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Lisa Oz is a writer, actress, producer, and co-host of The Dr. Oz Show on Oprah Radio, Sirius and XM. She is co-author of five New York Times best-selling books including YOU: The Owner s Manual series and author of the…
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My boyfriend's adult children will not recognize our relationship.
Posted in Family Issues by Lisa Oz on Apr 09, 2010
"I am a very honest, caring, supportive, and loving lady to a great man, who is a widower. His wife passed away over three years ago; but, his adult children still refuse to accept our friendship and relationship. For example, his adult son refuses to let his dad see his new granddaughter, and he holds her hostage (like a pawn piece). I am a single mother with two teenage daughters, who really like this great man. However, they are also really tired of all of the drama and interference with his adult children. It is really ironic to see my daughters as teenagers be more mature than his adult children.

I am a very strict mother. I believe two things. If you do nothing else right in life, "raise your children well," and "lots of love with limits." My teenage daughters know that honest rules and true respect are not ever negotiable. I will honestly communicate and support my daughters to the very end; but, i will not let them rule my life. As I lived through the loss of my dad's second wife, when she died unexpectedly, i know how it feels to lose a loved one (who was like a second mom to me). I have also had to learn to accept the new woman in my dad's life and still keep family peace (out of family love and honest respect). "I walk my talk." I try to be fair and honest with everyone. But, in this current relationship, my daughters and i keep getting hurt deeply. I have stood by this great man through thick and thin for the past three years, and we are great friends. I am even supportive with always talking and discussing his life with his former wife; because, I know that she will always be a part of him and his adult children.

It is simply just not fair and wrong for his adult children to tell their dad, that now they will disown him, if he stays with me. I just cannot win for losing. I have set up immediate counselling for their father for deep depression, as he is trying to be loyal to his children first and foremost. In my opinion, he has lost sight of who is the parent (dad), and who are the adult children (who are 29 and 27). What is a fair compromise for everybody? For others, who have also lived this same life scenario, please share your stories (good and bad). I know that I cannot fix everything for everybody. Is it time to just "let go and let God?" I love him dearly and we have a great family with us and my daughters; but, his two other adult children will not let us also have an extended family with them, as well. I am even willing to still keep a safe distance for several years to come. I just will not be told, that i cannot be seen with their dad in public, for fear that they will not approve. That is a total slap in the face to me and my pride and self dignity, as well as my daughters. Please help!!"


I know your man’s first family is important and I don’t think it would be appropriate for you to usurp them, but as you pointed out, they are no longer children and it is extremely selfish of them not to expect their father to move on after the loss of his former wife.

To improve this situation there are a few things that need to be sorted out. The most important is your relationship with your boyfriend. You mention that you discuss his life with his wife, but do you discuss your own relationship with him? Does he understand how deeply hurt you are? Is he okay with the way his adult children treat you? Has he ever spoken with them about what is and what is not acceptable behavior towards you? What does he think is the reason for their rudeness?

You and your boyfriend need to be on the same page about what role his children will play in your life together. My feeling is that if they refuse to accept you and your boyfriend is incapable of setting boundaries and insisting on a basic level of civility toward you then you will continue to be frustrated. At some point your own sense of self-respect will make it impossible to continue in a relationship where you are not respected.

