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Trying to involve yourself in their lives too quickly or too aggressively may have the adverse reaction of pushing your date away as he tries to cope with his feelings and help his children cope with theirs.If you sense that your partner needs time alone, give him that time. Give your new partner the freedom to dictate how the relationship will progress, including when and how you will interact with his children.Case in point: Melissa Spence, a 24-year-old schoolteacher in New Jersey, who’s been watching from the sidelines as her father, Richard, spends money on his new wife, Pat.“I asked my dad if he could help out with my rent for the few months between graduate school and when my job started, and he said he had too many other expenses,” Melissa says.And, given that boomer divorce rates are on the rise, increasing numbers of parents are likely to experience disapproval from their adult kids when Cupid’s arrows land.“Children of all ages feel betrayed and abandoned when their parents divorce because their cozy nest is disrupted,” Lieberman says.
Just keep in mind that dating a widower can require a bit of extra patience, understanding and a willingness to allow him space to express his feelings. Even if your new love interest has had ample time to grieve the loss of his spouse, his children may still be dealing with the loss of their parent -- and he may be trying to help them deal with their pain.
Sometimes there are psychological reasons for an adult child resisting a parent’s new love life.
For instance, a young woman may be especially sensitive when her father forms a serious new relationship.
Money-talk avoidance seems to be more common among the wealthy, but the taboo exists across all economic classes.
Fanning the flames, perhaps, was the recent buzz over a study suggesting many boomers didn’t feel they owed their children an inheritance.
“But the next time I visited them, Pat was showing off her new emerald-cut sapphire ring.