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To not end this relationship because my children don’t want me in it?

(143 Posts)
WeepingWidow Mon 04-Mar-19 12:46:47

3.5 years ago my husband was cruelly and unexpectedly taken from us. He was only 55. It affected our three children (who were lates teens/early 20’s at the time) and grandchildren deeply, and we all miss him tremendously. I’m not going to lie, our marriage of 30 years had it’s up and downs - he could be lazy, had quite a nasty streak and would never do anything he didn’t want to, even if it meant lots to someone else. But the last 5 years or so were our best days without a doubt we rediscovered our love and were immensely happy.

I never had any involvement with any other men for the first 3 years or so after his death. Not even a flirty smile. At first it never occurred to me. We have a huge family and for a good while I never felt alone - there was always someone round the house, I holidayed with my children and I have a good group of friends so never short of company. But as anyone who’s lost a partner will tell you - friends aren’t the same as having a real intimate partner , a true companion. The last year I’ve hankered to have someone in my life - the visitors filtered away, etc and I’ve also started to really miss sex and someone to wake up with.

4 months ago my son got married and at the evening do an old friend - a guest of my DIL’s family - turned up. I worked with him about 25 years ago, and haven’t seen him in 15 years. We were very close at work at the time, always got on famously and had children round about the same time. We were both married and whilst it was strictly platonic (I was very faithful to my DH) I definitely felt an attraction and I know he did. It was never more than that though, but he is very good looking so I couldn’t really help feeling an attraction. So when I saw him at the wedding it was lovely to catch up. He divorced his wife 10 years ago, and we hit it off right away. Long story short - we have been in a relationship for 4 months now. He is amazing. He’s so kind and generous, and smart and funny. We have the same interests - we go to the ballet, theatre and have taken ballroom dancing lessons together (all the things my DH would never do with me). I feel like I’m 21 again, we have said I love you (and I really do) and he wants to be with more pretty much for life now. Plus the sex is amazing!

To clarify, we are taking it slow. I never want to get married again. Not least because I want my children to inherit what I have when I die. And I won’t be moving in with him, probably ever - I look after my four grandchildren a lot, at least one is at my house around 4 days of the week and they sleep over regularly too. I have found that I enjoy my own space and rules, and would hate to check with anyone before I had my grandchildren over. BF knows this and is fine with living apart permanently.

We kept the relationship a secret for three months, but a near miss when my DD almost walked in on us DTD (she didn’t though, she let herself in to stay the night unexpectedly and I snuck him out without her noticing) I decided to bite the bullet.

I didn’t expect them to be overjoyed but I got a really negative reaction. My youngest, who is 23, cried! They don’t see why I want a relationship, and think it’s too quick after their dad. I told them that I have no expectations of them - they don’t have to meet him, or ask questions - I am simply telling them and they do have to get used to it. I explained that, whilst I love them and their children, it’s not enough to keep me going, I need something and someone for me. I have another 30 years probably left in me (I’m 55) - I don’t want to spend them alone.

That was a month ago and they’ve barely spoken about it to me. My son can hardly look at me. I see them often due to childcare and they just avoid the subject. I took the grandchild out yesterday to the zoo as a treat so saw them all and we chatted whilst the kids played in a park. They’d come to a joint agreement to tell me that I don’t need my BF, they’ll never let me be lonely, I can come on their holidays, they’ll keep me company etc. They think it’s too soon as ive “only known him 4 months”. When I explained actually I’ve known him 25 years they were horrified - said it was like cheating on dad! They just can’t come to terms with me being with someone else, and won’t accept him in my life. My lovely son-in-law and daughter-in-law openly disagreed with them and said they should be happy for me. My DIL has text me since to say I deserve happiness and she will always support me. She never met my DH, if that’s relevant, but my son was very close to him.

