Marrying Widower with Adult Children

sweet3643September 18, 2007

Somebody help me, please! I am about to marry a widower whose wife died 5 years ago. He has three adult daughters (one who lives with him), and to say that they are opposed to him re-marrying would be an understatement. Perhaps I was a bit naive, but this has really caught me off guard. By his own admission (and his friends), he has been a very lonely and sad man since his wife died. Now, all of his friends and colleagues tease him about how happy he's been over the past two years since we've been in a relationship. So, I would think his daughters would be happy for him also -- especially since they say they want him to be happy. One of them was honest enough to say up front that she just wasn't ready (the one who lives with him). She was never rude, but I knew exactly how she felt. The other two SAID they were happy for him, but I've discovered that they are being very conniving and deceitful, and saying things about me that just aren't true. It appears that they are very concerned about material things and they think I'm simply out to get what he has. I'm an independent career woman, and that is the least thing on my mind. With them being adults, they certainly don't need a mother... but I would like to be friends with them -- or at least have a cordial relationship with them -- for the sake of their dad. But... with all of the things they have said and done, I'm starting to build up a lot of resentment toward them and I can see things getting worse. Let me also say that this is a family that, on the outside, was a perfect happy family. But I can clearly see that it's also a family that is superficial, they never really say what's on their minds, will do anything to avoid confrontation or deal with unpleasant issues. What should I do? We have a beautiful relationship and we spend a lot of time together. But I'm worried about this situation with his daughters, and their mother's family is siding with them and making disparaging remarks about what I'm "doing" to this family. What am I doing? Loving a sweet and gentle man whose wife is no longer alive. Is that so awful? I'd love to hear from some of you.

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If the daughters are concerned about money or material things, I wouldnt label that superficial. That worry can be reduced by a prenuptial agreement, which your fiance can discretely discuss with his daughters. Of course, some here are going to say money matters are between the two of you, but then you will have to live with coldness etc. As to the one that lives there, how old is she? Many of the SMs here think that adult children should be out of the house, but many families allow and enjoy their children at home. Personnally I think it will be difficult. Is there any way your fiance can help subsidize a move to her place for her?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 1:42PM
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Even though it's about you...
it isn't about you;

it's about their father, & it's about their father replacing their mother.

No matter who he was engaged to, Martha Stewart or Brittany Spears or Miss USA, the situation would be the same.

Stay out of it, let their dad handle it;

it's between them & their father, it's their father's decision, & anything you could say would be resented as interference.

(If they're worried about things that may or may not have material value but that do have sentimental value-mother's engagement/wedding rings, mother's car, mother's photo album, mother's handwritten recipes, etc, maybe he can distribute those things now.)

What your fiance does for you is, likewise, not between them & him but between you & him.

This is where the pre-nup & the wills & estate planning come in.

The 2 of you need to discuss this stuff exhaustively & be sure that you're in complete agreement & the documents are in place before the wedding.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 2:12PM
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Definitely - a pre-nup spelling out financial arrangements, and a distribution of or provisions for the sentimental stuff is in order. Those are areas where the adult children have legitimate concerns, and those should be addressed explicitly. Also, things like medical power of attorneys should be discussed and resolved.

I'd recommend your fiance take care of those areas first, then see what happens to the relationship before actually getting married.

That said, I do know of a number of "second time around'ers" who opt to live together and not marry legally just to avoid problems with pensions, Social Security benefits, etc.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 3:13PM
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It just takes time, his getting married can really open up old wounds for the kids and as Sylvia said it really isn't about you its about their Dad. The best you can do is allow him to maintain a relationship with his kids, be friendly and keep in mind that you are (in their mind) replacing someone whom they loved very much and can never get back so try not to judge them too harshly.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 4:54PM
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I feel bad for you. My mother died when I was 19, and my younger sisters were 18, 15, an 13. My dad started dating again probably two years later, and none of us minded at all. Can you imagine being the woman dating a widowed man with four teenaged (now adult) daughters?! They must be terrified at first. hahaha! He has had several relationships since then, and we all have gotten along just fine. My dad was only 40 when my mom died, and he shouldn't have to spend the rest of his life alone and lonely. I'm happy for him! We all live within about 300 miles of each other, and we hang out with him and his girlfriend whenever we visit their town or they visit ours.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 5:40PM
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I'd really like to congratulate you on seeing these problems and for looking to do something about them this early on.

All of the advice here looks really good. It is really easy to have horribly conflicting feelings here; you want your parent to be happy, you like seeing your parent being happy, but he's happy with someone who isn't their mom. If your way of doing things is substantially different (ie, if you are outgoing and they aren't) they might be feeling hurt as though their way of doing things isn't good enough (after all the Dad likes you), or if you're substantially different then their mom.

As far as sentimental effects go, they may well be afraid of them vanishing off into your family (by accident or design). Do the girls have space to take anything of their mother's, more to the point do they think they do?

With money matters the pre-nup, and having the father mention it to them, is a great idea. They may be worried about being accidentally or deliberately left out of the will, or that you might get everything and arrange things so they never inherit anything (fears rarely work on logic).
You might also want to consider decorating the house if you move with the kids or at least the youngest, it may help keep it 'homey'.

These might be useful books (they are still due in for me from the library) for them, and you and their father to read:
~Making Adult Stepfamilies Work: Strategies for the Whole Family When a Parent Marries Later in Life by Jean Lipman-Blumen and Grace Gabe (Paperback - Jul 28, 2005)
~When Your Parent Remarries Late in Life: Making Peace With Your Adult Stepfamily by Terri Smith and Robert Stahmann (Paperback - Jun 2007)
~Step Wars: Overcoming the Perils and Making Peace in Adult Stepfamilies by Grace Gabe and Jean Lipman-Blumen (Hardcover - April 1, 2004)
~Adult Children of Divorce: How to Overcome the Legacy of Your Parents' Breakup and Enjoy Love, Trust, and Intimacy by Jeffrey Zimmerman and Elizabeth S. Thayer (Paperback - Nov 2003)
~Becoming an Adult Stepchild: Adjusting to a Parent's New Marriage by Pearl Ketover Prilik (Hardcover - Jan 1998)

If there is anything you'd like to ask me from the grown up step kid's perspective, I would be glad to help.

Wow that is long.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 5:56PM
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Thanks so much for your responses. And I have tried to be very patient and understanding. I've tried to put myself in their place (flipping the script), and I honestly don't believe I'd mind my parent having a serious relationship after the death of another parent. Actually, my father died 8 years ago, and a few years later, when my mother went out a few times, I encouraged it and was proud of her. However, I do realize that people handle things the best way they can.

To answer kkny's question, the daughter at home is 30 years old (she is the youngest), never married with two children. And yes, he could help her move to her own place, but she's comfortable and has no interest in doing that. He has hinted to me that it's time for her to do that, but he hasn't said anything to her and I certainly haven't encouraged it because I know it would seem that I'm the reason behind it. To be honest, I'd rather leave her in the house because I am also worried about living in a home where I may be made to feel unwelcome and uncomfortable. And heaven forbid I express a desire to make any changes in the decor(which I hate). The daughters have already divided their mother's personal things between the three of them, so that's not an issue.

