Dear Patricia Marie,

I am so delighted to have discovered that The Lady offer an agony aunt to help their followers. Could you please give me some help?

Recently I have been dating a man who is widowed with two children aged 31 and 35. We are getting on really well and are planning to travel the world together but his children are so against our relationship they have asked my friend to choose between me or them.

I am so distraught - I have a chance of personal happiness and I am fearful that it is all going to be destroyed by his selfish unthinking children.

Do you think I should just walk away and make life easier for him or should I pursue my chance of happiness and just consider my future?

Patricia Marie says...

You say you have only just met a widower, yet feel your chance of happiness is dependant on you travelling the world with him? You would be left distraught if this wasn't to happen?

There seems much pressure and expectancy not only on yourself, but on this gentleman to be responsible for your happiness.

You describe his children as selfish and unthinking. After the loss of their mother, their father is clearly very dear to them and yet in a short space of time you wanting to embark on a world trip with him must only intensify their loss and grief.

I'm wondering if you could consider things from their perspective. A meeting with these children, where you can all speak openly and discuss everyone's feelings may help.

Don't expect them to embrace you immediately, but if you are able to come to an understanding, this will be a good starting point for you all. I urge you to consider where your fear of his children destroying your happiness is coming from and would recommend embarking on some counselling sessions to explore this issue at a greater depth and enable you to hopefully find the happiness you are searching for and so deserve.

The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy have a directory where you can find a qualified registered therapist in your area.

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In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

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