I’ve been engaged for three years but my fiancé won’t set a wedding date because, when his daughter learned of our engagement, at 13, she threw a huge temper tantrum.
He said we can’t marry until SHE gives her approval.
I’m so hurt that I want to break it off. But he says his daughter's feelings come first and I should be patient. He’s been divorced for five years, and separated two years prior.
His daughter and I spent time together early on, but when her mother started making negative comments, she stopped liking me. Her mother doesn't even know me.
My fiancé does nothing to stop this. He and his ex-wife despise each other and don’t communicate about anything, including their daughter. They just end up in a screaming match.
I have a son, 9, and don't let him run (or ruin) my relationship.
Am I being unreasonable as he says?
- Troubled In Tennessee
Toss back his empty proposal along with the ring. The child’s in charge, manipulated by his ex-wife, and unless he stops handing them so much power, they’ll keep stirring up trouble.
You and your son deserve better. Right now there’s no chance for harmony or an equal voice for you and the boy, as part of this proposed new family.
Your fiancé’s sentiments are misguided: Yes, children’s well-being should come first, but one of a parent’s main responsibilities is to make confident, consistent adult decisions.
A mean-spirited ex-partner can make things difficult, but the parent must show understanding and support during the adjustment rather than cave in to manipulation and tantrums.
My ex-girlfriend wants me to have a baby with her.
We split three years ago, couldn’t live together, but her “clock” is ticking.
She’s not asking me to help her raise it, but wants financial support.
I’m 35, not ready for commitment, but wondering if this is my best chance to have a child.
- Decision Time
Children shouldn’t be conceived as a “deal.” It’s a sure recipe for complications, should you/she find lasting relationships.
For the child, it’s a potentially unstable situation.
You answered a letter from my girlfriend (June 20, 2007) - she wrote that I was financially irresponsible because I moved back in with my parents. She felt we saw less of each other and she was less inclined to be intimate.
You told her to take a full break, assess my response and see if I made significant changes.
Well, we took a month’s break and kept in contact and met up twice. Then, she didn’t want any contact until the new year, while I figure myself out.
I’ve started making the necessary changes. I have my own place, and I'm putting away a decent amount of savings. But I don't know if it's going to make a difference.
It's been two months, and I still want to have a future together.
- Trying Hard
Maturity doesn’t come with a guaranteed prize, nor does it meet deadlines, but it does enrich your life.
You’re experiencing personal growth which will benefit you in any relationship. Don’t focus only on the goal of getting back together with her, but rather on making the changes that feel right for YOU.
She wants you to be financially responsible, and to show some independence. Fair enough. But make sure you’re not just trading the support of your parents, in order to rely on HER approval.
This is about your own pride and achievements.
My boyfriend of five years is a smoker, I always knew this, but figured he’d change.
He’s said he’ll quit, but I feel he's tuning me out. He did stop for five years when he moved back home with his parents, but not for me (he doesn't smoke in our house).
I worry about his health and my second-hand smoke inhalation.
The relationship is great, but the stains, smell and taste of cigarettes on him, is a turn-off.
- Wit’s End
He’ll only quit permanently for himself, so don’t nag. Give him the one-time gift of good information (one popular resource is the book, The Easy Way to Stop Smoking: Join the Millions Who Have Become Nonsmokers Using the Easyway Method, by Allen Carr.)
And if you intend to stay together, give him the trust that he’ll stop smoking on his own.
It’s not easy, but he knows he can do it.
Tip of the day:
Children’s best interests do NOT include running their parents’ lives.