Dear Dr. Romance: 

I like what I have seen on your tips for happiness. I am in my late 60s, a Christian and twice divorced.   This past January, I met a wonderful Christian woman, also divorced after 20 years of marriage. She is a Labor and Delivery Nurse who has traveled the world helping starving children. She now works in the US.  When we met there was a tremendous spark. She immediately asked me to marry her, and I   said "Yes, by all means I will marry you." We live in different states. She recently has been to visit me, and met my two wonderful, happily married adult daughters, and I have been to visit her and meet her three happily married adult daughters. My daughters are elated I have found someone I admire and love so much. However, her one youngest daughter and one son-in-law, have been very toxic to our being together. They have 7 kids and little or no income, so my Love has been financially supporting them. I love her a lot, but realize I may have to move on.

Last week I sent her a plant, and she immediately called me, with a genuine; "I love you Jack!" However, the next night she emailed me, saying; "She thought I was trying to get her to choose between her family and me, and she was angry about that fact, and she did not like feeling that way!" Ever since she has been silent, and I have not initiated any telephone calls to her. I want to, but feel at this time, I need to be patient. I long to call her, but I am afraid to. She is the most incredible nurturing Christian woman I have ever met, and I would like to spend the rest of my life with her. I do not want to be alone the rest of my love. The chemistry was very good, however I know too, how blinding lust can be.

Our weakest area, in my opinion, is our lack of basic compatibility. I am an above average outdoorsman. There is not much about the outdoors I do not know. She is not outdoorsy. If there is one thing I have learned in my life, it's not to try to change or fix   anyone. I was far too controlling in my first marriage. I am financially independent and comfortable.  I have more inner peace than I have ever known, but I am very alone, and long to be with the right woman. My question to you is; you think I should move on, wait to see what my recent love does, or what? I love the gal beyond words, and I would be proud to give her my whole self, but it needs to be two ways, and come from her, now that her family has tried to tear us apart. Let me know what you think please. I appreciate your advice.

Dear Reader:

If you love this woman, it's not a good idea to set yourself up against her family. Why don't you slow down a little bit. I'll bet there's enough of her to go around, and the children will come around after a time if you make their mom happy. Keep your money separate: let her support her kids any way she wants to, and just enjoy being with her. If her children are taking advantage of her, she'll have to figure that out for herself. At the point that you get married, if that happens, you can each have a living trust that will guarantee that her money goes to her kids, and yours goes where you want it to go. That will calm everyone down. 

Stop thinking of her children as problems.  It's only true if you make it true. Concentrate on being with her, enjoying her, spending time with her, and treating her like the treasure you say she is. Don't bad-mouth her children, even if they say bad things about you. As a Christian, you'll understand the wisdom of that. I don't blame her children for being startled by the speed of your relationship. No one can know it's real when it happens that fast, although, after time, it may turn out to be. Slow down, do the right thing, and stop looking for enemies. If you live in different states, you have a lot of decisions to make, and so does she. All of it will take time. If you just relax and wait a while, I think you have a good chance of working this out. Read my article "Stop Reacting and Start Relating"  and "Mirrors and Teachers" . You may also find my book How to Be Happy Partners: Working it out Together helpful.  Best of luck to you.

How to be Happy Partners

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Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.