Dear Annie: My father-in-law died four years ago. He had struggled with some health issues for a while and then went into the hospital for what was supposed to be a simple procedure and never made it out. It broke my heart. And it was the first time I ever saw my husband cry. Both of his parents were like the parents I wish I’d had. I adored his father.
Here’s the problem. A few months ago, my mother-in-law started dating a nice guy from her church. He’s a widower, and she and my father-in-law were friends with him and his late wife. Last night, my mother-in-law arrived home from her date and announced that they were engaged! My husband congratulated her, and he seems genuinely happy for both of them. But not me. I feel like my own mother is remarrying after my father died, and I don’t like it. I am happy that my mother-in-law has found love again, but I feel sad and hurt at the same time. I know this is totally crazy, so how do I move past these feelings? – Daughter-in-Law
Dear Daughter-in-Law: Your letter is actually very sweet. You love your in-laws, and you recognize that your reaction is unwarranted. First, we are glad that no one is taking advantage of Mom. She has been friends with this man for years. Second, like many children, you fear a new marriage will diminish Dad’s position in the family. But rest assured, this won’t happen. A new marriage doesn’t erase Dad or the wonderful memories all of you have. This is an entirely different relationship. But it allows Mom to have a companion and be less lonely. In years to come, you will be grateful. Try to fake being happy for her until you discover that you truly are.
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