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Ask a Newlywed: Can I Confront My Dad About His Girlfriend?

Conventional Wisdom is a different kind of advice column. Your questions will be answered by people from all walks of life rather than by advice experts. This week, a newlywed offers her advice to a woman concerned about her father's younger girlfriend. If you have a question, you can submit them here.

This week's question:

My parents have been divorced nearly 20 years. Since then, my father remarried and was then dumped by his new wife. Now, two years later, he is dating a young woman only 24 years old. I'm 21! I am glad to see him finally so happy but can't help but feel disgusted at this. At 52, he's more than twice her age. I hate the idea of my dad being the kind of man who schmoozes up to young women. I also hate the idea that my dad would be attracted to someone who could be a friend of mine from school.

Do I confront him about this and tell him how I feel? Is it even my business? Or is it OK for me to feel so awkward and awful about this?


To see the newlywed's answer,


Dear 21,

It's normal to feel uncomfortable in this situation. In fact, feeling completely indifferent would be a more surprising reaction.

You should explain your feelings to your father in a respectful way. You can tell him that you are happy he has found someone, but that it will take you some time to get used to the fact that he is dating someone close to your age. Your dad might not be aware of how you feel, so if you don't tell him, he could remain clueless.

Since I don't know your father, I can't guess how he will react. I don't think you should expect him to change his actions or dump his new girlfriend, but he might say something about the relationship that makes you feel better, or at least helps you understand him. Either way, it seems that your family is important to you, so it is worth it to communicate your uneasiness so you don't continue to secretly resent your father.


A Newlywed

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