December 8, 2019

Ask Amy: I refuse to promise my child that I won’t get married


DEAR AMY: After many decades of marriage to a wonderful woman, I find myself in my third year as a widower. Despite having many friends, an active church life, and a very loving family, I am lonely.

Columnist Amy Dickinson (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

To alleviate my loneliness, I have asked several women to accompany me to various activities, like concerts, plays, etc.

I shared my feelings with my adult children and told them that I have started to date. We are a close family of kids, spouses and grandchildren.

However, I was in for a shock, when one of my children asked me to promise that I would never get married again.

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Marrying again had not crossed my mind until this demand.

I briefly reviewed in my head the criteria a potential new spouse would have to meet in regard to feelings, compatibility, religion, etc. Then I answered that I cannot make that promise. Needless to say, interactions with this child have been a bit frosty ever since.

I am not a person who takes a promise lightly, so I didn’t want to rule out a future marriage if the right person came along.

Can you offer your advice?

Wondering Widower

DEAR WONDERING: You are wise to state outright that you will continue to live your life on your own terms, and that includes having relationships and possibly marriage down the road. Your child should never have asked you to make such a promise. To do so is to deny your right to make the sort of choices any adult has every right to make.

You sound like a good and kind person, and so the kindest assumption about this unkind demand is to assume that your child is still grieving the loss of their mother. Sometimes loss leads people to make twisted assumptions, for instance that a new marriage would somehow erase the long and loving one you shared with your late wife. Reassure this child of yours and then continue to assert yourself as a worthy potential partner.

And then, frosty or not, you should move forward, trusting that your child will also find a way to deal with your reality.

DEAR AMY: Less than two weeks ago, my mother passed away after a battle with cancer. She was a wonderful mother to my sisters and me, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

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