Partner's children won't give her a chance
DEAR AMY: I have been in a serious relationship with a man for four years. When we first got together, he was legally separated and after a year was divorced. We have been living together for the past three years. The problem is that three of his four young adult children hold me responsible for his divorce and refuse to even meet me. Essentially, my partner has been living a double life, visiting and spending time with his adult children and then coming home to me. I am never included in their visits because of their refusal to have anything to do with me. This summer, his side of the family is having a reunion to celebrate his mother's 80th birthday. My partner's mother and his sister have asked me not to go to the reunion because my partner's children said that if I am going, they will not attend. As a result, my partner is buying tickets for his two younger children to attend the reunion but is not attending the reunion himself.
I have done everything possible to welcome them into our lives (through my partner, of course, since I've never spoken to them) but to no avail. My partner is at his wits' end. He is still trying to make everyone happy.
I love him dearly and want this to end. What do you suggest we do?Sad PartnerDEAR SAD:Your partner can nudge his children along by being empathetic to them, honest and straightforward about his choices, but not beholden to their reactions.
This family reunion presents an opportunity for him to say to them, "Carol is part of my life now. She has nothing to do with my divorce from your mom. I know this has been hardon you, but it is time to move forward."
He is not only allowing his children to reject you sight unseen, but he is letting them call the shots for his whole family -- and he is footing the bill!
Perhaps his absence from this landmark celebration will get the family's attention.