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Annie’s Mailbox: Too much, too soon with new man

Dear Annie: I am a 52-year-old widow. My husband died seven years ago, and I had not dated anyone until I met “Jim” at the health club.

We discovered we had a lot in common, and as time went on, we began to develop strong feelings for each other. I felt my life come back to me. After five months, Jim moved in with my teenage son and me. He makes us both happy.

The problem is, my two older boys do not feel I should have another man in my life. I told them Jim has also felt the emptiness of a loss and understands. I also said I will always love their father, but I want a life, too.

Unfortunately, my sons have made it hard for me to see my grandchildren. We are not a close family anymore, and I am heartbroken. What do I do? Should I please my sons or myself? Am I a bad mother for choosing a man over my grown sons? – Mom in the Middle

Dear Mom: We see two different problems here. Your sons are being selfish to withhold the grandchildren because you refuse to remain alone for the rest of your life. However, having Jim move in with you and a teenager after five months is too much too soon.

We know you have been lonely, but you are rushing this relationship. It is premature to cohabit, and you should explain to Jim that you are having second thoughts about the arrangement and would like to take things more slowly. He should move out. This will also allow your older sons to get to know him before he is shoved in their faces. By all means, continue to see him, but please give yourself more time before taking the next step.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.