I have never tried to cut down on any time they spend with him (would never do that). I try to include them in some of our activities (they always have reasons they can't). I have tried talking to them one on one, and letting them know that I am aware that I could NEVER replace their mother... and I know that what their parents had was very special. But I tell them that their Dad has enough love for all of us. There is an 8 year difference in ages, and one statement they've made is that there is no way a woman this young would be interested in their dad (I am 48, so I'm hardly a young I'll keep being patient and talking to him so that we're all on the same page. And thanks, redheadedstepchild, for the names of the books. I'll check them out.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 6:26PM
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Well, if talking hasn't helped, maybe writing them a loving note. Explain everything you've said above and add that you all have a common goal - Dad's happiness - even though you come at it from different directions. He'll always be their Dad, etc.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 4:38PM
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Twenty years ago, I married a widower with adult children. I speak from experience that a prenuptual agreement is ESSENTIAL! If I had it to do all over again, I would insist on it. My Sweetheart (yes he is still my Sweetheart) said we didn't need one because being Catholic meant divorce was not a consideration. What I didn't realize at the time was that prenuptuals are not only useful in case of divorce, but essential in case of the death of a partner.

I also would advise not completely trusting his children right away. Smile and be polite and kind, but be VERY cautious in your relationships with his children for a few years. One of my Sweetheart's daughters was so friendly and kind to me at first, but she turned out to be an absolute Barracuda! I wish I had been wiser at the start and not so trusting. Nothing about his family is as it had appeared while we were dating and engaged. On the surface, they all seem quite nice and normal. I did get an early warning. When my husband's daughter-in-law had a bit too much to drink, she warned me that things were not as they seemed and to always watch my back. She also told me that they were all seriously nuts, especially the younger daughter! I wish I had believed her at the time! Would have saved me a lot of heartache. She was right on. She managed to get away from the family a few years back. Smart girl, I'm still in contact with her.

I made the big mistake of ratting out the Barracuda to her brothers and sister a year ago last July. The family had decided to clean up their Dad's garden (not my garden, you understand, I just live with their Dad) while he was in hospital having heart surgery. The Barracuda talked her brother into ripping out a hedge. The same hedge SHE had tried to remove the year before that her Dad told her he didn't want removed. They had words at the time. So, she conned her brother into doing it without him knowing that his Dad didn't want it taken out. I was so upset that she would want to hurt her Dad. And I told her siblings what she had done. And I was the one who had to prepare my Sweetheart for his big 'surprise' while he was still in hospital. His physicians had stressed to all of us and to my Sweetheart that he not get excited or upset in any way. He did get upset, but I managed to calm him and convince him that it wasn't important. At least he was still in hospital in case something went wrong.

Anyway, the Barracuda has absolutely HATED me ever since and has done everything she can to hurt me. I haven't said anything to her Dad about her year long campaign of nastiness, lies and hatefulness. He knows exactly what I told her brothers and sister about her. I was completely honest about that. But I cannot bring myself to tell him anything about what she has done to me and the trouble she has caused me with the rest of the family. I can't blame any of her siblings for believing her. She really has a talent for twisting things to her favor. It would cause problems and heartache for my Sweetheart and more trouble for me than I want to think about. At this point, the general consensus of the family is to tolerate me 'because she makes Dad happy'. I suppose that is where I stand in relation to them, I tolerate them because my Sweetheart loves THEM.

I HAVE taken legal precautions in case my Sweetheart should pass away before I do. Everything is in two trusts, one for his family and one for mine. If he survives me, he will remain in his house and my family will inherit my estate. If I survive him, I will walk away, sorry, I will RUN LIKE THE WIND away from his house and his family taking only what I brought into our marriage and what I have accumulated in our twenty years together. The only thing keeping me here and dealing with his family is that I love my Sweetheart way too much to ever be without him.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 1:21AM
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I am in a very similar situation. I am engaged to a man who's wife passed away 3+ years ago, he has 3 adult children (a daughter 29yrs, and 2 sons 25 and 27 yrs). I have 4 girls (21 yrs, 19yrs, 17yrs, and 13yrs); my 2 youngest girls live with their dad. His daughter moved back home with her 6 year old from her first marriage and her 2nd husband about a year and a half ago. Her husband doesn't have a steady job; he basically works "under the table" 1-2 days a week. She doesn't have a job; she gets child support for her daughter, and food stamps. Now for the crazy part, they don't give my fianca dime towards bills, they buy food and tell him not to touch it, they trash the house and don't clean, she is so very disrespectful, she curses him and calls him out of his name daily (sometimes several times a day). It is mind blowing; some of the things I hear come out of her mouth, towards her father (eg: I hate you, I wish you were dead, I wish you weren't my father). Never mind she and her family are living rent free in HIS home.
His youngest son lives at home also, he works 3rd shift at the same plant with his father and I, but he has created so many bills of his own, he to doesn't help his father with the household bills. His oldest son is married and on his own. The youngest son treats me fairly, the oldest son came around eventually, and he didn't really have any issues with me except the fact that I wasn't his mother.
His daughter on the other hand is a HANDFUL. She flat out told me that if she had anything to do with the situation, I wouldn't be here. She finds reasons to throw my name and my children into arguments that the starts with her father, stating that if it weren't for me things would be different, or if it were my children, he would allow some of the things he tells her not to do. The youngest son has said that too. If they knew my kids they would know that my children, RESPECT people, their homes and their belongings, they clean up behind themselves, they have NEVER cursed me or called me out of my name.
We discussed the pre-nup idea I am for it, and he is strongly against it. He doesn't have a lot of money or anything; they are only worried about their motherÂs personal belongings and sentimental items around the house. I have stated on several occasions that I don't want any of their mother's personal belongings, pictures jewelry, etc...That is just weird, I would think. He has told her that she is more than welcome to what she wants of her mothers, but as long as she is living at home, they will stay right where they are. He has expressed to me and to her several times, that he wants her to move out, but he doesn't stick to it and I donÂt understand why. She is just so conflicting and mean. She and her husband never speak to him unless they want something or unless she is trying to pick a fight with him, it's so frustrating.
I am personally tired of cleaning this house 5-6 days out of the week. We work 4-10 hour nights a week on 3rd shift. When we wake up, we clean up her and her daughters messes. His basement where she sleeps and keeps all her belongings, is trashed, and if she says "I'm gonna..." or "I was gonna..." one more time I'm "GONNA" scream. I love this man with all my heart, mind, body, and soul and I am not going anywhere. She needs to realize that and start dealing with the fact that I am here "forever" as he and I always say to each other.
I am told and I over hear her trash talking me all the time, but in my face she acts very fake. So I told him a week ago, and she over-heard me because she was lurking around corners, that the next time she approached me, I was going to tell her to not speak to me at all if she is going to be fake, I will not tolerate her being 2-faced and back stabbing with me or my girls. Since then she is very cold, stuck up and rude.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 2:04PM
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Oh for crying out loud! Stop babying this 30 year old. It is time for her/them to grow up, get out on her own and learn how to fend for herself. You aren't doing her any favors by allowing her to avoid responsibility for her own life. The old man doesn't know what to do and the girls have been using him for years! They couldn't care less about "HIM".

Is there not a single adult on the planet that actually loves their parents anymore?

You and he deserve to be happy, let those self entitled almost MIDDLE AGED age ladies figure out their own lives.

Men! So easy to make them feel guilty about daddy's not so little girls 8-)

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 8:01PM
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Yes! I love my dad. I'm in my early 30's and would not dream of living with him!!!!!!!! Unless, of course, he needed help or something.

