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Is it ok for me to move on?

(16 Posts)
redwiner Wed 05-Jan-11 10:08:57

I was widowed just over 2 years ago when my husband was killed in a motorbike accident. I have one daughter who is now 15 and we have a generally good relationship - usual teenage angst apart.
Several months ago I started seeing a man who used to work with me, but has since left and works elsewhere now. He has an 8yo son whom he sees most weekends.
My daughter is really quite anti this man, and although the first few times she met him she was ok with him it seems to have got worse-not better-as time has gone on. By which I mean things like not speaking to him if he is round, or being curt/rude when an answer is expected of her. She says its because he is an 'office boy' (although he is actually a senior manager) and my husband was a carpenter and she feels 'real men' are those who work with their hands and not a pen.
I am totally torn between what to do, the new man is a really lovely, kind, caring man but just because I like him should I also expect my daughter to get on with him too? And if we decided to stay together and make a go of it, which would involve moving in together at some point ahead, we would sell both houses and get a bigger one jointly as neither one is currently big enough for all of us to have space to live comfortable.
I try as hard as I can to consider my daughters feelings, but just where do I draw the line between seeing to her needs and also seeing to mine?
Advice please?

NorwegianMoon Wed 05-Jan-11 10:10:58

I dont think I could ever be with anyone else if something happened to my partner, i couldnt deal with the guilt. If you feel its right and you love each other then go for it.

Your daughter will have to realise one day that you dont want to be alone anymore

HowToLookGoodGlaikit Wed 05-Jan-11 10:12:53

Have you seen Trinitys thread in Chat?

redwiner Wed 05-Jan-11 10:15:08

I always used to think the same, and I certainly didn't go out looking for anyone else. It's just that we worked together and got on, he sympathised and was a good shoulder to lean on-no ulterior motives at all, then months down the line when I was sitting at home on my own watching tv, doing the ironing etc I realised that I was beginning to think about him more and more. It was only after he left my workplace that we got together.

redwiner Wed 05-Jan-11 10:15:42

No I haven't seen trinity's thread, I'll look it up now, thanks.

HowToLookGoodGlaikit Wed 05-Jan-11 10:16:06

I think your DD needs time to adjust. I am sure you will be taking things slowly with this guy anyway, hopefully she will come round. She is probably very worried that you are replacing her dad & his memories. She will need a lot of reassurance!

HowToLookGoodGlaikit Wed 05-Jan-11 10:17:11

Forgot to add, of course it's ok for you to move on! I dont think anyone can imagine finding love again after the death of their partner, but many do

TattyDevine Wed 05-Jan-11 10:19:58

Your DD is a difficult age for this kind of thing but really the question is, do you want me to be happy or not? Do you want me to grab a bit of happiness where, recently, there has not really been any - i.e being widowed is devastating and whilst this new partner of yours isn't ever going to replace your DH nor are you necessarily thinking along those lines anyway, your daughter must surely be getting some benefit of you feeling happy and confident and loved again, it must manifest itself in a positive way and she does have to live with you. It can only be a good thing in my view, but she possibly just doesn't see it that way yet.

Hang in there. Sorry for your loss. How devastating. I do feel you should grab whatever happiness comes your way, live life to the full, and whilst you should give support and sympathy to your daughter, try not to take too much of her nonsense - I doubt she'd want you to judge her future boyfriends on the same strict set of criteria!

redwiner Wed 05-Jan-11 10:22:21

It's really hard to get the right balance between being very supportive of her, being there for her, listening to everything she has to say etc, and then saying 'by the way I'm out tonight'. Obviously that's not how I say it, but you get the picture. I think I may have given in too much to her recently because she now seems to think that whatever she wants, goes. I always worry that if I do th wrong thing she'll go 'off the rails' or something. I'm sure it'd probably only be slammed doors and stomping about but as she's all I have now I don't want to risk losing her.

SlightlyJaded Wed 05-Jan-11 10:29:47

Norwegian - why guilt? I don't think there is anything disloyal about finding someone else at all. On the contrary if anything ever happened to me, i would want DH to meet someone kind and loving as this would make him happier than being forever in mourning and ultimately mean my DCs are happier.

Redwiner. Of course your DD is going to resist anyone who he believes is trying to replace/imitate her beloved Dad. She will find fault with anyone you meet,and unless she has good reason - I.e. New partner in anyway unpleasant, then i think this is something you will all have to work though together no matter whom, you have a relationship with. Has your new man tried top talk to her? Not in a patronising way but more along the lines of "of course i am not trying to replace your dad or take your mums attention from you. But I do love your mum and i would like the chance to try and make her happy again". She needs reassurance and attention and love - she will come around.

