- My age:
- I am 45
- What I like to listen:
When your ex starts dating can often bring a flood of emotions especially if his new partner is a friend or former friend of yours and even worse if they were dating before you broke up. I think my daughter has mixed feelings about it. One of the times I blew up at my ex was right after he went public with his relationship. He told me on a Friday that they were together, and then on Saturday, my daughter had plans to go to the movies with this friend, and I was under the understanding that the mother was picking them up and taking them to the movies. Then he actually started being a lot more discreet. I think that my daughter is glad to see her dad happy.
We have a daughter in her first year at university.
When she came back for Christmas, one of her new friends — a witty, beautiful young woman — spent the evening at our home. We got on very well, share the same taste in music and she seemed genuinely interested in my job. I must assure you that I was faultlessly proper, but since she left I haven't been able to get her out of my mind.
My wife is kind and not unattractive, but her mind seems reed to the slide towards middle age. My daughter's friend reminded me of a freshness I haven't felt in decades.
The divorce coach says
My heart rose pathetically when my daughter asked if she could stay during the next holidays. I'd never disgrace myself in any way, but I am in desperate need of reassurance or advice. You're the man we women live in fear of discovering we're married to.
A guy who hangs around during our youth, but as soon as experience replaces "freshness" drops us for firmer, plumper flesh. You sound like the proverbial old codger.
Into your home walks a friend of your daughter who displays manners enough to show an interest in her pal's dad. Instead of congratulating yourself on what a fine child you have reared with the good sense to associate with delightful contemporaries, you're salivating about the possibilities of romance.
You admit you've enjoyed a happy if less than scintillating family life. Have you any idea how imperilled your unappreciated idyll is by the possibility of you pursuing these fantasies any further? Imagine the horror of your daughter on discovering you'd made advances on her friend. But let's not be narrow-minded and rest at only one conclusion. There are, of course, other possibilities in terms of the emotions driving this doomed encounter.
This young student may indeed have developed a crush on her pal's dad. It's not unusual for girls struggling with the conflicting ups and downs of early adulthood to form affections for older men, a sort of misplaced father figure with whom it's tempting to imagine romance. Such infatuations are based on perfectly natural impulses, as is your tendency to feel flattered. What we have to rely on in such circumstances is that the "adult" involved behaves in a manner that warrants such a description.
You're floating around with your head in the clouds like some lovesick schoolgirl. Detailing your wife's shortcomings — in particular her being "reed" to middle age she's doing better than the rest of us!
This girl is young and fresh, but it doesn't mean that by association you will become so, too. Indeed, if anything you'll find yourself feeling older, greyer and even ridiculous if you were to take the relationship any further. You need to take satisfaction from the fact that you are still able to communicate with your daughter's generation, not the possibility that one of them might be tempted to embark on some ill-judged affair.
As a responsible adult, your duty is to gently disabuse this young woman of any hopes for a liaison.
There is no reason why, in your fifties, you and your wife should be slumping into some reed pre-retirement plan. You say that until this encounter you believed yourself to be happily married. That belief is all that's required for it to be a reality, along with a little investment from both sides to refresh the relationship from time to time. Instead of idling away your solitary moments with fevered dreams of what might be, try setting your sights on what you have. If marriage was to be only a temporary arrangement, tolerated until it loses its fizz, then you shouldn't have taken those vows in the first place.
Regard this unsettling experience as a catalyst to propel you into facing up to and working on the priorities in your life.
If there are problems in your marriage that need addressing, or are irresolvable, those are issues to be confronted, not sidestepped by thrusting yourself at some young woman in the hope of salvation. You don't for a second sound to me like the sort of delusional twit who'd be so grateful for the attention of a young girl as to sacrifice everything else in his life and cause devastation among those he loves. Am I right? If you have a dilemma, send a brief to mariella.
A fortnight ago, Mariella advised a woman who was having an affair with a married man. She had recently converted to Islam, but thought her Yemeni lover was stuck in an arranged marriage with his cousin and wondered if she should end the relationship.
Here are some readers' web posts:. It seems his marriage was forced by the family, which may mean that neither really love one another.
If that is the case, how can you be so damning about someone falling in love outside wedlock? The whole point of Islam allowing more than one wife is to avoid this situation — so that mistresses and any resulting children would have legitimacy. The fact that he refuses to marry her says it all. I live in Yemen and have a lover who is married to his cousin.
Were you to move here as a second wife, you would get the shock of your life. A wife is nothing in this culture, whereas a family member — such as his cousin — is worth a lot.
Breadcrumb trail links
His family will hold him to his first marriage and you will be regarded as disposable. Dear Mariella Relationships. Dear Mariella. I am a year-old man with a daughter at university. One of her new friends spent the evening at our home, and I can't get her out of my mind.
My wife meanwhile seems reed to the slide towards middle age. My heart rose pathetically when my daughter asked if her friend could stay during the next holidays. I'd never disgrace myself, but I am in desperate need of reassurance or advice.
What to do if your child hates your new partner
Mariella Frostrup. Here are some readers' web posts: It seems his marriage was forced by the family, which may mean that neither really love one another. Topics Relationships Dear Mariella features. Reuse this content.