Honestly, I don't think my dad's "estate" is going to me, it will probably go to my smom. And y'know what? IT'S HIS MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If he wants to give it to the Humane Society it's his right. Not that I wouldn't like to have money, but it's not mine.

Self-indulgence indeed! Who has the "right" to their parent's money??????

I really don't understand people sometimes.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 8:16PM
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"Many of the SMs here think that adult children should be out of the house, but many families allow and enjoy their children at home."

KKNY, as a stepmother, the only reason I would want an of age stepchild out of the house is if they are intent on wreaking havoc in the marriage. My stepchildren tried very hard to come between my husband and myself. (he was custodial parent) I don't think it was about me per se it seemed mostly about trying to get back something they lost and were grieving over. I took it personally until I stepped back and gained a more objective perspective as to where they were coming from. They are 27 and 24 now and both treat me with courtesy and I treat them. I really think giving a situation time and patience is just common sense...As for the thirty year old that the OP speaks about, that can be complicated because she probably feels even more territorial about her home. As simple as this may sound,I honestly think some time and open conversation can make a world of difference.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 9:54AM
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i agree with colleen. 30-year-old is a grown independent woman and she does not need babying. you deserve happiness wiht your DH even if adults kids don't like it. oh well. too bad. let them deal with it. they have to have their own life and leave their dad to have his.

and yes i find it dispicable when adult children demand money from their parents or argue over inheritance. i find it amazing how 30-year-old people do not have their own lives! as much as I love my parents, I hardly have any time to inetrfer in what they do! and at 30 I was even more busy wiht my life.

sometimes loving your parents and children means letting them go. his daughters have to grow up and let their dad go and enjouy life. and if he does not stand up for hismelf then maybe you should move on and let him deal wiht his ungrateful DDs.

some adult kids just make me mad!!! honestly neither I nor X ever ask DD if she is OK with who we date or marry. frankly it simply is not her life. it is ours.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 11:15AM
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The problem with adult stepchildren is that they don't want to see their inheritance going to the second wife. I don't think a prenup is in order to satisfy adult children. If the two of you want a prenup, then get one..but, don't get one to please the children.

I would not marry a man who did not intend to leave his pension to me. There's no question that he would have left his pension to his first wife, why not the second?

In remarriage, estates can be tricky. He can set aside some money for his daughters into a trust, but the bulk of the estate should go to you. To my child, I will pass on whatever my parents leave me. Anything I make in the marriage would be divided between my child and stepkids. All of that can be crafted into a will.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 2:06PM
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Every marriage is differnt. I think the most important thing about money is open communication. My X transferred about 1/2 of his pension to me upon divorce, but I was married to him during most of his working years. I dont think it is always right to say the bulk of the estate should go to widow. There are a lot of variables, including lenght of marraige, etc. I think people should discuss this before marriage.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 3:17PM
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i would pay close attention to how he handles the situation, most guys can't stand up to their kids. if he can't...that is when i would run. if the two of you could afford to buy a new home together it would prevent a lot of problems regarding "his" home.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 5:16PM
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My head hurts from reading some of these posts supporting the "rights" of adult children. It seems like these rights always revolve around money.

Yes, get a pre-nup. Make sure that you get one to protect YOUR ASSETS if you pre-decease him, (something skids don't think about a lot) as well as any assets you build together.
Don't think that a pre-nup or anything else like that is going to necessarily smooth the path of a relationship with them. As said above, take it slow, let trust be earned for the first few years, don't expect instant friendship or any sense of a family connection for a long time. Do you want to live with the 30 year old and her kids? Leave aside what this adult wants, needs, and expects. Don't get married if the living situation is not right for you and your husband. He is good to help his daughter that way but that's a bit much to take on in a new marriage.

If the adult skids are secure in themselves with their own developed lives it will be easier to have good relationships. A 30 year old at dad's with two kids has needs and you will be competition in their eyes for that fulfillment. This is tough advice to give but it might be better to wait on a marriage until your fiance has sorted through some things with his kids first.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 4:41PM
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I am a 27 yo woman and my mother passed away June of last year (2008) after a long battle with cancer. My mother was my best friend.

I'm not concerned about the money issue, whatever my father wants to do with his money is his choice. However, what I do take issue with is the fact that he is dating so soon after. I absolutely want my father to be happy, however, I feel as though he is not in the right mind set to be dating so soon.

It just seems hypocritical for him to be dating when he is also saying how my mother was the love of his life. It just seems that he hasn't learned how to cope being alone and is just looking for a "replacement." He is just concerned about not having someone to hold his hand and kiss and comfort him.

My father asked me to meet his new girlfriend who is 4 years older than I am, looked my age, and could barely speak English. It was the most horrible experience. She was condescending and called me "sweetheart" and said how I must not like being single and how I was a "tough New York girl." She was also already telling him what he should and shouldn't eat and I could see him happily doting on her. It disgusted me because it looked like she was the one who was after him for his money. She even asked me to take her along to fashion week parties because she wants to get into fashion. Why would a woman want to date him when he is so vulnerable?

I am trying to be understanding but the thought of my father dating someone so close to my age disgusts me. My father is young at 51 and looks even younger, probably 40 or so. And yes, I do want him to be happy, but I feel as though he needs to learn how to cope with being alone before he goes trolling on the internet for women.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 2:40AM
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Sounds really gross, and I'm sorry to hear it. I guess this is a common enough scenario to be almost a cliche, and it especially stinks when it's your parent and it affects your life and relationship with that parent. I can relate to the feeling of disgust and alienation ---as can several posters on this forum--- when all signs point to you being more mature than the person your parent is making an ass of themselves over. I've had much time to try and process my own feelings about situations like this and to try and figure out a way it *doesn't* have to be doomed to utter torture and/or a major family schism and profound sense of loss.

Indeed a lot does depend on the new love interest and how clueless and insensitive they wanna get about it all, but it also depends on the parent's sense of awareness and effort and it also depends on you being as classy and open-minded as you can possibly allow yourself to be. It's basically a "three way street", then, if the new scenario is going to be painless or at least tolerable. No doubt countless situations exist where one or more of the three makes it damn near friggin' impossible to be civil, usually because someone in the triad overasserts their own sense of importance and insists on dominating the entire situation. Or, since that is usually not done by the parent in the middle, torture ensues because the parent takes no responsibility whatsoever for putting BOTH the kid(s) AND the new love interest in an obviously awkward situation and makes no efforts to handle the transitions properly.

As another old cliche goes, you can't control the actions of others, you can only control yourself. Or more precisely, you can only control the one-third of this situation that is you and your attitude and behavior. No guarantee that this will help a lick if Dad is determined to bury his head completely in the sand and/or "Sweetheart" is determined to be an ignorant daughter-substitute of a princess. And there's absolutely no imperative to turn the other cheek or bend over and take crap indefinitely. You can only do what you can do, and anyone's patience and tolerance can only go so far.

But I would say at least make the effort to try and open your mind to your Dad being able to date again. No, it hasn't yet been a year since your Mom passed away, and that is always going to be a difficult loss for you to bear. There's really no way around these circumstances being difficult for you to automatically accept, and anyone should understand that. But your Dad is still young and you yourself know he has a right to his happiness.

