The comments from Sandwiched Boomers yesterday were thoughtful and, in some ways, similar. Readers felt uncomfortable initially when their widowed parent began dating – then more positive, seeing them involved and happy. What follows are some tips from Gloria and Marilyn on how you can make this transition a smoother one, for yourself as well as others in the family:
With a life of your own and different priorities than when you were younger, consider what’s really important and allow the small things to fall by the wayside. Establish weekend visits, holiday meals, occasional celebrations, perhaps vacations together in a new way. So what if your parent’s choice is not ideal. Be appreciative that someone cares for your father. Consider these suggestions:Try to put yourself in your parent’s shoes and consider how difficult it might be for them, caught in an emotional tug-of-war between their new love and adult child.
Don’t put your parent in the position of having to choose between your love and that of their new mate when both are important to their sense of well-being.
Don’t discuss issues such as family inheritance, your late parent’s possessions, and your feelings of being pushed aside by their new love.
When you’re angry, try to understand where your feelings are coming from so that you can calmly discuss your concerns with sensitivity and caring.
Keep reminding yourself that your parent is an adult and has the right, and smarts, to choose their new mate.