- Lisa Oz
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To Comment 1: Wow! What a perfect example of projecting your own issues onto others. You think this woman is selfish for expecting adult children to behave as adults? Yet you rejected, and didn't even acknowledge, your own siblings, and your step-mother, for 10 years?! How selfish is that? They must be near saints to allow you into their lives at all after all of those years of self-serving rejection from you. You'll never get the 10 years back of your little brother or sister's lives. And how much pain your devoted father must have felt having to deal with childish adult children while grieving the loss of their mother and his wife? You have a right to grieve for 10-12 years but you don't have the right to be cruel to your own family. It's not all about YOU and if you're ready. Doesn't your father and step-mother have a right to be in charge of their own life? Just as you are in charge of your own happiness or unhappiness.
By Emory7777  Dec 21, 2013
7
To Comment 1: Wow! What a perfect example of projecting your own issues onto others. You think this woman is selfish for expecting adult children to behave as adults? Yet you rejected, and didn't even acknowledge, your own siblings, and your step-mother, for 10 years?! How selfish is that? They must be near saints to allow you into their lives at all after all of those years of self-serving rejection from you. You'll never get the 10 years back of your little brother or sister's lives. And how much pain your devoted father must have felt having to deal with childish adult children while grieving the loss of their mother and his wife? You have a right to grieve for 10-12 years but you don't have the right to be cruel to your own family. It's not all about YOU and if you're ready. Doesn't your father and step-mother have a right to be in charge of their own life? Just as you are in charge of your own happiness or unhappiness.
By Emory7777  Dec 21, 2013
6
My father is going through the same thing with my brother. We lost my mother 2 years ago. A day before my mother's first death anniversary my father came out about this lady friend that he's known since he was a teenager. Apparently, she was his girlfriend right before my mother and left her for my mother. She has been divorced for several years ago and has adult children. My brother is not okay with this. To be honest I was not okay with it at first either. I have accepted the fact that my dad need to go on with his life. My dad was depressed for that whole year before his lady friend came into his life. I asked my brother why it was so hard to accept her and he said, “I am still grieving for her and I cannot betray her like this." Maybe this will give you an idea of what they are going through. It does not necessarily mean that they don't approve of you they are just not ready to accept another women in their lives yet.

Mari
By cmar73  Aug 03, 2010
5
Take it from me,they never will,if you have been with there father 4awhile,They will never except you.I was with my husband 20yrs,married 4 almost3.He was dying from cancer the last3years.I was cursed at,choked by 1daughter,They stole his morphine a week be4 he died.I had 2go by myself 2make arrangements.Well there father died. Needless 2 say I have not heard from anyone since. It wasn't like there mother was a good wife,she cheated on him.They were always telling him why do you stay with her.Everything done 2me,their father would fail alittle bit more.They never visited, maybe 1 every 2months. They made his last days on this earth hell.He told me he was so sorry what they did 2 me.He never thought they would act like they did.Well it is hard 2be alone now,really alone
By winkie  Apr 12, 2010
4
wow.
im in this exact situation, except i am one of the adult 'children'.
three years ago my sister and i lost the most benevolent person we knew, our mum, to cervical cancer. she was the most kind and heartwarming person i'll ever know.
my father moved on (very slowly) and brought a new woman into our lives.
i guess they were having problems of some sort, which my sister and i steered clear of, because when we first met her she immediately demanded to know where my father was. i told her truthfully that i didnt know (he was out) and was told i was a liar, didnt care etc - which was really the worst first impression you could make.
i do see her on brief occassions now, and i think we get along naturally now - but something as simple as a bad first impression could exactly describe what has happened here...
By onaconfusedpath  Apr 10, 2010
3
Dr. You mention that: 'you discuss his life with his wife' Does she speak from thje grave or did you leave a part out??
God Bless
chip
By chipchip  Apr 10, 2010
2
Wow.. I don't normally respond to these but this one hit me as kind of selfish.

My mother died when I was 19 (adopted as well) from a battle with cancer. Dad started dating immediately and that was ok because it wasn't serious. WE were not READY for him to marry and have a 4 month pregnant wife within barely 1 1/2 years of mom's death. A second family was born.

It took me nearly 10-12 years to completely accept my father's wife and enjoy the person she is and acknowledge and love my half-sisters. Grief takes time and everyone is different, respect that. The kids are grieving their mom and THEIR family.

So, if you want them to respect your relationship, be civil, kind, understanding and respect that they may need more time. Talk with your husband to do the same.

Good luck! I hope that you have a wonderful life together and hopefully the children will come around
By soulgone  Apr 09, 2010
1
Wow.. I don't normally respond to these but this one hit me as kind of selfish.

My mother died when I was 19 (adopted as well) from a battle with cancer. Dad started dating immediately and that was ok because it wasn't serious. WE were not READY for him to marry and have a 4 month pregnant wife within barely 1 1/2 years of mom's death. A second family was born.

It took me nearly 10-12 years to completely accept my father's wife and enjoy the person she is and acknowledge and love my half-sisters. Grief takes time and everyone is different, respect that. The kids are grieving their mom and THEIR family.

So, if you want them to respect your relationship, be civil, kind, understanding and respect that they may need more time. Talk with your husband to do the same.

Good luck! I hope that you have a wonderful life together and hopefully the children will come around
By soulgone  Apr 09, 2010
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