Dear Barb—Daughter’s Desires

Dear Barb:

Hi, I am a middle age man in my fifties and I just met a wonderful woman and we are planning to marry.  We both lost our spouses tragically to cancer.  I don’t have any children, but my fiancé has a daughter who is 20 years old.  I thought I got along pretty good with my fiancé’s daughter, but it seems lately she has been fairly flirtatious toward me and I don’t know what to do.  For example, a few times she sat on my lap, which really makes me uncomfortable; another time when I was leaving she kissed me on the lips.  I am very uncomfortable with her behaviour and I don’t know what to do about it.  My fiancé is very protective of her daughter and I don’t want to cause problems before we are even married.  I was going to talk to the daughter, but I’m not sure if that will make things worse between me and her.  I am in need of some advice.  Thanks, Nick.

Hey Nick:

You are in a difficult position.  If you confront the daughter, she could twist it around and say you were the one that was coming on to her.  That would definitely impact your relationship with her mother, as she most likely will side with her daughter.  You need to be perfectly honest with the daughter.  She may be an adult age wise, but you are the adult person in this scenario.  When she kisses you on the lips, or does any other type of behaviour that you are uncomfortable with, you need to tell her.  She may react defensively, but you have no choice but to put an end to this behavior.  I also feel you should be honest with your wife to be.  Try to explain the situation in a non accusatory way, so that she won’t feel the need to come to the defense of her daughter.  There could be many reasons why the daughter is acting in this way, but those are issues she has to confront.  Your relationship with her may be strained after you bring this up and it may be a good idea not to be alone with her for a while.  There may have been issues in her past, which have left her unable to establish boundaries; therefore you will have to take the initiative.  It is important that you resolve this before you get married because it is not going to just go away.  This is the first step towards resolution.  Thank you for reaching out.

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