At 70, I’m four years into a wonderful relationship with a widower who’s 72. He’s of a different race and religion.
His large family and many friends have unconditionally accepted me. My side, except for one son, has accepted him.
I can't believe that my son has turned racist. This is not how I raised him. He himself married a bi-racial girl whom I love as dearly as my daughter.
They have three children (ages 17, 15, 11) and he has turned as well against my partner.
He refuses to attend our family gatherings if my partner is present. He and his family have never met my partner.
His attitude is hurting our whole extended family because we are all getting estranged from him in the process.
(He complains of being sidelined by us).
Because he has chosen to absent himself and his family, I now get to see very little of my grandchildren.
I have made special visits - alone - to their home, so I can visit with them.
My partner would like me to take a tougher stand: that I should refuse to see them unless they are willing to interact with all of us.
What is the best way to handle this?
Divided by Racism
Confront your son. Ask him directly what he has against your partner. If there are other reasons than race and religion, discuss them.
It may not seem likely since apparently he hasn’t defined his reasons so far, but perhaps he has some misconceptions that can be addressed.
BUT, if it’s solely prejudice against your partner’s particular race and religion, that’s dividing the family, then say that you’re surprised and deeply disappointed in him.
Add that he’s insulting you and your core values and principles.
Tell him clearly and firmly that his actions create consequences that you can’t change, such as distancing himself and his children from his extended family.
But regarding your relationship with your grandchildren, I don’t completely agree with your partner.
Try to have some contact with them, even if you meet them alone e.g. for an outing, (but not with their father). With young people, there’s still hope that they’ll see past his bigotry.
I’m 26, and have never been in a relationship. I have a difficult time attracting men. I constantly compare myself to other women and wish I had more attractive features.
I'm so desperate for male attention that I've considered using Craigslist to find an escort. I don't understand exactly what it is.
I know I'm not gorgeous and I’m taller than average. Could that be a reason why I'm always ignored?
I’d like to have a child someday. However, I'm struggling to find a suitable mate.
Someone once told me that I should try loving myself, but how can I love myself when I hate everything about myself.
What To Do?
It’s your negative self-image that’s holding you back.
Whatever else you spend money on, cut back and go see a counsellor.
You need professional help to value the person you are.
Very few people have what you’d call perfect features – yet countless people find mates.
Self-confidence is attractive, as is a friendly nature, a smiling face, and a non-judgmental personality (even about yourself).
Something has twisted your self-perception into a knot of insecurity and putdowns.
An individual therapist can help you. Go now. Your life will improve if you give counselling a chance.
I’m a teenager who, two years ago, felt puppy love. He cheated on me with my best friend, which still haunts me. Ever since, I no longer can hold affection for longer than a month.
It frightens me knowing that I’ll soon get over every guy I begin to admire.
I’ve morphed from an innocent, well-rounded adolescent, to a bold, straightforward teenage girl.
I’d like to fix myself now before I grow into a knot that can no longer be untied.
You don’t need “fixing,” though less intense self-analysis might make these teen years easier.
Bold and straightforward are good, useful traits. So is not going gaga over every guy – you sound fairly sensible.
One bad experience (the cheater) hit you hard. But you’re older and smarter now.
Date less. Be more selective in a positive way and date after you know someone’s decent qualities.
You’ll find good guys when you stop expecting the worst.
Tip of the day:
A racist relative needs to know the consequences of his/her behaviour, including isolation from family.