Many of us “the elders” think that when you’re over fifty, it is easier to forge a new relationship. The children grew up and most of them have already left home and basically nothing interferes with the new relationship that you found and all you have to do is to nurture and enjoy your significant other.
Your family and your children as well as his family and his children are two separate planets, two different cultures with different forms of behaviors and rulls that sometimes seem odd to you.
For example, if your children and grandchildren live far away and you do not get to meet them often, and he, on the other hand, meets with his children and grandchildren once or twice a week, the frequency of “the others” meetings (which of course come at the expense of the time you share together) can cause tensions between the two of you.
If one of your children is struggling with difficulties or crises of his own and you as a parent cannot stay away and must step in and help (which is only natural) sometimes may cause your partner to feel threatened or neglected ..
Another example is really classic.
Let’s say you’ve been alone and without a relationship for few years. You all probably experienced this: Your children, most likely one of them, the oldest one become “your partner in life”.
You go shopping together, spend time together, make joint decisions and also make financial decisions together and in fact your child is your partner.
What happens when a real partner enters the picture? This time it is the child who feels abandoned and threatened and finds it difficult to accept the new relationship.
In general, we come to Chapter B already consolidated with a cohesive personality which is difficult to change.
Although we are singles, we are actually a family and economic unit. Therefore the new person is actually an intruder who threatens the status quo.
What will happen if the new person, the same person our father or mother is in love with over their head, begins to influence them and change decisions and world order that we built together over the years?
It turns out that our next relationship is not simple and we must take into consideration all the other factors and the most significant of them is your partner children, those who are not your children. Those who you will never love like your own children, those who will never love you as their own mother or father.
Sorry to be so blunt but it’s the truth.
I do not pretend to be an expert, because it’s a continuous learning curve.
It has so many aspects, emotional, psychological and even legal.
I can only say that I gave a lot of love to his children. I did not try to replace their mother, I did not try too hard to push the bond between us before it ripened, I just let things happen of their own accord and I was there for them.
Our advantage as Chapter B partners in life is that the children of the other side have a new person, without prejudices, one who does not really know them and with whom they can open a new and clean page.
If the children understand that the new person in their parent’s life also have fears, especially when he or she is in the third and final stage of their life, if those grown up kids will undrstand that and be empathetic, they will try to alleviate the fears and provide security for the new member of the family, although they don’t share the same DNA. This person is getting old yet they also seek happiness and love. He or she may even need to feel protected, cared for and to contribute to this new “planets merger”
If both sides understand this (you as the new partner and them his or hers kids) then you may have made a wonderful extended family.
If not, try to enjoy the relationship itself and the time you have together and focus only on the relationship and what it gives to both of you.
Yours with love,