One day your DD will have a relationship and leave home so bear that in mind too. You can't stall forever and I've thee is a real chance of happiness with this man after suffering such awfulness, then definitely you should go for it.

FWIW a friend of mind lost her husband very suddenly - early thirties. She was of odours devastated. Sh remarried within 18 months and had children with her new husband. Her old MIL is godmother to the new DC and she was never judged or questioned for moving on quite quickly. You have suffered terribly and you must do what you need to do to heal.

I wish you well.

SlightlyJaded Wed 05-Jan-11 10:32:09

Bloody iPad - just can't believe the ridiculous words it has inserted - smart text indeed.

But I hope you get my drift

redwiner Wed 05-Jan-11 10:37:05

Yes I got your drift-I did wonder what was going through your mind with some of the words but since you've explained it I think it's quite funny!
Thank you for reassuring me that I'm not heartless for wanting to be happy again. I think I need to have a good long talk with her and see where we end up-after all it's not like we're talking about doing anything right here and now, just at some time in the future. (smile)

altinkum Wed 05-Jan-11 10:44:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bahhhumbug Wed 05-Jan-11 10:44:28

Hi , I also cant imagine ever being with someone else but then everybody in love probably feels like that and none of us really know how we would feel unless it happens to us.

In answer to your OP - I think yes it is very very reasonable for you to move on - you have suffered enough and if somebody else can make you happy then why deny yourself. I doubt your late husband would have wanted you to do a 'Queen Victoria' and wear black and be in mourning for the rest of your life. Life is way too short and when something as final as death closes one chapter of your life then of course you should be able to start a new one if you wish.

With regards to your daughter it sounds like she is grieving quite badly still for her father - naturally. Her unfavourable comparisons to your new partner speak volumes. But I honestly think that even if you brought someone home who was in the building trade and had all the same values and outlook etc etc as her late father - then still IMO he would not be good enough. For no other reason than he would not be her father - and worse he would be sitting in her fathers place. I think that is the problem really and she has just latched on to his very different career to her dads.

Also she may be a little jealous and feeling she is losing you to him and she has after all lost her father already. She possibly feels quite clingy to you - and understandably so.

I dont really know the answer beyond reassuring her that your new partner will never ever replace her father or replace her in your affections or affect the way you feel about her in any way. Also that in a few years she will be an adult and starting out on her own life possibly independent of you - uni etc - and if you give up this relationship for her sake where does that leave you when she goes. On that subject another thing to consider is this. You cannot when making your decision presume that your daughter will be independent and not living with you in a few years time. So if there is friction or resentment between your new partner and your daughter then you could be looking at up to 6,7,8 or even more years of living in a battlefield. Trust me as I have made that mistake big style. I presumed my adult SS would be gone in a few years when I hooked up with my now DH - he was nearly 18 - and I thought he's bound to either meet a girl and want to get a place with her or want to rent a house with some mates or go to uni in the next few years. None of these things have happened and he is still living with us at 23 going on 24 with no light at end of tunnel.

Oh for a crystal ball - had I known then what I know now - trust me I wouldnt have even put my toe in the water.

Extending Wed 05-Jan-11 10:51:35

It's easy to say that you can't imagine being with anyone else when your deeply in love. However it does happen and is absolutely fine!

I lost my 1st husband at the age of 25 to meningitis. I remarried within 2 years. After the loss I couldn't imagine being in another relationship ever and was planning to go and teach overseas. But I did meet someone else and have now been happily married with fantastic children for more than ten years.

You need to tread carefully with your DD, she must be gutted by your loss and will find it difficult to understand that you want to move on. Explain to her that moving on doesn't involve rubbing out her dad. He is still a significant part of your life. Do you display a photo somewhere? Would your new partner understand this? It doesn't need to be somewhere high profile, but it is an acknowledgement that he is still part of your life in the memories and through your DD. Any decent, self-respecting new partner would have some understanding of this.

Bahhhumbug Wed 05-Jan-11 11:00:56

Sorry didnt mean to hijack - I guess I'm just trying to say that you need to think very hard about moving in together because a domestic arrangement whereby the older teenage or adult child and the step-parent have issues with each others presence is not a good place to be and tend to just get worse and worse if not dealt with. The 'child' challenges more and more as they get older = the step parent gets more and more resentful = the natural parent gets defensive....and blah bloody blah - its crap honestly if not resolved. Just read some of the threads on here about teenage or adult stepfamily issues. But dont have nightmares ! it can work given the right attitude by the natural parent in particular it seems (namely not turn into a lioness with her cub and creating yet another bitter and twisted step-parent like me grin) and some basic ground rules being set and adhered to.

But having said all that - Very best of luck to you I wish you all the very best.

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