Where the line should get drawn as to what you will/won't accept is if it should unfortunately come to pass that the circumstances of your Dad's happiness (his being with this woman) ever causes you direct and obvious unhappiness (i.e. she starts being a b!tch to you and/or trying to cut you out of his life). That's when you have a right to speak up and to say: "I have tried to have an open mind and to resist forming any preconceptions about Sweetheart, and I absolutely respect your need to find love and happiness again. But she has not shown the same respect or consideration for me and thus now it's directly impinging on my happiness and my relationship with you as your daughter. Basically, as long as she doesn't try to run my life, I will in no way resist her running yours if that's what you want her to do. You did choose her after all, and you are obviously okay with the way she treats you. But I'm not okay with the way she treats me, and this is what we all need to collectively work through and straighten out."

But until that time may come, for now simply take internal note of the various obnoxious things Sweetheart does and pay attention to some red flags and to your instincts. But do it internally for the time being and recognize, too, that you are also very understandably going to be predisposed to not like the woman because of the circumstances. Try to find something likeable about her that you can bond over. By no means allow her to snake her way into anything having to do with your career or personal business, but if she likes fashion, talk shoes. Share some jokes, ask her about where she's from. Really give it an honest try, and if she ends up condemning herself out of her own mouth or by her own actions, so be it. YOU will have honestly tried.

Give it some more time and make sure you pat yourself on the back for being as gracious as you can possibly be about everything, so that at the very least YOU do not have to feel like you've done anything wrong. Because if she really turns out to be a b!tch, rest assured she will try to convince everyone around that you DID do something wrong. If you know damn well that you didn't, you will always have that and you will know that you faced the situation with dignity. I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 9:07AM
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When his daughter said 'she wasn't ready' She was not thinking of her father. Lol..she was thinking of herself and where would she go now if daddy remarried.
1. she's 30 years old and its time to leave the nest. 2 kids, no husband..mmmmmm...responsible eh?
2. I think her fahter has helped her enough.
3. the man you are dating is old enough to make his own decisions and he's hinted on her leaving...she's just taking advantage now and her father is too much a push over to get her out.
If you are going ot marry this man.,
1. dont sweat the kids, they are his problem. Wifes family should button their comments to themselves and the man your dating should put his foot down with them.
2. Sign a prenup....make sure all is clear.
3. New life? = new house...a house that both of you buy together with both your money. This house is between you two and not the kids on either side of your families. Not yours, not his.
Kids should stop assuming that whatever is dad's is automatically their. BIG MISTAKE. Its his money and if he chooses not to give it to his kids and give it to a bartender because he feels that person is more deserving and its HIS wishes...then so be it.
THe new house will take care of many problems.
a. Its new and it between the both of you.
b. 30 year old daugther will have no choice but to move out and find her place or buy the old house that is up for sale....and no people..he does not have to give her the old house she grew up with. Its his to sell and so what he pleases.
c. There is no stepping on toes in the new house, disrespect taken from any family, unintentially..if done by accident to disrespect his deceased wife.
My father did this. My mother died and the wife he married also lost her husband but they bought a new place. And there was no doubt on either side with any of the kids that their place was ownership..or entitlement for a place where kids grow up.
I cannot stress this more ...and say again. New life: New house.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 2:03PM
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Sweet3643 posted about a year and a half ago. Hopefully she made good decisions (such as "new life = new house", which is sage advice) and her situation worked out.

It would be nice to see more 'updates' from people who've posted a long time ago... if any of you are reading, let us all know how things turned out!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 3:00PM
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lol...i usually chekc the date ...but yah, you are right! Its been a looong time.:)
I wonder how she is doing?
Give us a shout if your out there!!!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 3:16PM
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I would have a good talk with my future husband about how you feel, about the daughter living there, for how long and about loans to the children. A pre-nup will protect his assets for his children, but I don't think it will help with how they feel about you. If you can afford it I would recommend you buy a new home together, that way it will be yours or his depending on who dies first. There will never be any question about who's house it is if you deed it right. I moved into my husbands home but it was a rental and his children weren't worried about getting what Dad had. I thought they would be when he died, but turns out I worried for nothing.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 4:27PM
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Isn't it amazing how we can read a post from someone else, and the red flags are all over the place, and glaring, and you know that there is no way that this is going to have a happy ending, and yet when it is our own situation, we fail to see the red flags, that are glaring to everyone else???

Blinded by love, or wistful thinking, I guess.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 10:37PM
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Isn't it amazing how we can read a post from someone else, and the red flags are all over the place, and glaring, and you know that there is no way that this is going to have a happy ending, and yet when it is our own situation, we fail to see the red flags, that are glaring to everyone else???

Blinded by love, or wistful thinking, I guess.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 10:38PM
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I Googled "adult children who hate their fathers for remarrying", and that's how I came across this thread. I could be the dad she was writing about. I lost my wife to cancer four months ago. My wife had been sick for years with various maladies, and finally terminal cancer. I had been a faithful companion and provider. Now that I'm seeing someone, my adult children are rejecting me. They are very angry when I try to organize get-togethers. I've found someone that I really care about, and who cars about me. I'm tired of trying to "blend" with my adult children. I'm not angry with my adult children, I'm just tired of their angry and hateful words.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 10:15AM
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I'm sorry for the loss of your wife. Four months does not seem like a long time to wait to begin seeing someone new, so I can understand if that is one of the reasons you kids have a problem with it. However, my uncle lost his wife of 49 years a couple of years ago and began dating almost immediately and married about a year later. I think as we get older, we realize how short life is and spend less time mourning loss, whether it's death or divorce. His wife had also been ill for years and he also faithfully cared for and provided for her. But, he didn't want to be alone and he was in his 70's. Seeing him now, with his new wife, he is lively and youthful, I've never seen him like this. He seems happier and he probably is, he is not caring for an ill person like during his marriage. I don't know how his adult children feel about it, but they are in their 40's and have their own lives. But, I can also imagine how it might be hard to see your parent happier with someone else, especially so soon after losing their mom.

I don't know if it would do any good, but if I were you, I'd tell my kids that their mother will always live in your heart and how much you loved her but they have families of their own and you want someone to spend the rest of your life with. If you had gone first, you would not have wanted your wife to spend the rest of her life alone. I might even tell them that I just want to see them happy and I hope they'd want the same for me. They are not 'children' and they understand... and they will understand better when their children begin to have relationships.

I assume you didn't 'choose' their spouses and they didn't get your stamp of approval. Well, I hope you like their choices but the reality is that we don't get to choose who our children choose. I would not try to 'blend' them but I would tell them that they are welcome to visit me anytime & I hope to see them on holidays/celebrations. I would also tell them that I'm sorry they feel that way but they are not going to be allowed to say angry and hurtful things to me about someone I care about.

If you have been critical of their choices or said angry/hurtful things about their choices in relationships, they may feel entitled to do so now with you.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 11:52AM
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Hi all,

I stumbled across this thread while trying to learn how to deal with a similar situation. For the past month and a half, I have been seeing someone who has grown children (a daughter 39 and a son 37). I'm a 50 year old divorcee, whereas he is 62. After 40 years of marriage, his late wife died 2 years ago after an extended battle with cancer.

Let me say at the outset that I have a good career, need nothing of a monetary nature from the dad, and the last thing I would do is take anything away from the children. (I was in a similar situation as they when my dad remarried, leaving everything of my mother's and maternal grandmother's at his death to the witch he remarried; therefore, I am sensitive to their concerns.)

