Q: What do you do when a man can't separate from his grown kids in their early 20s? – Cindi Kelly
A: If a man can’t separate from his grown children that is definitely a problem. Trust me, this is a tale-tell sign of trouble to come. Ask yourself: Do you really want to be in a relationship with a man and his adult children? It is great that they are such a big part of his life but you have to question how much of it they’re a part of, and how you fit into that scenario.
If they are making decisions for him and influencing him, you may have more of a problem on your hands than you realize. If he is emotionally “enmeshed” with them, he may be unwilling and unable to hear anything you say about their relationship. Regardless of the age of the children, they sometimes have a tendency to “play” parents against one another and/or against the parent’s significant other. You’ve probably seen it happen.
You will never win by helping him see the faults of his children. It is best to quietly evaluate your relationship with him and how he views you in relation to his children. If he is clear that his children are the center of his life and the most important thing to him, listen to what he is saying. There may or may not be room for you. Many times children determine whom their parent is going to date and what type of relationship they will have. Once again, ask yourself: Is it really worth it? He may be a great man and a wonderful father, but will he make a great mate for you? Hopefully, you can talk to him about your relationship and your desires without criticizing his children. If he is definitely interested in a relationship with you he will listen to what you have to say and not feel threatened by your comments. If he does, remember it’s better to know now than later before it’s harder to say goodbye! -- Dr. Sherry