Demanding to Be No. 1

By Annie Lane

August 31, 2020 3 min read

Dear Annie: I had been living with a widowed man for over a year. After COVID-19 hit, his grown son and his son's then-girlfriend started coming over every weekend. I am talking about arriving on Friday and staying until Sunday. They have an hour-and-a-half drive home, and they leave so he can go to work.

This went on for months, and I frankly wanted time with just my boyfriend. We are almost 60, and his son is in his 30s, and his son's girlfriend (now fiancee) is 45, I believe.

Tensions were rising between my sweetie and me because we both work full time and there was never any "us time." Tensions were also rising between the kids and me because I think she has issues. My sweetie believes his relationship with his son is too important and his son needs him.

So I moved back to my own home, and our relationship took a step back.

At first, I blamed myself, but I have quickly realized this is an unhealthy relationship he has with his grown son, and his son's fiancee is in the mix manipulating them both.

I have sought professional counseling. My counselor agrees with my assessment. I tried to convince my sweetie that even grown children need boundaries, but he doesn't agree and thinks my counselor is telling me what I want to hear.

My heart is absolutely breaking. I can see that our growing old together is not going to happen. Is there a way I can convince him that this relationship with his son and fiancee is unhealthy? — The Former Chief Cook, Cleaner and Shopper

Dear Former Everything: There really isn't a healthy way for you to "convince" him that his relationship with his son is unhealthy. He has to come to that conclusion on his own. If you tell him what his father-son relationship should be, he will only resent you for meddling. The real problem is that you are demanding to be No. 1 in his life. Aside from the coronavirus hitting, his son also probably comes over every weekend because he wants his father to get to know his fiancee. You have to learn to share your boyfriend with his son. The pandemic will not go on forever, but we all must make sacrifices.

If you really feel this is the man you want to grow old with, then make time to spend together alone. Perhaps you could schedule a weekly dinner date for just the two of you. When we marry someone, we are not just marrying that person; we are marrying their family in a lot of ways. Your boyfriend loves his son, and if you love your boyfriend, try to get along with his son and his fiancee without judging them too harshly.

"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]

Photo credit: Free-Photos at Pixabay

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