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by Abigail Van Buren

Widower Dating Again Wants To Leave the Past in the Past

DEAR ABBY: I'm 35 and have been a widower for almost five years. I began dating about two years ago.

In my adventures of dating I have encountered a lot of divorced moms. I met someone very special (I'll call her Rose) a year and a half ago. She's great. We share lots of laughs and goals, but she does something that drives me crazy. She's constantly showing me Facebook memories/photos of her daughter when she was young.

I never got the chance to have children and rarely bring up my past because I feel that's behind me. Rose's ex is "toxic," according to her, and from what I've witnessed, he's pretty bad.

I see her daughter two weeks out of the month. The girl is very spoiled and entitled, and when she's not around, Rose keeps shoving old photos of her in my face and asking, "Isn't she so cute?"

I can't relate, and I don't care for her daughter. Does that make me a jerk? I feel those old photos of her daughter are really her memories with her ex, and it would be just as bad if I showed photos of my late wife and asked, "Isn't she beautiful?" Am I wrong? -- UNPARENT OUT WEST

DEAR UNPARENT: If you plan to continue a relationship with Rose, you are going to have to deal with your feelings about her daughter, some of which may be off base. It is important that you communicate to her the connection you make when you see those photos. The quickest way to work this through would be couples counseling.

If your description of the girl is accurate, then realize that as long as she's a minor, she will be a presence in your household. If you and her mother can't figure out a workable arrangement, you shouldn't waste any more of Rose's time or yours.

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