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  • Natalie Garcia
    Natalie Garcia

    Living With (and Without) Her New Guy: What to Do When Your Daughter’s Marriage Is Torpedoed

    It's a common reality to many families – particularly in an era where changing one's outlook or partner has become so much more acceptable - when your daughter divorces and quickly moves on to another relationship. So what do you do when the person you once welcomed into your family is out of the picture, and daughter suddenly expects you to be “on board” with the new guy?

    Maybe this is the first time your daughter has broken away from what you viewed as a good marriage; perhaps she was even married for a long time. Either way, it doesn’t change the feelings of animosity or hurt that can arise.

    The truth is, whether you hate what she’s done or not, it’s already happened and your daughter is not going to expect you to get over it overnight. You may not like the idea of seeing your daughter with someone else after she torpedoed a good marriage, but the situation calls for a reappraisal of your expectations.

    If your daughter has recently gone through a separation, the most important thing to remember is that healing takes time. During her separation she probably re-examined a lot of things about her life, and she may have come up with a clear plan for what she wants out of life. She could be entering into a new relationship because she truly believes it's the best decision for herself and her family.

    The most difficult part of being in this particular situation is understanding that her new relationship means different things to different people. You may want to understand and accept that it's a new journey for her - a journey which is likely to hold both rewarding and challenging moments.

    Your emotions in this case are perfectly normal. You can struggle and try to find acceptance, but know that this is ok. Don't let guilt prevent you from expressing those emotions and displaying your true self.

    Your daughter is an adult and living her own life. It’s natural to be preoccupied with her transition into a new relationship, and what it means for her future, but you should also look at this as an opportunity for your family to stay connected on a deeper level.

    Think about it – your connection with your daughter is strong and that won't stop because of her new boyfriend. That bond will bring you closer together and your daughter could use a shoulder to lean on during this time of transience. No matter how you feel about him, try not to project any negative feelings onto her.

    Take the time to listen – even if you don't agree with her decision. Listening shows your daughter that you are empathetic, and that your connection is still strong even if you don't necessarily agree with the situation.

    Remember, whether you enjoy your daughter’s new relationship or not, you can still find ways to create meaningful interactions between you and her. Make sure to extol her efforts every now and then, especially when times are tough. It doesn't matter how you feel about the new guy, it's important that you still show your daughter love and support throughout this transition period.

    Also, when you can, try to keep an open mind. Keep in mind that this individual may not turn out to be so bad after all. A fresh start can bring many positive changes to any relationship, and you should keep this in mind when you are engaging in conversations about her new partner.

    This may not be the storybook ending that you hoped for you daughter, but that doesn't mean that it has to be something to be scorned. Re-examine your perception of the situation and focus on the positives that could come out of this journey. Yes, it may seem hard, but it's possible that your daughter's new relationship can lead to happy and healthy paths.

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