‘My student kids hate the fact I’m moving on with a new partner’

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Dear Coleen
I’m a divorced woman in my 50s and, after years of bringing up my kids virtually single-handed, I’ve met a great guy and we are keen to move in together.

My partner is also in his 50s and has two young children with his ex-wife, both in primary school.

My problem is, my kids are being difficult. They’re both grown up and at university, but have reacted really badly to me telling them I’m moving in with my partner.

My daughter was literally crying down the phone, asking about what it meant and if I’d thought about it properly and what would happen to our family home.

My son was just pretty rude and asked why I’d want to do this at my age.

I’ve had no support or encouragement from either of them, which is disappointing considering I’ve dedicated the past 20 years to raising them and making sure they didn’t miss out on anything because their dad wasn’t around.

What do I do? I was hoping this would be happy news, but I got it so wrong.

Coleen says
It sounds like this news has hit a nerve with them. Maybe they’re feeling a bit insecure as it’s been just the three of you for so long and they’re worried about how things will change.

The family home probably represents a lot to them – it was a place of comfort and safety when their dad left and they might be panicking that their secure base won’t be there any more.

I think it’s about trying to ignore the tantrums and sulks, and giving them lots of reassurance about what it’ll mean. Their secure base is you – wherever you live – and they’ll always have that.

Be sensitive to the fact that this news has probably opened old wounds from the upheaval their dad caused, and you should talk about it together rather than all getting angry and upset with each other.

They might also be a little jealous that your partner has younger children, and be wondering how they’ll fit into the set-up. However, at the end of the day, it’s wonderful you have a second chance at love, and you deserve to be happy and to move on with your life.

Are you supposed to wait around at home on your own for your kids to visit from uni? I don’t think so.