Reader’s Commentary “Ellie, keep up with the non-COVID issues. Just because there's a virus doesn't mean everything else in our lives is magically resolved.”
Ellie - So true! Many of the relationship issues that arose before and during the coronavirus, still occupy people’s minds.
My husband of 25 years died five years ago. I was lost.
I moved to a small apartment and tried to stay afloat financially as well as emotionally (we’d both had freelance jobs that we loved, but didn’t build security). We had no children.
Three years ago, I met a man whose wife had died three years prior. He owns a thriving business, a large home, a country cottage and is closely involved with his two adult children and several grandchildren.
To our great surprise, we fell in love with each other.
The problems that then arose are easy to guess. Though his younger daughter is welcoming and happy for her dad, the older daughter is highly suspicious that I’m after his money and lifestyle.
His son-in-law, the older daughter’s husband who has some business partnerships with my “boyfriend,” is distant and cool with me.
When, as a couple, we started travelling together, I didn’t know how to handle the obvious development of our relationship when speaking to his children. I left it all up to him.
But now, the virus pandemic has put a spotlight on the question of where do we go from here.
At first, when we returned from our last trip together, we self-quarantined in our separate homes. But now, when we may be required to “stay home” as much as possible for longer periods, and during new outbreaks, I’m thinking we should discuss moving in together.
But I’m sure that if I raise that suggestion, his older daughter and husband will see it as proof of my ambitions regarding his house and money.
How do I handle this sensitive discussion at a time of so much general worry about the future?
In Love and Alone
Start with just the two of you as the focus of a joint discussion. It has to be about your feelings for each other, your wishes about how to keep your relationship vibrant and growing.
That’s why you started travelling together - to be an open couple, experience new things together, and enjoy a shared, private space for comfort and intimacy.
Those desires are normal for two people in love. So, he has to face up to dealing with any adult children or even grandchildren who might object.
Don’t let this be the elephant in the room.
Instead of fearing how the children might react, he needs to be clear with them about his love for you and any changes you two plan to make, such as moving in together.
Since he has financial ties with his son-in-law, he/they should have a clear legal plan in place that covers how they handle business disagreements or changes.
And, he should have a will that, regarding his children and grandchildren, reflects his wishes and feelings for them.
Then, you two must have “the talk” that couples too often put off - first, whether you’re both ready for the change.
Then, whether you have a pre-nuptial agreement regarding his financial assets, or mutually agree to common-law status as defined in your jurisdiction.
If you can get all that settled, you’re a committed couple. In today’s atmosphere of uncertainty, weathering it together is what love is all about.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who was hit on/pursued by a friend’s husband (March 31):
Reader – “I had a similar experience with a best friend’s husband. We were in our late-20s, trying to reconnect our lives after years of separation.
“Her husband was a player (understatement). At a party at my home, he pulled me into my laundry room, closed the door and proceeded to attack me.
“I had to physically fight him off to leave the room. I was shocked.
“Months later, in front of others, he started to say and do things he shouldn’t have.
“I nervously smiled, laughed and left the room. Another guest told my former best friend, it meant I was a willing participant.
“I tried to tell my friend about the first time. It fell on deaf ears.
“I left a cheater too, and know that the victim is slandered, and that’s the end of the relationship. I wished her luck.”
Tip of the day:
Love should blend two people’s needs and desires, not what their adult children prefer.