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Ask Ellie: Parent's post-divorce marriage worries adult daughter

Advice: At your age, your children should not be surprised nor have a vote on whether it’s OK for them that you chose a partner you love.

Dear Ellie: I’m a woman, 55, divorced 16 years, with three adult children. I’m now engaged to be married to a woman. Yes, a same-sex relationship.

Early in my relationship with my fiancée, we had issues we were working out. She has separation trauma and didn’t cope well when I was away. I was learning to deal with that. She didn’t speak kindly to me. But we’ve come through that and communicate well today.

However, my youngest daughter wants nothing to do with her because my kids overheard our conversations while I was visiting them.

My fiancée was angry and panicked. My children witnessed this and I shared too much about her past with them, which my youngest now holds against her.

She sent a very strongly worded letter telling her that she doesn’t have to accept her, and she’s not OK with how she treats me.

I want my daughter in my wedding party along with her siblings, but my fiancée doesn’t want her there at all.

She demands an apology from my daughter, but she’ll never get it. Also, she hasn’t apologized to my children about how she’s treated me.

Broken-Hearted Bride

Your current situation is upsetting but not unique and often occurs when adult children have personal issues regarding a parent’s choice of new partner.

At your age, your children should not be surprised nor have a vote on whether it’s OK for them that you chose a partner you love.

But in your eagerness to share information with them, you apparently revealed too much about your partner’s past. I understand you wanting your adult children to have empathy for her, but with someone new entering their mother’s life, not every adult child will adapt easily.

Your youngest daughter rushed to your defence against someone she doesn’t know.

Now you need to tell her and your other children why you love and trust this woman. Example: Everyone of mature age has a past, but her separation trauma doesn’t make her a bad person. You two are working through it.

The wedding is a family event. But you’ll have to tell your children that you would never not attend one of their major milestones and you need them present.

The tougher but equally important task is to tell your fiancée that you can’t wait to marry her, and that your daughter’s reaction was misguided as an act of protecting you. If your partner can rise above this, you and she will have a deeper connection than before.

Tell her you’ve loved your children, even when imperfect, since their birth. And you love her because you’ve made an adult life commitment to each other.

Dear Ellie: I had a great love but broke up with my partner for some reasons. I already know that there’s no way to go back and be together again.

I really want and need to forget her so that I can live more easily. I just don’t like any other girl. Please help me to be released from this prison of longing.

Need Advice Now

We each build our own emotional prisons when we know we’ve failed at getting what we wanted and that we felt we needed from someone else (a particular girl and only her).

But you’re actually free and able to enjoy your long-time friends and regain confidence from them to feel stronger.

Maybe it’s too soon to date another, but it’s never too soon to rebuild your inner confidence.

FEEDBACK regarding the spouse upset because she did all the cooking (Jan. 18):

Reader – “We’re two brothers who live together and have always shared everything 50/50, until recently when I wanted something and was told it was ‘his.’

“I’ve always done the shopping, food prep and cooking. He ate, contributed little to food.

“With the comment ‘mine not yours,’ l went on strike, said he had no access to any food purchased mostly with my funds.

“Cut off, he opted for a delivered food prep service. The food prepared looked nothing like the pictures sent with the recipes. I enjoyed it, and cooked for myself only.

“Six months later, when l prepare meals, I’m thanked, reimbursed toward all costs and much more appreciated.

“To the husband who likes to eat: learn how to cook, try what she’s eating, instead of treating her like a slave to your taste and preferences.”

Send relationship questions to ellie@thestar.ca or lisi@thestar.ca

Follow @ellieadvice.

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