Q. I hope you can offer some help. I’m fourteen years old and my father died two years ago from cancer. He was only 52. My mother, my sister and I had a very hard time with his sickness and death. After a year my mom started dating and began to act like a boy crazy teenager, which was very hard for me and my sister to deal with. But now, even worse, she’s met someone who lives across the country and has been seeing him for many months now. They both travel back and forth and it’s getting serious. He’s a nice man and seems to really care about her, and he is nice to us, but because he has a medical practice where he lives, my mother has talked about us leaving our home and moving to the West Coast to be with him. Part of me is glad to see my mom happy again, but another, bigger part of me is so sad and confused. I miss my dad so much and wonder if he’s hurt that she’s moving on. I’m also freaked out by maybe having to leave everything I know to move someplace so far from home. I know it’s wrong to be selfish and tell my mom how upset I am. It might make her sad again. But I feel so sad, too, and am not sure where to turn. Can you help?
A. I’m terribly sorry for what you and your family have gone through. It’s so hard to lose a parent, especially so young. Watching your remaining parent go through the dating process again isn’t easy either. But it seems you realize that your mother is entitled to move on with her life and find another partner to share it with. Luckily she seems to have picked a good man. Unfortunately, his location does make things a lot more difficult for you and your sister. I’m a big believer in open communication, though, and I think it’s crucial that you have a calm and cordial conversation with your mother about your feelings. I’m sure she realizes that moving would be hard on you and your sister. Give her the chance to try to allay your fears. If you do it without hurtful comments or overwhelming emotion, I don’t think it will make her sad. It will just be calling attention to a very real concern of yours that needs to be discussed in a pragmatic way. You also don’t seem to know for sure if this move is even going to happen. You may be worrying before it’s even necessary. However, if your mother’s plans do come to fruition, you might be surprised by the new and wonderful people and opportunities that will come your way—things you can’t even conceive of now. And, with face-time, video conferencing, the internet, etc, you should be able to hold on to your old friends even as you meet new ones. The world has become a much smaller place during your lifetime thanks to technology! As for worrying about your father’s feelings, I have it on good authority that when loving souls pass, they only want their loved ones here on earth to be happy. If this new man turns out to be a good husband and stepfather, I can assure you your dad will rest a lot easier and be happy for all of you. In the meantime, have that little mother/daughter talk I mentioned, and if you get a chance, I’d love to know how it goes! Hugs to you.
Read more advice from Bonnie HERE
If you would like Bonnie to offer some advice on your personal relationship issue, contact her at