By Michael West
It appears that becoming single parents either by widowhood or failed marriage makes one vulnerable. This is because quite a number of single parents are perplexed and unhappy due to the opposition they receive from their children in their bid to venture into relationship again. Assertive parents do not hide their desire for companions while some others shy away and conceal their burning longing for love for fear of disapproval by their adult children. It is surprising that some children do not help matters in this regard. They don’t think their parents, most of who are in their late 50s to 70s do not need to have intimate affairs again. Fathers do have their way against all odds than mothers. It is so because mothers practically submit their lives to the dictates and caprices of their children.
From my encounters with many families, I discovered that selfish children do feign ignorance of the emotional need of their aging parents. A 62-year-old woman has a serious issue with her only daughter who does not like to see any man around her mom. Being the only daughter, the mom spends more time in her place looking after her two children while she concentrates on her job. The 34 years old graduate of computer science thinks she’s doing her mom a great deal of favour by keeping her around most of the time.
Fortunately, her husband is a well-cultured man who relates warmly with his mother-in-law. She became enraged when her mom told her that she’s considering going into another marriage if she finds a suitable man. The statement sparked a hot, resentful response from her daughter. “What do you need a man for? At 62, do you still need more children or what? It is a disgrace that my mom could contemplate such an idea.” Her siblings sharply disagreed with her. They argued that she’s entitled to live her life as she pleases after all their dad has remarried 12 years ago. As at today, the mom is scared to venture into relationship because “I don’t want trouble with my daughter.” Several of this case abound in our society. While some parents, regardless of what their children think or say, have their way, others bow to the opinions or rejection of the idea by their children.
“Men don’t really intrude into their parents’ affairs unlike women. They see you as a gold digger if the man is rich or as an unqualified replacement for their mom.”
A man reconnected with me last weekend with a request for a befitting match as a companion. He had signified interest in my Hook Up service in 2018. He later ceased communicating after completing the process. He explained that his children was the reason he suspended his request at the time. “They argued that I don’t need a woman since I’m already a grandfather. Remember I sought your (Michael West’s) counsel on the matter and your advise eventually paid off. It’s a long story but everything has been settled. Now, I’m available,” he stated.
A young woman of 35 years old would not mind to marry a 58 years old divorced single dad but she is stiff scared of the man’s grown up children. She is not particularly bothered about the boys but the two girls. “Men don’t really intrude into their parents’ affairs unlike women. They see you as a gold digger if the man is rich or as an unqualified replacement for their mom. They usually don’t flow well with women in their fathers’ lives. They see the wife as a rival and usurper of their mother’s position. Why the needless acrimony usually arise is what I don’t understand,” she said.
In view of the above situation, it all depends on the man himself. For real, stepdaughters (not all of them though) are difficult folks to relate with. They think their parents might fall victim of the new partners’ antics or deception. The children fear that they may no longer enjoy attention and unrestrained access to their parents as soon as they get engaged or remarried.
They become excessively protective because they are not too sure of the safety of their parents in the hands of the new partners. Children are afraid of being ostracized or fenced out of the reach of their dear parents by the new partners. For children that have been enjoying free flow of monetary assistance and confidentiality with their parents, they don’t want to take the risk of being denied such support.
Candidly, some of these fears are real. There are examples and living proofs of families that have become fictionalized and sharply divided courtesy of new partners in the families especially the stepmothers. It is only in rare cases, if any at all, that you see stepfathers cause such division or upset in families. Several families are in shambles and disarray because of the atrocities and shenanigans of stepmoms. So, to a large extent, some of the fears are real and genuine.
However, there are many wonderful women who actually turn out to be a blessing to their families. They reconcile warring members of the family. They go the extra mile to build confidence, love and trust such that they become the rallying force. Recalcitrant stepdaughters are usually the last to accept them. The stepmom would rather befriend the strategic and ‘all-powerful’ stepdaughters than discriminate against them. A wise stepmom won’t act based on advanced negative information she has had about the members of the family.
With open and free mind she will relate with everybody. Such a stepmom is usually a positive thinker, prayer addict, patient and wise woman. She’s not easily offended, she ignores minor faults, complains less and commends good deeds a lot. She will leverage on her nexus to advance the progress of the family members, in particular, her stepchildren. I know a woman who was paying the upkeep of her stepchildren in tertiary institutions on monthly basis. After graduation, she used her position and influence to secure employment in choice government agencies for her stepchildren. We still have kind, sacrificial, helpful and generous stepmothers in our society.
It is only fair to acknowledge that the most difficult person to satisfy or convince is an enemy. If someone has constituted herself to be your sworn enemy, even if you sacrifice your soul for her, she will scorn your offer and go ahead with her deeds. A sadist as a stepdaughter may accuse you of trying to entice or ‘bribe’ her with “unsolicited favour” into supporting your relationship with her dad. She and her ilk are usually saucy, arrogant and rude. They utter foul words to spite and disparage their targets. They deride noble intentions and portray good deeds as a veil for intending evil.
They are daring, cantankerous and vindictive. Forgiveness is not in their lexicon. They make life miserable and tiresome for whoever they choose to contend with. Even their parents could hardly exercise control over them. Such category of stepdaughters should be left alone. Get along with those who accept and appreciate you in the family. Still, keep open arms and receptive heart. After all, enemy today may become your fanatical supporter tomorrow. Jesus said, let men see your “good works” so they will glorify your Father in heaven. Nothing changes and turns life around faster than good character and blameless lifestyle.
In conclusion, parents should not surrender their lives to the whims and dictates of their children. Their opinions and inputs may count but certainly not to determine whether or not their parents should have new relationships. I believe children should be carried along and be adequately informed but not to rule over the affairs of their parents.
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