My teacher’s dating my dad!

I lost my mom two years ago and now my dad is dating my English teacher. How can I split them up? 

Try to be happy for your dad, says our elder. Don’t push him away.


Dear EWC

This might sound horrible but right now I feel like I hate my father. I’m 13 and my mom died two years ago of breast cancer. Now my dad announced to me that he’s dating my English teacher! My older sister is 15 and says she sees nothing wrong with this – am I the only normal person alive right now?! My mom has only been gone for two years! You can’t just jump into a relationship after a short time of your spouse dying. My dad says that my teacher thinks the world of me and that I need a mother figure. I don’t need another mom! I already had one! I feel like my dad and sister are trying to replace my mom and I hate every bit of this situation. 

I moved out and am living with my aunt who’s my mom’s sister and even she says she doesn’t think my dad is in the wrong. What is wrong with everyone? My dad keeps calling and begging me to come home but I refuse and my sister just yells at me so I completely cut off contact with her, My teacher tried talking to me but I refuse to listen to anything that witch has to say. It seems she’s already trying to replace my mom – how does a woman like that not feel bad when she’s dating a widowed man? I do miss my dad and my sister, but there’s no way I’m going back home where my teacher is dating my dad. How do I talk my dad out of this? I mean he says he’ll always love my mom but how can he say that and be with another woman? It doesn’t make any sense to me. How do I make everything go back to normal – how do I break him and my teacher up? 


Hedwig replies

First, let me say how sorry I am that you lost your mother. No one will ever replace her. I am sure your parents loved each other and because of that, you might want to think about what kind of a future your mother would have wanted for your dad. Would she really have wanted him to mourn forever?

When you really love another person, you want that person to be happy. I am sure you love your father, but right now, you are thinking of yourself far more than you are thinking of him. He deserves to have companionship and to be able to share his life. The more he knew the love of your mother, the more he may long to be able to experience this again. This does not mean he did not love your mom. Men who do not remarry are often the men who experienced unhappy first marriages and do not want to repeat them.

You are 13. Do you plan to spend the rest of your life with your father? What happens when you grow up, go away to college; find your own love and marriage and children? Do you really want him to have a lonely old age? Would that make you any happier? What if he gets sick? Who will care for him? You and your sister will want to enjoy your own lives. He would feel like a burden to you.

I am 86 years old. My husband died very suddenly over 30 years ago of a sudden heart attack when he was only 55. I was 53. We had been married 27 years and have two daughters. I have not remarried, but I have had two long-term, loving relationships. The first was for 18 years with a man that I had known for many years, even before I got married. We were together until he also died. Now I have been in another relationship for 16 years. I loved all three men but in different ways. I knew that my husband would not have wanted me to go on alone, and I knew this because if I had been the one who died, I would have wanted this for him.

My husband was the partner of my youth, and we built a happy life together and raised our children. My second partner would not have made as good a husband because he was not as reliable. However, he was a wonderful companion to share life’s adventures and we enjoyed traveling together. My third partner is age 90 and he is the one with whom I am sharing my golden years. We need and depend on each other. It is a very nurturing relationship.

Through all of these, my children, and now my partner’s children, are happy for us. We do things together. We share the joys of our grandchildren. They are happy for us and that we have our own lives and activities and do not need to lean on them.

Statistically, widows live longer than widowers. The reason for this is that widows are often more self sufficient and widowers often need the domestic care and comfort a mate can bring.

I am sure your behavior right now is making your father very unhappy. He has lost a wife and now you are making him lose his daughter. You are not thinking of what is in his best interest. What would make him happy – to have a family that accepts each other. You do not have to love his choice. You do not even need to like her. But if you put his happiness first, you should accept the situation. This is what he wants. This is what he needs. Be grateful it is someone you know – it could be a complete stranger.

You want your teacher to feel bad because she is dating a widower. You do not know her life – what positive and negatives she has felt. A widower is no longer married. The wedding vows say, “Until death do us part.” She may love your dad with all her heart and soul. He may be the best person who has ever come into her life. She will never be your mom, but she could be your friend. How do you know whether someday you might be in her position? One never knows the future.

