Q: I'm a divorced lady of 45, I recently met a widower, and we hit it off. It seems that my 16-year-old son and the widower's daughter, who is 17, are attracted to each other. I am unsure if I should confront and discourage him because this jeopardises my relationship with the widower.
Ans: Nothing can jeopardise your relationship more than your own perceptions and judgement. You might want to address those first before you try to change your son's relationship with your partner's daughter. You and your son are in two different relationships; why not keep them that way? Setting boundaries between you, him and your partner will help. The role you will play with each other can be shaped based on your needs. Spell them out right now.
Are you uncomfortable thinking that your son's girlfriend could become your stepdaughter? There are not many differences between these two roles. It will be easier for you to connect to her like this, as you will have the opportunity to spend more time together. The kids are in their teens and as long as you have spoken to your son about the use of condoms and protection, you should be able to sleep at night, with or without the widower.
Bringing the two relationships together could also be an interesting and fulfilling experience. Think about how convenient it would be: Going on double dates, saving fuel, family discounts, bulk purchases of condoms and so on. If you are worried about your kids becoming stepchildren, please understand that family structures are changing.
Many individuals are part of multi-partner families consisting of step-parents, co-parents, romantic partners, stepchildren, etc. As they say, the more, the merrier. The more people in a family unit, the more love, resources and logistical support. Whether you decide to keep the two romantic units together or separate them remember to embrace the freshness and energy of these relationships.
The writer is an Intimacy & Relationship Coach, Founder of The Intimacy Curator, an organisation promoting self-discovery through emotional and sexual well-being (www.theintimacycurator.com). (Have a query? Send it on email@example.com)
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