My daughter won’t let me see my boyfriend when she comes to stay. Is that reasonable? Absolutely not, says our elder. Stand your ground.
I’ve been widowed for almost 10 years and during that time, I’ve had a few relationships. My adult daughter seemed OK with one of the prior boyfriends I had — he was very laid back and timid, so much so that I grew bored of him. The next BF she despised. He was very nice to her but didn’t have much in terms of assets (compared with me) and had an instance years before where he got in some trouble with his business. I kept them apart but it was a challenge given that I saw him for several years.
Now I’ve been seeing someone for almost eight months and we get along great — he wants to marry in the next year. Let me add we are both older (in our sixties). The one time my daughter met him she didn’t like him because she thought he was a controlling person and loud. He does tend to be vocal but he’s not obnoxious and is very good to me and my adult son who lives in the area, unlike my daughter who doesn’t. Well, here we go again… she wants to come home in a month for a long weekend to see me and her BF will come too but she does not expect me to see my BF at all during that weekend. Is that reasonable? I don’t want to get into a tussle with her but how do I proceed? I realize things may not work out with my BF and I don’t want to jeopardize my relationship with my daughter but I feel like no one will be good enough unless he is more like my old BF who kept his mouth shut.
What a difficult situation for you! I’m glad you wrote to us, but all I can do here is give you an opinion and tell you what I would do — and have done — under these circumstances.
Of course I don’t know your daughter and I’m sure she is a lovely person, but I think she’s being totally unreasonable about this. You’re supposed to host her and her boyfriend for a long weekend, but you are not ‘allowed’ to see your boyfriend during that time. What if you didn’t like her boyfriend? You sound like the type of person who would make him welcome and be polite to him anyway, for her sake. In my opinion she should be happy you have someone in your life who cares for you and she should be accepting and pleasant whether she likes him or not.
A long time ago I had a disagreement with my grown daughter about a relationship — I stood my ground and she did not speak to me for some time. Of course I was devastated, but I can tell you she punished herself as much, if not more, than she punished me and she soon came around. In retrospect, much as I love her and as upset as I was, I would do the same again — although perhaps now that I am older and hopefully wiser, I would take the time to gently explain why I would not allow her to dictate the terms of my relationship. We can’t allow our children to tell us who we can let into our lives, or criticize who we choose to be with, unless of course they feel the person is a danger to us in some way. It’s a matter of respecting and being considerate of your choices.
I think if you explain to your daughter how much you care for this man and how much it would mean to you if she would just agree to give him a chance. He doesn’t have to spend the whole weekend with you — hopefully you will have some mother/daughter time together as she does not live close by and I assume you don’t see her often. I imagine your son will want to visit with his sister and perhaps he can diplomatically put in a good word for your boyfriend, as he seems to like him. Maybe this would give her a different perspective.
I wish you the very, very best and hope it all works out well for you. Please feel free to write to us again any time.
Letter #: 455864