Sorry Dad, I don’t like your GF

My dad wants us to accept his girlfriend but I just don’t like her. She’s like an evil stepmother.

He can’t force you to care for her, says our elder. But you may warm to her in time.

Dear EWC

I’m having troubles with my dad. I grew up in a broken family and not even once did I complain or rebel against my parents. My dad got married twice and he is now filing for a second annulment to his second wife. The problem now is that my father has a girlfriend although he still has an ongoing case in court because of the annulment. To make things worse, he got the woman pregnant and is currently staying with us at the moment. I’m giving the woman the cold shoulder because I have trust issues and I don’t welcome people into my life that easily anymore. Since I am a child who never complained to my father I always end up saying nothing or bursting into tears when the night deepens. I try to open my arms for the woman but I just can’t because there’s something in her that I really don’t like. She resembles my evil stepmother as the days go by. She had a miscarriage and so there is no reason for her to stay here. My father did not tell us about the pregnancy until that day which makes me feel more uncomfortable since my father brushes off our feelings and opinions just like that. He confronted me the other day and said that I should accept the woman into my life. That means that I should force myself?

Catherine replies

You have my sympathy, but more importantly, you have my understanding. I, too, come from a broken home. Like you, after my parents’ divorce, I lived with my father. He married someone who did not treat me kindly. I share this information, so you will know that I have experience with the difficulty in trusting someone who does not appear to have your best interests at heart.
Your father has said that you should accept his new woman into your life. You haven’t been specific, but you say there’s “something in her” that makes you dislike her. Also, you say she seems more and more like your “evil stepmother” as time passes. You acknowledge that you have “trust issues.” Why wouldn’t you? You have had a difficult, challenging childhood.

Here is my advice. First of all, no one can force you to love or care for another person. You are in charge of your feelings. As long as you live in your father’s home, and he is providing for you, then treat both your father and your father’s woman with respect. Think of it as a transaction. You live there, you must obey their rules. You will be respectful to former employers, correct? Remember, though, that you and only you decide whom you accept into your heart. Having said that, it may be that you will come to love or at least like your father’s new woman in time. It’s important to give yourself time to judge people and to remember that each person you meet is someone new with their own distinct personality.

Incidentally, one thing that helped me was to imagine that I would have a very different kind of life from the life I had as a child if I ever were to marry and have children. It may help you to know that after I left high school, I put myself through college, became a teacher, married, raised two wonderful, successful children, and am now a grandmother. We all had a happy ending. You can, too.

I wish you the very best. I hope my advice has helped you. Please feel free to write again and let me know how matters resolve. I care.

Letter #: 459696
Category: Family

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