Advice | Carolyn Hax: Religious daughter won’t abide divorced dad’s cohabitation

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Hello Carolyn: My spouse divorced me 10 years in the past. After a time period, I discovered a brand new companion my age, “Deb,” and now we have an exquisite relationship as boyfriend/girlfriend and share a home. My 4 grownup children are very keen on her.

My oldest daughter is fortunately married with children of her personal and lives six hours away. Her husband was “recruited” right into a small church when he moved to their city, and made it a stipulation that my daughter additionally be part of the identical church after they bought married. Their life revolves round church pals, who appear very good. She home-schools the youngsters. The husbands are “the person of the home,” whereas the wives don’t work. All of it works for them, and they’re a cheerful and steady household.

My daughter and I’ve a pleasant father/daughter relationship, however there’s a side of her pondering I wrestle with. When Deb and I am going to go to, we should sleep in separate bedrooms. My daughter shows a lot of household footage, however none of Deb and me collectively. She declined to take part along with her siblings in a bunch birthday reward for Deb. I discover it hurtful, as does Deb, that my daughter doesn’t absolutely settle for Deb as a part of the household, just because we aren’t married. In any other case, my daughter treats Deb courteously.

I perceive the Bible’s fundamentals, however I really feel as if there must be some flexibility relating to in the present day’s methods individuals select to dwell collectively. I don’t understand how my daughter can’t see that she is being hurtful to each of us, however I additionally really feel as if approaching my daughter about this concern would trigger a rift between us. Ideas?

P.: You “really feel as if there must be some flexibility,” however your daughter and her husband and their church have made it fairly plain that they don’t really feel the identical means.

You spelled this out for me your self: Your daughter has centered all the things round her church. Every part. So it doesn’t shock me in any respect that she doesn’t make a one-off, be-flexible-for-Deb (and even Dad) exception.

I’m stunned it surprises you and Deb, if something.

However I additionally understand it’s lots simpler for any of us to see a harsh, impersonal reality for what it’s once we’re not those getting the bony finish of the elbow. Your daughter isn’t shunning me as biblically inappropriate, so it’s straightforward for me to level to ideological absolutes and say, “Yup, makes excellent sense to me.”

Please don’t mistake this assertion for agreeing together with your daughter’s selections. I’m simply explaining them. All I stand by explicitly is her proper to make them.

I do encourage you, although, to simply accept your daughter’s inflexible consistency as license to cease taking her exclusions personally. The purpose of this neighborhood’s dogma, to the extent I could make it out from right here, is to go away as little decision-making as attainable within the palms of the person. Issues aren’t private. It’s all in regards to the religion.

And when the collective impingements of her religion in your relationship with Deb quantity to good, courteous relationships, besides: 1. Separate rooms for visits. 2. No images. 3. A gaggle reward that’s 25 % smaller than it could possibly be? My recommendation is to thank the Fates for handing you some fairly small beans to digest.

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