I’m heartbroken about what my kids have said. My children’s opinion means the world to me, but I love my BF and feel I wasn’t treated brilliantly in my marriage and deserve this love now. The children don’t know their dad was less than perfect because I never exposed that side of our marriage - they have rose tinted glasses about him. Which is annoying as if it has been me who’d died he’d have shacked up with a new woman within six months without a doubt!

I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to lead two lives. I don’t expect BF to meet anyone any time soon, and I don’t want to be held hostage to my children.

WIBU to stay in this relationship and tell my kids to suck it up - or is that the height of insensitivity? They say they’ll never let me be lonely - but I won’t be a burden on them. What if they wanted to move away one day? I don’t want them to resent saying that they’ll always keep me company (it’s not bloody realistic anyway)! And I couldn’t exactly say that I want intimacy not just someone to talk to, they’d probably melt at the thought of me having sex! What do I do?

Tangerine Tue 05-Mar-19 19:56:22

Perhaps you could directly say to your children that, however good they are to you, they can't provide you with a sexual relationship! That might give them a jolt.

I think you are entitled to have another man in your life if you wish to do so. If you are concerned about money, no-one is stopping you seeing a Solicitor and asking about how to arrange things fairly with your children.

You live your life.

Gaggi3 Tue 05-Mar-19 20:07:21

When my much loved Father died at 62 , we were bereft, especially my Mother, of course. However, she was hopeless without a partner, and she met and married my stepfather, who worked with her brother, after 2 years, and we were all delighted, and welcomed him into the family. None of us thought it changed or threatened our love for our father. They were happily married until their deaths, within weeks of each other, 22 years later. My DM on her own for that length of time would have been unhappy and so we were all very grateful that they were so contented together. However attentive AC and GC are they cannot replace a husband, boyfriend or partner. Good luck to you WW, flowers

Eloethan Wed 06-Mar-19 00:01:47

Sorry, I've just seen this thread and haven't read all of it so I hope I'm not repeating everything that has already been said.

You are still young and your husband is no longer alive so I don't think you have anything to feel uncomfortable about.

I suppose I do understand your children's initial reaction even though, to an outsider, it seems somewhat irrational. Perhaps they feel you have "moved on" and their Dad will be forgotten. However, in my view, they should by now have thought a little more carefully about the unfairness of expecting you to live the rest of your life with no special companion and no physical intimacy (and I don't just mean sex).

Of course, it is upsetting for you that they are adopting this attitude but hopefully things will improve gradually. Do not give in to this sort of controlling behaviour. From what you say, your marriage wasn't always a bed of roses but you kept this to yourself and were always loyal. You haven't said you are going to marry your boyfriend or live with him but even if you were it's your life and, ultimately, your business.

I think it's really lovely you have met someone who at last you can share your interests with and fully enjoy your time together. I wish you all the best and hope that things work out for you all. Give it time.