There is a wonderful prayer you might like to practice:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; 

The courage to change the things I can

And the wisdom to know the difference.

For the happiness of your entire family, I beg you not to be the “evil witch” who tries to break up a loving relationship. You have lost your mom; don’t lose your dad by pushing him away. Accept the reality that he is human and needs what everyone needs – love, companionship and comfort – and try to be happy for him that he has found it.

Article #: 472197

Category: Family

One Comment

  1. Dear Young Lady,

    First off, from the bottom of my heart, let me say, I am so sorry to learn of the losses you’ve experienced in the last two years. It hurts always to loose the one we love. In this case, your mom. I am am sure this was a most precious relationship to you. As we are preteen into the teen years, we do identify with our parents. This is totally normal and healthy. Be thrilled and thankful that you were blessed to have your mother in your mother in your life for 13 years, though, that was extremely short time. There are children that loose their mommy or daddy at even younger ages, like 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. Some even loose their parent(s) at birth. Again, grief loss is most painful. It is only time, and faith, that through the years will help.

    I have some recommendations for you. First off, you have a school counselor. Some school counselors have Grief Loss Groups at school that will be of support to you. Feel free to let her know the pain you struggle with and that you need to speak with someone. Also, if you attend a church, youth group you may want to inquire about someone on staff that can provide you with guidance as you navigate grief. Some churches have a group called Grief Share. Google Grief Share. Put your community to which you reside and call the places it has listed. These people discuss with you the process of grief that you navigate.

    Each person navigates grief loss processes a bit differently. Some longer than others. It is absolutely okay for you to be navigating this at this juncture. I am sure there are times you think, “If my mom could see me now,” or “I wonder what mom may say about this?” Even times you may say, “Mom and I use to laugh about this!”

    It sounds like your dad and your sister perhaps navigating grief at a different rate than you? That is okay. Your biggest opportunity is to take care of what is going on inside of you, and allow your dad and sister to handle their own grief at the same time. It may appear on the outside to you that they seem to have moved beyond all that. However, deep down, they may only express their grief loss differently than you do. Allow them to be responsible for their own choices, and actions, as you take responsibility for your own actions, and process of healing.

    Know that your mom would want you to go on with your life. At sometime, you will feel that it is time to begin to let go all the more.

    In the meantime, you can write in a journal dedicated to your mom. Each day you can share in this journal dedicated to your mom the kind of day you had, what you did, what you experienced, how you felt. Also, even consider trying new things that you know she would have supported you in. Sometimes young men play football, though they lost their father. On their dad’s birthday, or for the play off, they may dedicate that game to their dad. Also, ask your dad if you can make a collage or do something creative that are things your mom had that your dad and sister would not mind you using to create something beautiful in memory of your mom. Ask you r dad if he would allow you to use pictures of her to make even a collage with pictures of her or your family? Maybe even color copy pictures so that their is an original, and you can use the copies to make that collage or something with those pictures that you can look at and be at piece with.

    Lastly, you maybe going through a time where growing up is challenging enough and having support from an older more mature woman maybe what you may need. Someone to take an interest in you yet, may encourage you in areas or be there when you need to talk. Having more than one person to talk to is healthy. There is wisdom from several trustworthy, respectable, respectful people. Do not forget to look at faith and find where you can gather support from God or church.

    I wish you well. Know your mother’s arms are holding you tightly. See her, in your heart of hearts, telling you how much she loves you! How special you always were to her! How she believes in you. How she hopes you will make this a better world to live in! How forever proud she is of you and to do your best, and then trust what. you have done for the best outcomes.

    You are blessed young lady. You have a whole wonderful life to live. I know you will personally do well. You have what it takes and may God be with you forever as you hold your mother in your heart forever. Release your dad and your sister to take care of yourself. Know, your grief vs their grief will look different. They are responsible to live their lives and be responsible for their actions, as you are. Sooooo make your mom happy as she watches over you! Bless you young lady forever and ever! One day you will be a mom to your children.
    Live out the life and destiny that brings out the best in you and others…….

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