Helping son, 18, accept her new man - Newsday

Helping son, 18, accept her new man

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Ask Amy Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

DEAR AMY: I was widowed five years ago. I waited two years before dating. I have recently fallen in love with a great guy, and we are very happy. My 18-year-old son is having a hard time accepting this situation. I have always been careful to not have the guy stay over or even spend a lot of time at our house. I know it is difficult for my son. How do I get him used to the idea and help him accept the fact that this guy makes me very happy?Cautious Mom

DEAR MOM: This is tricky. Your son is at a transitional age. His own adulthood is looming. Layer on top of that the loss he suffered in adolescence, which is significant.

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We parents need to realize that our own personal happiness is not always paramount to our children. Our children love and care about us but, through the filter of childhood, they think, "Well, what about me?" Continue to be thoughtful and careful. Don't push this man at your son. Talk to your son about his own life. Fold your new guy slowly and naturally into your life and assure your son at every step of the way that he is not losing you and that he will be fine.

DEAR AMY: We took care of our parents for years. The out-of-pocket expense for gas, food and caretaking was considerable. When it was time for the inheritance, the whole family was treated equally. By the time it was split six ways, the amount we received did not even pay for our expenses. How should an inheritance be treated?The Workers

DEAR WORKERS: An inheritance should be treated as the private preference of the person writing the will. How parents should be treated is another matter. Surely your love, kindness and caring for your parents provided its own (nonmaterial) compensation to you. Shouldn't this boil down to much more than the bottom line?

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