My husband and I are early-70s, with a daughter, 22, studying at university.
While still at home, she befriended and helped a woman with two daughters, whose husband traveled a lot for work. When the couple separated, the husband contacted our daughter and they started to date secretly, until she revealed it to us.
We made it clear that we didn't approve, pointing out the pitfalls: He's 28 years older than she is, has children, and was facing a bitter divorce.
Over a year later, his divorce proceedings haven't progressed. Our daughter spends nights on the phone discussing with him how to handle his children, and deal with his wife.
He visits our daughter at her university. Meanwhile, she has a heavy course load, hoping to get into law school.
We try not to alienate her by harping on the difficulties ahead. Nor have we revealed our suspicions that her boyfriend doesn't seem ready to commit himself, but enjoys companionship and sex with her.
We've even had him to dinner in order to not drive her away.
Is there anything else that we can or should do?
Your restrained, thoughtful approach is admirable and wise. The longer you avoid forceful opposition, the more likely your daughter will eventually assess things from her own perspective, rather than yours.
Partly because she's the child of older, mature parents, she's not as daunted by being with an older man as some young girls would be. That's actually a compliment to you both, though it must feel ironic.
Also, she's clearly a normally sensible and mature person, because she feels capable of advising him. And she's flattered by his reliance on her.
But that's mostly what it is, reliance. His former wife ran their household as he was away a lot, now he has a young woman looking after him, helping him make decisions, and boosting his male ego.
It's partly "convenient" for her, too, because she's intense about her education. Instead of dating a young man in hot pursuit who'd distract her from her studies, she has this older man who sees her on occasion and calls her at night.
Stay connected to her, and don't act too welcoming to him - just polite. Periodically, ask her how it's going rather than give opinions. She needs to think through the answers herself without feeling manipulated.
I cheated on my wife with a woman at work, and felt I loved them both but in different ways. I became so torn between them, as my lover became more and more demanding, that I almost tried to get caught... and was.
My wife and I are in counseling now and I want it to work, but I can't forget my lover. I see her every day, though she only looks at me and then walks away. I'm afraid I won't be able to resist for long.
Get a grip. You can resist if you get real: Wanting your marriage to work means making a choice and sticking to it. You're not the poor victim who's torn between two women pulling at you; you're an adult who must exercise some self-control, even to the point of asking for relocation at work, or seeking another job away from your former lover.
She looks at you because she thinks you're weak and will come back to her. Otherwise she'd avoid you, as you should be doing. Man up with some inner strength, if you really hope to stay married.
My older sister seems to have become terminally judgmental lately. We used to have family dinners together on holidays but I've just been informed Easter won't happen that way, as my children and I are "picky eaters." (I always bring several vegetarian dishes, to share all around.)
She's also commented on my lifestyle being "too busy at night" for our age (52)! My husband and I go to more concerts and plays than she and her husband, though we're of equal ability to afford them.
How do I get her to stop judging me?
Stay cool, invite her to your place for a casual get-together, and continue your life as you please.
This may just be her feeling a need to pull rank as Big Sis, and possibly reflects some of the dynamic that you've had since childhood. She may even be envious of your active nightlife as a couple.
Tip of the day:
Stay connected to an adult child who's in a complicated relationship.