westerlywind Wed 06-Mar-19 00:33:45

I, too, had a similar experience.
Within about 2 weeks of me telling DD that I had met someone she got in such a huff and has not spoken to me since. This also means that I have not seen DGC who I had while DD worked shifts.
I had been looking after DGC quite a lot and at strange times because of shift work. The DP (I refuse to refer to him as a boyfriend at our ages) understood that I had DGC and fitted his visits around my babysitting times and his shift working hours. We rarely got to see each other. He understood that we really ought to not introduce DGC without DD's knowledge and consent. Both of us have Enhanced Security Clearance so no concerns there.
One day he was aware that I was picking up DD at a certain place and planned to be there to introduce himself. When DD arrived she started shouting and swearing at me. He was not impressed. No introduction took place. Another time DP and I were having coffee when I took a call from DD who told me of her babysitting arrangements while on a 6-hour shift. I thought it was very neglectful so I dashed off to be with DGC. DP followed me and again heard me being shouted and sworn at. One Sunday we were having Lunch when I had a call from DD accusing me of being drunk and on drugs. The call was overheard by DP as DD was shouting and swearing again. Nothing could be further from the truth. I take neither and abhor both. Prior to collecting DGC one day I cut myself quite badly and bleeding profusely. I still collected DGC brought them home and made dinner. When DD arrived to pick up DGC who were still eating dinner, she got a call from her partner who wanted her to drive a 40-mile round trip before picking up DGC. Her plan was to leave DGC with me while she attended to her partner's demands and thus I would not have been able to get medical help. I was still bleeding 3 or 4 hours after the injury. At no time did she think with my injury I should have had any consideration, nor did she think the DGC should have been allowed to finish up their meal.
On the other hand, I met DP's family in a coffee shop at a shopping mall. It was supposed to be a short meeting as an opener but we spent ages talking. DP and I were invited out for a meal in a restaurant by one of his DC. They had known of my food preferences and arranged a suitable venue. I have been out with his female relatives on shopping trips. I have visited their homes by invitation, one couple of his family have visited his house to stay over a weekend and I was there too. I have taken one of his DGC out for a day trip to a place the child and I both wanted to go. I was not given a list of instructions!
DPs family have various things planned for the summer months, holidays and days out to places of interest or fun for the little DGC. Even prior to DP arriving in my life I had tried to arrange holidays and weekends with my DCs including partners and children, but nothing ever met their approval. I would have loved to have had my DCs and DGC to go on some of these day trips but even if they agreed I would be worried about conduct and language.
I am not happy that my DCs cannot meet my DP and be trusted to behave politely. Asking them to be welcoming would be a bit of an excess.
When DD met her new partner, and after some time brought him to my house to introduce him, he was drunk! He has now been to my house a few times and has always been drunk to various degrees. DD's house, since her partner moved in, has not been as clean as it used to be. There is also a large stock of various alcoholic drinks lying openly where the DGC can see them or even worse are accessible and I fear one day a DGC might drink some.
Heaven help me if I had criticised her partner or complained about his drinking. I would not have shouted and sworn in front of anyone. Strangely DD thinks it is fine for her not to be happy that I have met someone but I should accept her choice of a partner even though he is definitely not what any mother would want for her DD.
As far as finances are concerned I had said nothing about my situation. I do not work but DP is still working and owns his business. Eventually, we did discuss money and we are about equal. If DP children are at all worried about their inheritance they have not said or implied or given any sign of worrying on that subject. If my DC are worried about their inheritance from me they are going the right way about making sure they get as little as possible. The habit in my family has always been that the people who help the older or ill people are remembered in Wills. Those who are no help or make any attempt to obtain inheritance early will only get the bare essential amount as decreed by law.
By going in a huff and trying to upset me by not allowing me any contact with DGC there is no babysitting going on. I sincerely hope that the previous neglectful babysitting arrangements are not being used in my absence. I dont think SS would think that acceptable.
My advice OP is to stick with the new BF. DC even with the best will in the world will never give as much company as having one's own DP/BF. My DC never gave much company and were always shouting swearing and criticising me while still expecting babysitting from someone they called stupid at everything! I am having a much more peaceful life now.
Good Luck OP

absent Wed 06-Mar-19 03:32:16

I think that there are some adults who fail to recognise that their parents are also adults and have adult lives – outside their roles as parents and grandparents. I very much doubt that absentdaughter would write me off in that way – and it wouldn't be good if she did.

NannyEm Wed 06-Mar-19 07:26:45

Weeping Widow. You are so lucky to have found love again. My children are exactly the same and have disliked any relationship I have had. One dear friend called my DD the "daughter from hell". I'm sure a lot of their dislike was because I couldn't devote all my time and money to them and was made to feel guilty and obligated. I might add their father has never felt obliged to do anything and they don't expect him to. I'm Mum and apparently that's my duty. I would jump at the chance of happiness if I found someone. Good luck. It's your life.

