“He got started on online dating and I was really protective of him. I just didn’t want to see him get his heart broken again.” Some adult children are worried about how a new relationship will affect their own financial standing in the family.“Sure,” Patty told me of her mom’s recent dive back into the dating pool.When my mother’s long-term boyfriend passed away, I was worried that she might be wary of taking another chance on romance.So when I learned that she’d rekindled an old flame and had fallen in love again, I felt relieved.
Giving a parent a guilt trip about dating again isn’t going to help either of you.
In fact, many people feel confused, disappointed, and even angry when Mom or Dad steps back into the dating scene.
Like it or not, these adult children find themselves thrown back into unhealthy childhood dynamics: They may feel hurt and even abandoned by their parent’s actions but are powerless to do anything about them.
When it comes to relationships, I’m fond of saying, But there are a few couples in my life who I look to as models of the kind of marriage I’d like one day. They are the dynamic centriforce around which the family’s life orbits. There is lots of research to suggest that a happy marriage is the cornerstone of well-adjusted kids. D., writes in her relationship guide, The Book of Love: “No matter how sacrilegious it sounds, you need to put your relationship before your children. If you’re not in a committed relationship, it is very easy to make your kids the prominent one in your life.
And in these families, the parents put their relationship before the kids.
Would you want others to simply label you a “widow” or “widower”?