Question: Hi Luise: I’m a 42 yr. old, single mother of 2 girls 16 and 8. When I divorced 8 years ago it was due to mental, verbal and emotional abuse. Throughout the last 8 years I’ve continued to have problems with my ex-spouse intermittently. Throughout all this, my family has supported me emotionally, financially, and basically just been there for me. Several months ago I met a man who I know deep in the depths of my soul and spirit is my Soul Mate. We are synchronistic in our thinking, spiritually, family, etc. I love him. I live in the Midwest, he lives in Bermuda. He came over to see me last month, and everything flowed naturally with us. He met my family, we attended church together, just a beautiful weekend. He bought me a ticket to visit him this month. I picked a weekend when my kids are away. Problem: My parents, (especially my father), has laid a horrible guilt trip on me. I’ve been told that I’m not thinking of my children, because something could happen to me, I don’t know my friend well enough and he could be like my ex husband, etc. I’m going no matter what but is there any way I can soothe the anger and FEAR that my parents are experiencing? Thank you for your consideration and God bless. Mae
Answer: Dear Mae: (That’s the name I picked for you.) You did not mention how you met this man “several months ago”. If it was on the Internet, then it looks like you may have only that one weekend to draw on. Your parents are quite naturally concerned. There are some real horror stories out there about Internet psychos, and to be fair, a lot of good stories of true love, as well. Fathers, as you know, are often super-protective, and since you have been getting help from your family, he may feel proprietary toward you again. Perhaps you could tell him that if the identical situation occurred with one of your daughters, you might feel exactly as he does…and that you understand his panic and his desire to take control. Beyond that, you need to ask for his trust and respect.
I have to say that there’s a part of me that admires the fact that you are going to Bermuda without parental approval. You’re 42 years old. (I was a grandmother at that age!) But there’s also another part of me that’s holding my breath. I doubt that there’s much you can say, beyond the suggestion I’ve offered above, to sooth the very real fears that are coming to the surface for your parents. They are not seeing you as a responsible adult. Certainly, you have a right to a life of your own and are wise not to live only for your girls. That’s always an out-of-balance way to exist. The concept that you are not thinking of your children because “something could happen to you” is weak. That could be true when you go to the store for a loaf of bread. “Come on, Dad!” Life is a risk. Love is a risk. You thought you had found it before. Be cautious and alert and, if you’d like to, let us know how it all turns out. Blessings, Luise