April 1, 2023

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QMy four-year relationship with a great man has ended abruptly. We had those wonderful four years, but his 47-year-old troubled daughter presented an ongoing issue between us.
She was disrespectful to me by ignoring me, not answering my emails, etc. The worst was when she said in front of me and her father that she’ll have all the money when her father dies.
This was absolutely shocking. Her father said nothing to her about it, and tried to turn it into a joke. When she talked to him in my presence, she would say “you are the best dad,” “I love you so much,” probably saying this out of jealousy towards me.
She’s never worked in her life, but demanded expensive Christmas presents from him. I couldn’t take this woman and stopped seeing her.
The big problem for me was that my now ex-partner, her father, never acknowledged her wrongdoings when I tried to discuss my issues about her. His response was that I do not like her, or some other similar statement, always putting me on the defensive.
These difficulties with his daughter and poor communication led to our breakup. I’m heartbroken because I love this man, but I couldn’t live with ongoing conflict with his daughter.
Any advice on how I could have handled the situation differently?
His Daughter Won
AIt’s a too-common distortion of what had started as a great love match which you both clearly felt. But his first loyalty was to his adult daughter.
Apparently, he’d always indulged her and she took advantage of his generosity. Her love words to him within your hearing were a purposeful message to you.
Choosing between her and you was more than he could handle.
Often, when a successful head of family has to consider their will and the years it took within the family to create a significant legacy, “outsiders” sometimes find they lose out entirely.
It’s not a pretty story. But there were troubling hints in those short four years: his daughter’s persistent ignoring of you, and sometimes almost taunting you when gushing about “love” of her father.
She didn’t give you a chance. Yet you’re probably better off, since the divide had become a gulf between this woman and you.
A parent’s new relationship, even when someone’s determined to ruin it, can sometimes survive if the couple remain strong in their efforts to enjoy their love and reject interference.
Certainly, in this case, moving on is your better chance for future happiness.
FEEDBACKRegarding a letter-writer’s look at late-life relationships (July 28):
Reader: “My dad and his second wife wrote up an agreement as they had mirror wills, leaving everything they owned to the survivor. While the agreement was not legally binding it was morally binding.
“They presented a copy to each of us children: four of hers, three of his. And we each had to initial that we read it.
“In the document, they agreed that the survivor would write a new will with 50/50 division. And if/when entering a new relationship of living together or marrying, they would legally seek a prenuptial or cohabitation agreement. And I am happy to say it worked!”
Note to readers: As the couple’s home jurisdiction is not revealed in this letter, it’s not clear why the writer says it was not legally binding, although they’d married, but it was considered morally bonding in their eyes and those of all their children as well.
Ellie’s tip of the day
After a loss/divorce, new romantic relationships are sometimes destroyed by jealous, money-seeking adult children. Discuss ahead, not later.

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