The daughter lives on the other side of the country, but we have talked on the telephone once or twice and although not totally thrilled, she seems happy that her father has found someone and acted graciously towards me.

The son, on the other hand, is a different story. He lives about 3 hours away, and I have met him (and his family) twice at his father's vacation home. Both times the tension was extremely hostile. The son is a corporate professional, so I assumed he would at least be a bit more gracious than he has been. Dad has had several intense conversations with his son regarding me and the fact that I am hopefully going to be a part of his life for a long time.

We are too new to even think about anything approaching marriage, but spend about four evenings a week together because of how much we enjoy each other's company, although we don't blatantly advertise this fact to the kids. I don't know whether the son feels threatened over his mother's memory or fear that his dad is going to be taken advantage of or that he resents the fact his dad is moving forward with his life.

How does one cope with this? I've never dated a widower, so this is new ground for me. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 12:16PM
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It would seem it is all of the above. "Home" to us all in our mind is a mom and dad who love us, and will be there for matter what. When a parent is widowed, and then begins dating/married, we not only lose the parent, and are grieving, but we always lose that sense of "home" as we have always known it to be. It does not matter how old we are, there is still something about "home" for most of us. And with a new person in the picture, it is forever changed. It will never again "feel" like the "home" we have always felt safe, knowing it was there. There is now this new person there. And the parent is different, somehow. Not the parent we are used to seeing, but this parent who seems "different somehow". And so while grieving the loss of the parent who died, one must also grieve the loss of the parent who is living, because they have changed, and they no longer feel like the parent we have always known (and counted on) them to be.

On top of it all, is that in grief, many widowers I would imagine, ignore all the red flags, and perhaps do marry the wrong person, making it all so much worse. In their loneliness, or their anxiousness to fill the void left in their life, they are too quick to marry anyone who comes along, right or wrong. And to expect their adult children to celebrate this is really asking too much.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 1:49PM
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By his own admission, after his late wife died, he spent the two years working on becoming a better person and figuring out himself. I have no frame of reference regarding the person he was before we met, but I've been told by others that, perhaps partially thanks to my presence, he has "a smile in his walk" now and is much more easy-going in life. He has told me that it wouldn't matter if I were Mother Theresa or a 30 year old blonde bimbo, that he feels his son would react the same. I keep telling myself it's not me personally, but it's difficult when I've never done anything in my life to warrant such a reaction in anyone. My own son is 24, and would never dream of acting like that towards anyone I was spending time with, mainly because he would respect my intelligence in who I chose to see.

I guess time will be our best ally.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 2:06PM
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Interesting thread. Sweet, it really sounds like your man cannot stand up to his 30 year old daughter. Maybe you've already seen it but there is a movie out called, "Mama's Boy", and "Step-brothers". You should rent both of them and watch them with your man. My DH and I did watch them, my teenage son lives with us he saw them with us. The three of us laughed our head off. We did not recommend them to my DHs 2 adult daughters because they have had their noses out of joint since our marriage. My other 2 kids saw the movies too and all make comments about how SH24 and SD25 would be mad if they saw the movie. It was a family joke for a while, even my husband thought it was funny. The movie might force the adult SDs to see how ridiculous their view of their Dads remarriage actually is.

This is a little personal, but there is NO WAY that my husband would want any of our adult children living with us. We have a 17 year old son here, and we're counting the days until he leaves for the Marine Corps (and so is he, it is healthy to feel that way). We enjoy afternoon sex, and we're not quiet about it......... Enough said, another adult in our home would be about as welcome as a sewer backup! And shouldn't she be entertaining friends her age too?

A pre-nup is a good idea, but not to cut yourself out to everything, like his daughters would want. What he does with his estate is not their business. As many have said, he could give it to the Humane Society or the bartender, (and it would probably be better spent). The pre-nup should protect your assets. I assume that you're bringing something in to the marriage too. Someone posted that she wouldn't marry a man who wouldn't leave his pension to her. Really that is right. In the first marriage if Dad dies, then it goes to Mom (not the kids). Why should it go to the kids in a second marriage?

Also, someone suggested telling adult children of the widower that their Mother would always "be first" in Dad's heart, even if he remarried. This is wrong! My Aunt was a widow, and remarried. She loved each husband. I think it is wrong to imply that the first wife should get a higher place in his heart than the second wife. They each will be loved differently, one should not be higher or first. It's not a contest. I have a girlfriend who is dating a widower, and he told her that ______ would always have first place in his heart. That would be a deal breaker for me! My girlfriend is thinking of leaving him too. She feels like she is not what he really wanted, but what he "settled for". What a horrible way to start a relationship.

One last thought. As far as selling the house to buy a different house that is your, well it will be bought with the cash from his present home. So I don't think this will really settle anything. I have HUGE perrennial, English Cottage gardens that would cost me probably $40,000 to replace. I have worked on them for years, they are my pride and joy. I could sell this house and buy a different one so that everyone felt more neutral, but it would still be bought with the money from the sale of this home. Unless of course you sell his home, give the money to his kids, then take out a new mortgage for yourselves. That is the only way that it can be truly "your" house together. And that is ridiculous!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 2:11PM
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I would not marry a man who did not intend to leave his pension to me. There's no question that he would have left his pension to his first wife, why not the second?

Honestly, I don't think my dad's "estate" is going to me, it will probably go to my smom. And y'know what? IT'S HIS MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If he wants to give it to the Humane Society it's his right. Not that I wouldn't like to have money, but it's not mine.

and yes i find it dispicable when adult children demand money from their parents or argue over inheritance. i find it amazing how 30-year-old people do not have their own lives! as much as I love my parents, I hardly have any time to inetrfer in what they do! and at 30 I was even more busy wiht my life.

I pretty much agree with all these statements. I think no child should COUNT on money from parents. The remaining spouse should be taken care of first since they are probably left with jointly akrewed bills. It's no fair that the second wife should be stuck with medical bills, funeral costs and a mortgage while the adult kids go on vacations with daddy's pension which, let's face it, is exactly what would happen. This wouldn't even be questioned in the case of firsts wives so I have a hard time understanding why being the second wife would chenge that? The kid's are no more intitled to money either way. The second wife/husband is no less widowed and in need of financial help.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 2:30PM
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I have run into the same situation as many of you. I am dating a widower as I am one myself. I can be very comfortable without anyone elses money, my deceased husband made sure I was taken care of plus I still work and make a fare salary.

My man is about to retire, he is a wonderful man, a great father and grandfather. His children are all grown 3 sons and one daughter who lives close by. I didn't know until just a few days ago how she actually felt. She hasn't said anything but her actions are speaking loud. She has children but never married so he has pretty much been their dad and her best friend.
Now I'm in the picture and it's non stop phone calling about everything she does. The other day we went out and he did not return home when she wanted him there, she and the grandson called continuous demanding when would he be home, we were almost there but they continued to call. She was waiting outside the house and angry with him. She showed such disrespect for him, I knew then it was me.

Today he was going to help me do something but at the last minute she needed him because she had a problem. I can understand her fear maybe, but I think she is just so attached to dad that she is now seeing he is fond of me and I believe that is not sitting well with her. I asked him if she was ok with us and he said yes but I know him and he can't see how she feels. I really care for him but I do not want to be in the middle, I don't want to compete nor should I have to. I honestly think she needs to find someone she can share her life with and not depend on dad for all her support and conversations.

