feel the same way, but not have the words to express it. Or, they may simply just love her back. Don’t deny them that by making them feel guilty.
If any readers know of a solution that has worked in this tricky situation, please write in and share it.
Please send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.