He’s stressed with dad life

Solve your life dilemmas with expert advice from  Maura O’Neill
Being a parent can be all-consuming

Being a parent can be all-consuming

Dear Maura: My partner’s son is getting in the way of our relationship. He’s 15 and a great kid but his dad is just so full-on. He comes first and while I accepted that at the start because I wanted to do my best to make this work, now I’m getting frustrated. Dates can be cancelled because his son is fed up with losing a match, or he wants to help him with homework, nothing dramatic, just ordinary stuff. His mam lives near but there were issues with the break-up. I like that he’s a good dad, but I need to feel that I’m important. I’m starting to think this man isn’t ready to be with anyone. We met on a dating app, and one of the first things he told me was that he’s a dad. When we’re together and he isn’t worrying or talking about his son we have such a great time. I haven’t been with anyone in ages so I’m reluctant to give up. How do you help him to see he can be a good dad, but he needs to focus on himself too, without him thinking I’m throwing a bit of a hissy fit?

Answer: After a difficult ending to his marriage your partner has put himself out there to meet someone, so that is huge progress. It’s difficult for you to embrace that fully, but it’s worth thinking about. You don’t say how long you know this man, but you do get on and there is a chemistry to work on. This is a tricky situation, but planning an evening out could help. Pick an evening together, work on where to go for a drink first then food or the cinema. Make it eventful so that he can’t back out. But first and foremost, make sure he’s happy about where his son is, who he’s with etc. You don’t want any emergency calls in the middle of your romantic date.

I don’t want to go into family business

Dear Maura: I’m being ditched by the family because I don’t want to take over the dairy farm.

I’m a farmer’s son but it’s not the life for me. Plus, I’ve gone vegan. I didn’t advertise this to the gang at home because I thought I’d never live it down.

I had to come clean when the offer to take over the milk quota come to me. I figured why not let everyone know but I didn’t start going hard on the father and his life’s work.

I don’t want to change my dad, I’m just not interested in taking over and I’m happy in work. I’m not judging, and I can’t see why I’ve to be treated like someone who’s lost the plot.

Do I stay away for a while in the hope that they’ll miss me or keep going for the Sunday dinner until everything gets back to normal? Not sure. I’ve a new girlfriend I’d like them to meet as well.

Answer: You’ve made a great case in your letter for letting everyone have their opinion. This is your template.

I suggest you go for Sunday lunch, leave your girlfriend until another day, and make your points simply and clearly.

You don’t want a row and you’d like to move past this current situation.Leave it at a mutual understanding, respect and move forward. Hopefully they will agree.

Email your problems to Dr Angela Brokmann dr.angela@sundayworld.com Maura O’Neill maura.oneill@sundayworld.com All pictures are posed by models

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