What is my alternative??? It saddens me so much, I have sons and they are protective but they are happy for me. I am not sure what to do.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 1:36AM
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Hmm..interesting thread.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 9:22PM
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My love interest is wildly in love with me and has let me know he'd like us to be married by the end of the year. That would be over a year and a half after his former wife died. It's been about 8 months now. We've known each other for years from having worked together, and we talked since before she died about work matters as I'd asked for a reference and asked how she was doing. I helped him get through the aftermath of her death, and he talked me through something I was facing, and we got close. Well, we realized that we're very much alike in our nature, though we on the surface seem different as I'm more corporate and he's more Army.

The thing is, we've gotten so close from a distance, and I told him for us to be together, he had to move across the country. He's starting the preparations. That means kicking his departed wife's son out of his house he's been living in rent free for years as a thirty-something man who won't do yardwork or painting--and selling the house. It means downsizing their household belongings. it means moving out of the house he and his departed lived in with her oldest daughter while that daughter's husband largely worked out of town.

As you might guess, the oldest daughter of the departed thinks no one is good enough to "replace her mom" and that it's "too soon." She'll lose his companionship, all the housework he does, probably some expenses he pays, and her role in his life--which has been some of the things her husband would be doing if he was around. When he told her he was moving out here to be with me, she objected. He said he was doing it. I told him that that's typical and she's just got her mom on a pedestal and doesn't to lose that semipseudospousal relationship they have in part by him being her confidant, dishwasher, launderer, cleaner, man in the house, etc.

Well, she's milder in her reluctance than a lot of adult daughters are, but it does lead me to trust, like, and respect her a bit less because it's a bit selfish of her to say that when she doesn't know me and is saying it directly to him. No matter how much she in adores him, why would she think I am not good enough? I'm as sacrificial, kind, loving, smart, hardworking, etc. as he is and in some ways moreso, and he knows it. He thinks he's not good enough for me. That's not my viewpoint. He's very loving and loyal. But, he does benefit from coaching in some areas. While the oldest daughter of the departed plies him with greasy lasagna and Mexican food, I coach him to eat super healthy to reverse his heart disease. While she encourages him to vegetate in his recliner, I get him to the gym and out walking from across the country. While she encourages him to take a minimum wage job (versus his experience and masters degree) I hook him up with small business mentors so he can start a consulting business. He has a retirement income but was taking care of her mom for years full time due to the cancer.

It's silly to compare the dead wife with the one he wants to marry next, but this notion of me not being good enough is silly considering that I'm heavily pursued by very accomplished men for my brains, personality, accomplishments, as well as other assets. There's not a competition. She's dead and in the ground, as tactless as that may sound. I'm here and that's better. But, I'm also someone he truly adores and who has earned his trust and love.

I reject the idea that a man who loses his beloved wife always would prefer to be with her but will marry "to have companionship." That makes it sound as though the current lover or wife is a consolation prize he'd dump in a minute if he could get the other one back. In truth, no matter how good a former marriage was, the surviving spouse may go on to find someone that brings out the best in them in ways the other women didn't, whom they love even more, and who is to them "the love of their life." That doesn't diminish what they had before, but there is no law in the universe that says that the first one was the real marriage and the next one is just an arrangement to keep him company since he bring the dead one back to life.

Yes, there are men who think and act like that, and there are families who promote that. Dump them. Let them live in their dysfunction. If a man is living in the past and doesn't value your presence enough to make you his one and only and establish boundaries over everything with the rest of his family, he's not worth your time. Finances should be determined together.

I'm not moving to be near him. He's moving to be near me. I'm not going to let him move in with me. I'm going to require him to rent a house for us both to live in at first with separate bedrooms while he dates me and we see how it is to be together. It's too expensive here to really want to have separate places, so I'm willing to live together with him at first, but I expect him to date me, pursue me, respect the boundaries I set, put a protective bounary around me for his family to see, and to work with me to develop a written financial plan for how we would manage our finances as a married couple, not as him with his kids and me with my kid.

I'm completely unwilling to marry someone who expects me to get the leftovers after he sets aside money for his kids. I expect him to have a plan for how his pension will go to me when he dies if he dies first, a plan for how he's going to support me comfortably, a firm agreement not to send money to kids without agreement, an agreed inheritance plan for us both, etc. before I'd marry him. Any man who doesnt' want me to have a paid for house and pension as well as life insurance is not worth my time. And any man who gives his adult children say in what our relationship can be is not worth my thoughts or attention.

Why are there so many women out there willing to spend so much time with men who can't set boundaries with their children? A mature man will let the kids know where they stop and he starts and the kids won't cross him. My suggestion is to back way off out of range of the drama and tell him that when he creates a warm, welcoming, safe zone where you're the one every knows to respect and warm and kind to if they want to be on dad's good side, then you'll come closer again. If he can't or wont' do that, release him to his dysfunction and enjoy your freedom or find a real man.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2015 at 1:15AM
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i would like to speak from experience as someone who has seen close relatives through several marriages and as many divorces. Its really really hard for kids, of any age, to see firstly the parent they love die from illness, then to see them "replaced" and then lastly, to feel compelled to leave their family home...or worse, kicked out of it and actually told to stop grieving for your dead mother, she's gone now, I've met someone else! Its like you are in a sweetie shop, i've had that one, great, next one please! kids feel years and years, after such an event, that the events blew out of their control, their world changed overnight, and was blown apart. of course there ARE very happy blended/stepfamilies, call them what you want, but in these rare cases, stepparents actively encourage stepchildren to see their widowed parent on their own, for "quality time", which is very important, remain polite and respectful at all times, dont critisise current family members, deceased or Exes, , and allow plenty of time for grieving. Dont underestimate this last line. I was allowed about a month to grieve for a deceased parent..... I went to counsellors who told me allow about 10-15 year on average for a combination of grieving, getting over the whole anger/sadness emotions before ANY stepfamily have a chance for complete happiness, if any members of that blended family are STILL grieving. The trouble starts when people are still grieving but others are oblivious to their suffering whilst they are in their loved up state. I assure you the Honeymoon period of a second marriage can come to an abrupt end if you are not very mindful of this fact. As for finances...a prenup isnt valid in many countries so i think a professionally drawn up will dividing assets fairly amongst everyone in the event of death is the only way forward and for everyone to know where they stand BEFORE the marriage. Its no good arguing about money over a coffin but that's what usually happens, the only winners in these cases being partners of the law firms. Sorry to sound so negative but if you can follow this practical advice and go into marriage with your eyes wide open instead of half shut like we did, you have every chance of happiness and everyone from stepparents to stepkids, being in an equal position to be happy.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2015 at 7:42AM
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** I'm completely unwilling to marry someone who expects me to get the leftovers after he sets aside money for his kids. I expect him to have a plan for how his pension will go to me when he dies if he dies first, a plan for how he's going to support me comfortably, a firm agreement not to send money to kids without agreement, an agreed inheritance plan for us both, etc. before I'd marry him.**

YIKES! Gold-digger, much? Why should the "jane-come-lately" be the primary beneficiary of this man's (and his former wife's) hard work building their nest egg? For the sake of this poor man and his kids, let one of those "very accomplished men" capture you.

