Dear Annie/Be happy for mom

Annie Lane

Dear Annie: Why can’t children of widowed parents be happy when their surviving parent finds a new companion? As a recently divorced senior citizen, I have re-entered the dating scene. I have dated a couple of widows whose children (in their 30s and 40s) have proved to be a real challenge. These ladies have been widowed for three to 10-plus years, yet their children are a real obstacle. Why can’t they be happy that their mom has found a new companion instead of resisting it and, in one case, preventing their mom from continuing the relationship? I think this is very selfish and even harmful to their parent. What would you tell these adult children? — We Deserve Happiness

Dear We Deserve Happiness: I would tell these adult children to let love rule. It’s unfair for them to prevent their parents from being in loving romantic relationships. Perhaps they’re displacing their anger over the loss of a parent, taking it out on the new love interest. It might help if you were to take care to respect the memory of their fathers and make clear that you’re not trying to replace anyone.

Lastly, I’m not saying this is the case with you, but sometimes grown children pick up on signs that new partners don’t have their parents’ best interests at heart, and their protectiveness is justified.

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