Widowed father dating daughter unhappy
I nod in agreement when the son of a friend expresses concern to me about his dad driving after dark, but I also understand when my friend, his father, complains of “being badgered by my kids about my driving.” He and his children may have different answers to the situation’s key questions: How serious a problem is the father’s driving?And how capable is the father of making his own decisions? “Whenever Brenda drops by, I’m not sure whether she’s come to visit or to check up on me: Does my home meet the clean test?Among their findings: Their participants “express strong desire for both autonomy and connection in relations with their adult children, leading to ambivalence about receiving assistance from them.They define themselves as independent but hope that children’s help will be available as needed.“Older parents might do better to try to understand and address the child’s concerns.We found in our research that when the middle-aged adult is worried about the aging parent, the parent is both annoyed by that and feels more loved.”* * *At a recent 80th-birthday party for my friend Leah, I found myself seated at a table for eight, all women of a certain age: my very own focus group.
Not surprisingly, adult children were more likely to say their parents were acting stubborn than the parents were to see the behavior in themselves.
“I’d just want to say thank you,” said one, “and I do say it all the time.” She explained that she was sidelined by a back ailment this past year, and “my daughters, despite their busy social and professional lives, bent over backwards to do everything for their father and me.” “What I’d want to say to my daughters? “I’d want to tell them, ‘Buzz off.’” The daughters are both in their early fifties; their mother, widowed early in her marriage, is fiercely proud of her success as a single mother.
“They’re always offering to do this, do that, and do the other thing, and it just drives me crazy,” she said.
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.
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.A professor of human development and family sciences at the University of Texas, Fingerman is also the director of a three-generational study that focuses on middle-aged children and how they care for the generations above and below them.