Dear Amy: I am a 52-year-old divorcee who recently married a wonderful 62-year-old widower.
We are very happy except for one thing: Before we married, my husband’s grown children (37and 35) attempted to stop us.
His son was very happy and supportive initially, but his daughter apparently influenced the son to change his mind. Neither attended our wedding.
I understand that they were trying to prevent their father from rushing into marriage. On the other hand, we didn’t really think we needed his children’s permission to marry. Our romance was a bit of a whirlwind, but we have known each other for six years.
Meeting his daughter upon our return from our honeymoon would have been my priority (she lives locally), but now I’m wondering if that will ever happen.
Now that we are back home her father has been to see her, but he can’t get her to acknowledge me or our marriage.
I am very sad about all of this. Should I reach out to his children? If so, how should I begin?
— Baffled Bride
Dear Baffled: Well, you’re off to a bad start, and the person who could fix this — possibly quite quickly — is your husband.
He did not need his daughter’s permission to GET married, and now he should stop trying to get her permission to BE married.
His marriage to you should be presented as a very happy occurrence, and his adult children should be encouraged in a friendly, firm and no-nonsense way, to accept it.
You don’t say when your husband’s late wife died, but you should all understand with compassion that his children might have difficulties with his new relationship. But they are adults. Giving them the option NOT to cope will not help them.
If your husband’s daughter wants to have a happy and loving relationship with her father, she should be willing to meet you and accept the fact that you exist and that you are married to her father. She doesn’t have to embrace you as a mother-figure, but yes, she does have to face reality.
The more often her father visits her without you, the more he is demonstrating through his actions that she has the option of rejecting you.
Yes, I think you should reach out. Write a friendly email inviting both of them to dinner on a specific night (if his son is in town). Expect that they will possibly ignore or reject the invitation. Choose not to take this personally — because how can you? You’ve never met!
Strongly encourage your husband to handle this, quickly — otherwise you could face a divided household, and that is no way to run a family.
Dear Amy: Don’t laugh at this, because it is getting serious.
My wife and I are retired and winter in the Southwest. We faithfully watch the popular game show “Wheel of Fortune” every night after supper.
I found out about a month ago that the show was on an hour earlier back home in the Midwest, so I decided to have a friend of mine text me the answers prior to us watching it.
My wife and I are very competitive regarding who can come up with correct answers first.
Of course, I get them all right, quite quickly!
At first, she was kind of amazed. Now it’s getting serious.
Some of my friends back home know what I’m doing, and I’m sure someone will tell her.
How can I get out of this situation before she finds out from someone else? She will be “PO’d.”
— Hooked on the Wheel
Dear Hooked: Here’s your clue: Two Words, 12 letters.
You might want to taper down slowly, and gradually decline from savant status to mere mortal.
And come clean with your wife. Do so over a nice dinner, present your confession in clue form and attach a prize for her correct guess.
Dear Amy: Regarding healing from “emotional affairs,” my husband and I both had them. We confessed our indiscretions and started marriage counseling. I secretly kept in contact with my affair partner for another year. By doing this, I was wasting all we were investing in the counseling and our marriage.
It wasn’t until I became honest with myself and completely ended my friendship and affair that my marriage could begin to heal.
We are about to celebrate 23 years of marriage and although it was painful and a hard lesson to learn, it brought us closer together in the long run.
— Happy Now
Dear Happy: Congratulations!