2 Likes    Bookmark   February 18, 2015 at 7:48AM
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Piggyinthemiddle, thank you for your thoughtful, mature, and helpful response. It's challenging at times to filter through the trolls to get to the sincere, intelligent responses. I completely agree with all you have said. This is why I've asked my love to carefully consider his feelings in all regards, to talk to his old friends, to take the time he needs, but to also be open and honest with me. He's becoming more aware of his own feelings and needs as we talk and as time goes on. As is very common for caregivers, he's put his own needs aside, as I did for 19 years when raising my child solo without help or income from anything other than my work, and I had to do that while homeschooling him for most of that time due to his exceptional needs. So, I know what it's like putting your feelings and needs on the back burner for a very long time. He's learning to recognize his needs and feelings, and we're both learning a lot about each other in the process. In fact, he's coming out to visit this week, and it's really a great thing. We hadn't planned to get together for a while yet as we're so focused individually on things we need to do. That's the way caregivers are, but due to something I needed to do and he wanted to help me with, he said he wanted to come. Neither of us was "ready" but we're both excited about it. We've been friends for a long time, and I told him that we need to just be those friends and not worry about the romantic parts of things unless we both want to at the time. I really think he needs that freedom to just be together without the romance, but you know he's the romantic one and is very unlikely to resist. He's sent me roses and chocolate covered strawberries and edible arrangements and gifts and so on. He just can't really help himself. I'm as romantic as he is later in the relationship, but he's the overt one through and through. I knew about his marriage, and I always admired it. He knew about my relationships with friends and my child and always admired it. We have very similar family values, and his family except for the one older "daughter"--the dead wife's oldest--who he lives with now, is friending me and very friendly with me. I have to hold off one of them as she prefers to go through me and that's not the way we need to do it.

As for the money things, every responsible adult plans their retirement and looks realistically at their income versus current and future responsibilities. I stand to make a very nice sum of money over the next ten years, and I'll have to do it either single or with a supportive partner. This man has a lifestyle that has become a waiting lifestyle due to his caretaking of his wife, who died. Some of the other responders didn't pick up on the fact that she is dead. His first wife left him twenty years ago. He supported her and the kids for years, but she is remarried, and the kids are grown. He's helping to support two adult kids though they don't need his help at all. My income potentially could be greatly diminished if I were to marry him as he would expect a lot of time from me that I would normally be working essentially a lot of overtime in my business. It's sad that the trolls misinterpreted my legitimate concerns about retirement income as golddigging. In our society, we assume that women deserve nothing really or that only the first wife deserves anything. It's as though the years I would spend likely nursing him would be nothing. He's a heart patient that I've already helped vastly improve his health, but he is not a great student of health and it's very time consuming even from a distance. To marry someone that you know you'll be nursing likely for years is to me to know that my ability to rebuild my retirement income that I used to take care of my son's unsual educational needs when schools could not meet them will be severely hampered. I could be left with next to nothing just as I reach retirement age and be impoverished if I marry this man without us having a realistic plan. It's very sad that some women would trash another woman for being responsible and planning ahead. My son stands to make three times as much as both of his natural children combined, but I never feel we should depend on our children to provide for us as they will have their own responsibilities and may have special needs to care for just as I did with my son.

I totally agree that both parties need to have their eyes wide open. That is why I have no qualms in talking about anything with him, not necessarily all at once, but over time. That's also one reason why I tell him that we really can't make longterm decisions until we live close to or with eachother for a significant amount of time. There are things we both need to share with each other that aren't appropriate over the phone, for example. And, we have to go through the adjustment process. I'm encouraging him as he goes through storage which he'd be doing anyway to do it in a way that limits controversy makes it clear that he's the decision maker about things that mom left. I feel it's better for him to keep what is important to him and make decisions about things that aren't and let the kids work it out among themselves if they want to trade items. Because he won't stay there anyway, it's better to do it now, so long as he keeps whatever he's not ready to get rid of, even if it's in storage for a while.

Neither of us is particularly materialistic, and we both have given a great deal to others. We have a tendency to indulge our loved ones, and we do it without regret. And, yet, we both realize that we have done so when it wasn't truly a need for others and that we both have to focus on either our individual long term finances or our combined long term finances, or both at the same time with one being theoretical for now. To be so foolish as to pretend that doesn't matter and then just deal with any assumptions or misunderstandings later is to ask for marital trouble. I've been pursued by too many widowers who have made a pile of money and have no problem dangling it despite my lack of interest in it while at the same time talking about how it's all for them and none can be had by anyone they marry. Fortunately, I didn't truly date any of them. But, I'm aware of how insane people can get over money, and how very selfish they can be too. Those men are usually men who want someone to fill a void and not men who are really interested in a rich, full, genuine marriage. I can't say that my man resembles any of them, nor do I resemble the several women who started chasing him shortly after his wife died.

The main issue for him now is really that he's still going through the transtitions and healing that is natural, and it's taking time of course. He's more eager to get married soon than I am, and he's probably going to be the one who has to wait. I've told him that I have to do what I came here to do and that I didn't want to abandon it but rather if he wanted to come out and spend time here while I did it, we could see how things go and perhaps see how we could blend our lives. Frankly, I think that the money stuff, while it's very real, is also very symbolic. If he and I can't trust each other enough to plan together theoretically, after we spend time living near eachother, then we're not ready for more. He's a spender, and I'm a saver, but he's very careful to pay his bills. His deceased wife was the one who reigned in the spending, and I'm pretty sure I'd have to be that too. He's the type who would work with that. With a good plan on paper and both of us agreeing on how we would handle requests from family, how we would do things if the other were incapacitated, etc., we'd both respect it.

For those who consider discussing money with someone who has said they want to marry you as being "gold digging," you might want to read some of the columns in magazines like O magazine, More magazine, etc. that advise women on taking control of their own finances and managing financial expectations and plans as a couple. Pretending that money is a dirty subject or makes one a bad person if they think about and plan ahead is a sexist view as boys and men are taught to think ahead, plan, investigate and establish financial security. Having been pursued by some men who clearly were after my money before cancer and my child's needs wiped me out, I know what that's like. It's not the same as a couple in love working out their future.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2015 at 3:12PM
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Being disingenuous doesn't work when it's easy to see what was said on previous posts, Sage. The issue I took exception with in my prior post was NOT the wisdom of discussing finances and making financial agreements with a future marital partner as asserted in your post today. The issue I took exception to from your post last Tuesday was your entitlement attitude when it comes to the assets accumulated by your intended and his former wife.

If you anticipate that care-taking this man will deplete the assets you're bringing to the marriage, a plan will obviously need to be put into place so that his needs are underwritten by his own finances or that you are reimbursed for his expenses that you underwrite.

That's an entirely different situation than staking claim to your future husband's assets simply by virtue by being the subsequent spouse (and vice versa).

2 Likes    Bookmark   February 23, 2015 at 3:41PM
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The families I've known who have experienced similar things seemed to go one way or another. If the new couple made decisions together and established good boundaries with the adult kids, the adult kids tended to accept their decisions and deal with it in a relatively positive way. Those couples tended to be very loving with each other as well as with their adult kids, but they established a protective boundary around their relationship. If the new couple on the other hand handled things more like an "us versus them" scenario, with one spouse and his clan competing with the other spouse and there clan, the outcome was relatively poor. Based on my observations, the second, less favorable outcomes looked as though they were related to money being more important than people. Seems that there was always this idea that the surviving spouse didn't have a right to move on but was expected to be the bank for the adult children and preserve all assets for them to inherit. He or she was not really seen as a separate person whose days, feelings, goals, etc. had value. He or she had raised their family, and that was seen as their only legitimate roll. I hate to say this, but very often the widows and widowers who had been most focused on money and superficial things when raising the kids were the ones whose kids seemed most focused on those things after one parent died. It didn't seem to matter if they parent who died had been gone for a year or five years. The surviving parent wasn't "allowed" to make their own decisions or live their own life as they wished.

