My 30-year-old daughter is in a polyamorous relationship with a married man. She brought him home for the holidays, and although he was charming, I felt uncomfortable. (This may have been caused by my husband’s infidelity that led to our divorce.) Now, my daughter tells me she would like to take this man on our family trip to Greece this year. It may be petty, but I don’t want to foot the bill for another woman’s husband. And I don’t see any way this relationship can lead to my daughter’s happiness. Do I have to set my limits and run the risk that my daughter won’t go on holiday with me?
I may be off-base, but I don’t think the real issue here is the cost of a trip to Greece or your ex-husband’s infidelity. This is about respecting your adult daughter’s choices. You have substituted your idea of happiness for hers. This is a common (and often well-intentioned) trap for many parents. However, it is not productive.
Let’s put aside the trip to Greece and the ghost of your cheating ex. Unlike him, people in polyamorous arrangements usually set ground rules with their partners for opening their relationship with others. (Nobody cheats!) Try to understand as best you can what your daughter likes about this arrangement and how it satisfies her.
As a show of respect, read up on polyamory before broaching the subject with her. Then ask questions. I’m not suggesting that you put all your worries aside – just that you try to respect your adult daughter’s decisions. In a more open-minded context, you will find that the trip to Greece resolves itself.
Because I am what?
When I went for brunch with a friend, I noticed that other tables had been given bread baskets before their food was served, but not us. My friend said I only noticed this because I’m Jewish. I told her her statement was hurtful and rude. She apologized, but then said that anyone who was not Jewish would not notice such a thing. Three weeks later I’m still bummed about it. I’d rather not see her again, but my husband tells me to confront her. (I am a non-confrontational person.) Advice?
I disagree with your husband. You already told your girlfriend that her anti-Semitic statement was hurtful. She apologized and then made the same hateful comment in a slightly different way.
If you want to work out her bigotry with her, that’s up to you. But the injured have no obligation to educate their perpetrators (much less twice). Stay away from her if you prefer. Say no if she tries to go on another date, or tell her to research her preconceptions before you want to see her again.
Just check in!
My boyfriend and I are about to take a very important test. We’ve been preparing for it for over a year and usually see each other once a week. But lately she’s been avoiding me. Someone we have in common told me I remind our friend about the test, and when she sees me she gets anxious. I reached out to her again and tried to reassure her that I was just checking in, but to no avail. Now I’m hurt by her silence. Is there anything else I can do?
Sometimes friends need breaks. I’m not saying it’s rational for the sight of you to scare your friend. But for now it does. It would also have been better if she had shared this information with you directly. So I understand your hurt feelings.
Is it possible to put your communications on hold until the impending test is over? If you can, that might be a better, more relaxed time to talk to your boyfriend or girlfriend about it. It’s also possible that her behavior feels like an abandonment that you can’t get back to. That is also a fair response. For now though, forcing your boyfriend to hang out with you is unlikely to be productive.
I’m 29 and in a relationship with a 61-year-old man. My friends have expressed concern that our age difference is too big, but I don’t feel it in my interactions with him. But recently, in an airport terminal, he asked me to “take it easy” and walk with him. He sounded like an authoritative father trying to rule over an unruly child. And walking at its slow pace restricts me. Am I supposed to walk out of his life like this?
Unsurprisingly, a (possibly annoyed) request from a man old enough to be your father seems paternalistic. Maybe he was frustrated that he couldn’t keep up. But your gut feeling is worth investigating.
I have no idea if you should break up with him. You only shared one moment of your relationship. Still, it may be symbolic of other issues that will arise between you over the years. Don’t ignore your concerns; try to put it in the larger context of your relationship. How does his age and walking speed factor into all the qualities you both bring to the table?