Dear Coleen – Kids resent me selling the family home to move in with my new love

Dear Coleen

I’m a widower aged 72 and was on my own for eight years until fairly recently. I started to get to know a lady who lives a few houses away and our ­friendship turned to romance. She’s a widow and we have lots in common.

We’ve been seeing each other for a few months and I’ve decided to sell my house (which is smaller than hers) and move in with her.

However, when I told my grown-up children, their response was lukewarm to say the least. They didn’t mind me being friends with this woman, but now our relationship has become more serious and we’re moving in together, they’re really angry about it.

They think I’m crazy to be selling the family home (and resent me for it) and say it’s too soon to move in with her. I don’t think they expected the ­relationship to go anywhere.

I don’t know how many years I have left and I want to spend them being happy and with a woman I love and respect. Why is that wrong?

At the same time, I don’t want to upset my kids, who have been through a lot with their mother’s illness and still miss her a great deal.

Have you any advice? I don’t know what to do for the best.

Coleen says

You’re absolutely right – you do deserve happiness. You’ve been a wonderful husband and a great father, and now you’ve met someone to share your life with again – I think that’s fantastic.

As for your children, perhaps what they’re sensitive about really is the fact the family home is being sold, which contains lots of memories of their mum and your life as a family.

I understand why that might be unsettling for them. So, I think you need to talk to them about what’s really bothering them and see if there’s a way to compromise on anything.

Maybe they could take some things from the house that hold special memories for them. And talk to your partner, too, I’m sure she’ll ­understand and try to help you through this.

Maybe your kids just need a bit of reassurance from her – that she loves you and wants what’s best for you, and that they’ll always be welcome at your home.

Also, you don’t have to rush into the house sale and the move. Why not live together for a while first and see how it goes before you sell up, lock, stock, and barrel. It would also give your kids more time to get used to the situation.

Good luck

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