In fact, a good friend of mine, widowed from an affluent physician, decided to move into a retirement community that would allow to to progress into care as needed. Her adult children were livid. She learned that they had all without her knowledge divided up her assets and decided who would get what and how much. Her choice to do it differently infuriated them because it was going to take most of her assets to provide this for her, minus some valuables and small inheritances for each of the adult kids and grandkids. They would have gotten a lot more if she'd stayed in her house. She was on the one hand shocked that they thought they thought they could tell her what to do with her money. On the other hand, she was really glad she did it when she did so that she didn't have to rely on them to support any decisions she made later when she might have been incapacitated.

When my own father died, and his parents had left everything to him, I didn't ask for anything. I knew that doing so would mean I'd have to engage attorneys to deal with my sisters' attorneys. I don't like to spend my life battling over spoils. I've had situations where almost anyone else would sue, and yet I never have. I'd rather just move on. The downside of being conflict avoidant in some cases is that you end up letting others take what is more appropriately yours, however. There will always be people who want to shame women for looking out for themselves responsibly, and there will be some who do so for men as well. I've had too many divorced male friends who've worked so hard to provide and yet were expected, even on their own birthdays, to pick up the tab for the entire group.

At some point, when we get to a certain age, there isn't time left to make up for being overly generous to those who really could take care of themselves. That's why I taught my own son while he was still a minor, how to make a high hourly wage if he ever needed to. He makes a solid $50 an hour working part time and fully supports himself on 20 hours a week. When he goes back to college next year, he'll have savings on top of the full scholarship that pays all his expenses and more. That came not from luck but from hard work on my part and on his part for years, and so that is part of why, having raised and homeschooled a child on my own earnings alone, it's hard for me to see adult children demanding monthly subsidies from an older parent when those children aren't even trying to work full time and pay their bills themselves. There are people who will let their children drain everything they have, and that's their choice. But, if they want to marry you, it's also your choice to let them know that you'll both have to be on the same page in many ways, including financial ways, before you do. Life isn't some romance novel, but if you get that stuff out of the way, you can have the peace and harmony to allow romance to have it's way otherwise.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2015 at 8:37PM
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asm198 - Zone 6a (MO)

I'm a child of a widow. I moved out after high school and my dad died in an accident when I was 19. The "switch" in my situation was that she wanted me to quit school and move home to help take care of the family and I refused. She told me if I didn't move back, I'd be cut out of the will. I told her F*%$ the inheritance, that she could keep it, because she wasn't going to use money to dictate my life. We didn't speak for almost a year.

When I was in my late early 30s, she met and married a man who was on his third marriage. His first ended in divorce, his second made him a widow.

My only concerns, money wise, were that any assets my mom brought into the marriage went to me, and the same for his assets and kids. He has since passed, but everything remains the same, as far as I'm concerned. The home my mom and him bought together is hers until she passes. At that point, we'll sell the house and it's split 50/50, with half going to me and half going to his kids. His executor (his son) and I have a great relationship and will divided the physical assets in the home. I've already taken almost everything from the house that I wanted (there's a clock and some cookware mom uses), so there's little to fight about, unless his children want to fight about land.

When I was born, my dad bought a piece of land in honor of my birth. When I turned 18, he offered me the land, but I said I'd rather him keep the land and use part of the profits to pay for my college education.

My stepsiblings have no legal right to this property, although a couple of them have alluded to it. My mom and my stepfather drew up a will that basically states that, what assets they brought into the marriage to their kids, except for his pension, which is my mom's until she passes.

I don't want things that are important to his family. They aren't mine to want and are apart of his family. On that note, things that are a part of my family are mine and I will fight for them, if I need to.

A good example of this is my stepfather's flag. He was a veteran, so my mom got his flag. She's made me promise that I'll keep the flag when she dies and I've said yes, even thought I have no intention of doing so. I don't want the flag; it has no history for me and will go to his son, as it should.

Anyway, for those of you who think the kids of the person you're dating are being standoffish, rude, or whatever, we might not be. We might simply just adjusting between being adults who have parents who are dating and parents who are getting serious.

There was about a decade between my dad dying and my mom remarrying and I was totally ok with it. I never wanted her to be alone, if she didn't want that. I had met him several times before and he was a nice guy, with a good sense of humor. And, unlike the guy she was engaged to before him, he did not talk about "raising" or "teaching" me. At one point, with her previous fiance (she was engaged twice), I had to tell him to stop treating me like I was 14, as I was 28, engaged, worked full time, and owned my own home.

If I can say one thing about being an adult of a widow, it would be this. Be respectful of the parent that's died. To you, they might be just a spouse, but to the kids, regardless of age, they are a parent. My dad has been dead for 15 years now and I still miss him. With every accomplishment I have, I have a slight twitch because I can't share it with him. This happens rarely, but occasionally I have a personal accomplishment and my instinct is to call dad and I suddenly remember that he's long dead. He's been gone for 15 years now and it still makes me sad that he's missed so much of my life. He never knew me as an full-fledged adult and I often wonder what he would think about me and my life. Guiding him through cell phones, the internet, and Skype would have been a riot, but that never happened because a ladder slipped.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 24, 2015 at 11:51PM
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I totally endorse asm's post. My Mom divorced when I was 11, remarried a man with few assets when I was 14. She died when I was 40 and left her assets to my brother and myself, with the proviso that my stepfather was to have the use of them until his death, which didn't happen for another 8 years. I was perfectly happy with this and we even sold her car and bought a newer model, and I offered to sell the house and buy one more convenient for him (he got frail towards the end) but he refused. I arranged his care and visited him weekly (he lived 2 hours away) until he passed, and when he was on his final stay in the hospital we all sat with him- my daughter even flew over from the other side of the country. So, having a step parent per se does not have to be an issue.
But, when you say, " I expect him to have a plan for how his pension will go to me when he dies if he dies first, a plan for how he's going to support me comfortably, a firm agreement not to send money to kids without agreement, an agreed inheritance plan for us both, etc. before I'd marry him. Any man who doesnt' want me to have a paid for house and pension as well as life insurance is not worth my time" you do sound very like a gold digger. And if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
It's not unreasonable that he should be leaving some of his assets to his children, especially since he would have built up those assets with the help, real and in kind, of his first wife, their mother. For you to swan in and expect the lion's share _is_ unreasonable.
And hip hip hoorah and jolly hockey sticks that you're such a tremendously all-round brilliant human being, but really it sounds more like you've got tickets on yourself. In all your brilliantness you seem to have missed the idea that "being supportive" is not really telling you what you want to hear, but what you need to hear.

2 Likes    Bookmark   February 25, 2015 at 1:05AM
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As soon as I read your story , I said "that's me " , same situation . Widower with adult children , daughter with children living at home (garage apartment). ... I read all of the advise and comments . All very helpful . .... Thank you all.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2015 at 7:13AM
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