Dear Ann Landers, I am 40 years old and recently divorced. I was married for 20 years to a man who was abusive physically, emotionally and mentally. It took a lot of strength for me to leave him, but I finally did it. My 19-year-old daughter just moved into her own apartment, and my teenage son lives with his father.
My kids were very understanding at the time of the split and quite supportive. It's been six months now, and I have met someone new. This man is kind and loving and respects me. I haven't been this happy in a long time. He has asked me to move in with him, and I have agreed. It means, however, that we will be moving to a nearby state. When I told my daughter about our plans, she became upset and laid a major guilt trip on me.
Ann, I love this man and want to be with him, but I desperately need my children's approval for my own peace of mind. Their father is seeing someone, which seems fine with them, but evidently, it is NOT fine for me. What should I do? -- Troubled in Florida
Dear Florida, Don't move -- just yet. Visit for several weekends, and see how it works. You will then have a better idea of what life with Mr. Wonderful would be like on a full-time basis. If you take your time, your children will be much more accepting. Their support could be a big plus, but don't let their approval be the deciding factor on what kind of social life you are going to have.
Dear Florida, I believe the essence of Mom's answer to be correct, but were I providing the answer today, I would point out that Dad's girlfriend lives in the same town, so she should not equate her ex's romantic life with her own. A 19-year-old with her own apartment and a son who is living with his dad means you would not be "abandoning" little kids. The fact that it is a nearby state is also a plus. Need I point out that teen-age boys are never too interested in hanging with Mom? FaceTime has been a boon for situations like yours. - Margo