When a widowed parent starts dating
If the parent settles into a new long-term relationship, that might force the adult child to finally confront the difficult fact that the family unit of his/her youth is gone forever.Intellectually, this adult child, of course, understands that the family unit ended when the parent was widowed or divorced—but some adult children manage to avoid psychologically confronting this fact until the parent starts seeing someone new.Your initial reaction to their financial worries might be, “My money is my business”…“My new partner loves me, not my money”…or “It’s selfish of you to put your inheritance ahead of my happiness.” But it is perfectly reasonable for your kids to be concerned.Relatively savvy people sometimes do fall victim to dating scams, and when they do, their entire families can pay the price.
Parents often cannot understand why their adult children have a negative emotional response to the news that they are dating or in a new relationship.(This is especially likely if the parent is divorced, not widowed.The adult child might have been telling himself that his parents would get back together eventually.) In these cases, the adult child is looking backward and grieving the loss of the old relationship just as the parent is looking forward in excitement to a new one.So rather than dismiss your kids’ money concerns, you could reassure them that you are not splurging on extravagant gifts for this new partner…and that if you do someday remarry, you will get a prenup.Or you could agree to work with an estate planner (or some other trusted financial adviser) to make sure that your money remains in your family.