NanaPlenty Wed 06-Mar-19 08:04:41

It's wonderful to have found some happiness again. Stand firm, enjoy your new love and tell the children it's very important to you. They will come round even if it takes a little while. Best wishes to you x

ReadyMeals Wed 06-Mar-19 08:52:49

Oh I didn't realise your kids were so YOUNG, WW. They're still not at the age where they like to think that their parents ever had sex, no wonder they can't bear to think of you having a lover. In that case you have nothing to worry about that time won't fix smile

ReadyMeals Wed 06-Mar-19 08:55:33

Also, to everyone, it's best not to let young children (or anyone else for that matter) use your PC or mobile devices while signed in as you. All PCs and some mobiles have the facility to set up multiple accounts or be used as "guest". Before letting a grandchild use your device, do log out from your own account first and make sure it's in their account or in guest mode. That should stop these embarrassing things happening.

etheltbags1 Sat 09-Mar-19 15:13:20

You can replace a boyfriend but not your kids

Alexa Sat 09-Mar-19 15:21:37

Weeping Widow, first of all congratulations on your new love life. Also on restoring your marriage after its doldrums.

Have you a copier? I wonder if you might copy your excellent letter to each of your children?

sarahcyn Tue 12-Mar-19 10:57:09

WeepingWidow to quote from your last message:
She left in tears, we’ve text since to make up and she’s said she just finding it hard to adjust to the thought of me with someone who isn’t her dad, and she genuinely never thought I’d find love again because she didn’t think I’d ever be interested in it because she didn’t think that, to me, anyone could compare to DH hmm She’s coming over tonight to discuss further with me, I’m hoping for a bit of a breakthrough. She was barely 20 when’s DH died, it hit her the hardest.

This sounded VERY positive, and I hope you had a good healing second conversation with her, and also that you quietly stood your ground. It is very normal for her not to have really got over her father's death and she is idolising him, which is normal though annoying for you.
You don't need to run him down to make your point that you deserve to move on and have a life.

WeepingWidow weep no more!

Greengage Tue 12-Mar-19 11:47:31

Am I the only one who really dislikes the phrase 'move on' when referring to life after the death of someone very close?
It always conjures up the feeling of leaving 'the someone' behind, which I don't believe you do if they were close to you.
Perhaps I should start a whole new post.

BradfordLass72 Tue 12-Mar-19 18:58:01

No, Greengage you are not alone.

Because it is often people around the bereaved who say it when they are uncomfortable with the show of grief.

Even worse, it is sometimes the bereaved person themselves, egged on by the above who begin to feel guilty that they are "still grieving".

Grief takes its own time and no one, absolutely no one, can predict or dictate that time.

'Moving on' has some element of hurry which I dislike intensely.

Brismum Tue 12-Mar-19 19:22:32

Don’t feel Weeping Widow should have to replace either ethelbags1. Your children are just that not a boyfriend. Sending love and best wishes Weeping Willow. Keep in touch.

GrandmainOz Wed 13-Mar-19 00:13:41

westerlywind you've had a terrible time, you poor thing! weepingwidow I wish you every happiness. You are clearly a lovely lady. The kids will come around I'm sure. You living a happy life should be their dearest wish and hopefully that will eventually override their immature knee jerk reaction.
Of course it's a big change, but that's life, isn't it? You can't preserve yourself in a bubble from the past.
My perspective as a daughter who lost her mother a year ago: my dear stepfather has said adamantly that he will never "look at anyone else after your mum". Maybe he will stick to this. They had a wonderful 32 year marriage, really were "soulmates".
However, I hope he does meet someone and change his mind at some point.
I know my mother will never be replaced in his heart, but he is the kindest, funniest, warmest person and has so much to give. He's only in his mid 60's and very healthy.
He's so lonely without my mother. If he ever met another lady I could not resent anyone who was able to make this lovely man happy again. He cared for my mother devotedly and was heartbroken when she didn't make it. I would love it if he found someone who would share his later years. I would be furious if any of my siblings gave him a hard time. I don't think they would either!

Cosmos Thu 14-Mar-19 17:32:58

Do what you feel is right, it is your life, your children will get used to it.