When I met Harry I was divorced, was an empty nester, had three beautiful children and one gorgeous grandchild. Harry was much the same. We didn’t have the kind of relationship that set the world on fire, but we were happy together. Our companionship over three years did turn into love and right now I couldn’t imagine my life without him. But we have a problem… One that is quite big.
My adult children have always been incredibly close to me. We have a great relationship but recently I can’t help but feel their opinions are unwelcome. We’ve discussed marriage and they can’t seem to understand why we’d want to at this age. They don’t think us living together is the best idea either as they believe we need to stay financially and socially separate too.
I accept that these are both valid points and questions that people need to ask themselves at any age no matter what relationship they’re in. But I can’t help but feel they are overstepping the mark a little. Am I right? Or do I need to listen to them?
Families are unusual things. As parents, we go through life guiding our children’s’ decisions by sharing our own opinions and judgment to hopefully shape theirs. But as we age, do we just have to expect that the tables will turn and they will soon be the ones critiquing our judgment?
I have had friends who have had huge falling outs with their children. One was getting re-married to someone who he had only met less than a year ago. His children believed she was after his money so she could leave her own children inheritance. And although the situation was a little suspicious, their attitude left them without the support of their father and their own children without the love of a grandfather.
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But if we continue to stand up to our children when they question our judgment and we don’t do what they suggest, can we only expect it to end sourly? Or is there a way to discuss things from adult child to adult parent without overstepping our personal boundaries?
I’ve read into this a little just with a few Google searches and there seems to be a lot of people who have struggled with this same dilemma too. Some say that as long as you can tell your children aren’t trying to influence your decisions to better their own position, be it financially or emotionally (some were against the idea of parents making a treechange or seachange as they wanted them around for support) they should be listened to.
Whereas others have said that the child-parent relationship dynamics shouldn’t really ever change and that younger generations of any family structure shouldn’t feel their opinions and thoughts take precedence over the older generations.
But today I want to know, what do you think is the right thing to do or the right way to handle it? How would you approach it if you were in my shoes?