Can I Marry My Friend’s Dad?

Wednesday – Reader Question of the Week


Ok.  I know this will sound really weird but I am engaged to my high school friends Dad.  Is that ok?  Not as bad as it sounds – I promise! <!–more–>  I have always dated older men and I am now 29 so it is not some creepy 21 with 80 year old story.  He has been divorced from her Mom for about 15 years.  I saw him again (I had not seen him since high school!) 2 years ago.  I haven’t spoken to my friend since high school either.  We were friends, but not best friends or anything.  Anyway, I ran into him almost 10 years after graduating and didn’t even recognize him.  We spent the whole night talking and had our first date before we even realized who the other one was.  Well, I think age is nothing when it comes to love.  But his daughter/my friend is flipping out.  She is refusing to attend the wedding or come to any holidays where we could be together.  I get it is hard for her but I think she is overreacting.  I could use some advice on this situation.

Not a Home-Wrecker!  Columbus, Ohio.

Please send any questions you have to liz {at}  We will do our best to answer all and maybe publish yours too.

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  1. Interesting dilemma. Assuming this is a “friend of high school,” if this person is anything like me, “friends from high school” are basically connections on Facebook but not much more. Then again, I moved away from home right after I graduated and never returned.

    While the daughter/your friend may be overreacting, can you see why? As others have pointed out, it may not be the fact that her dad is marrying her friend but that her dad is marrying someone other than her mom, regardless of who that person is.

    There is nothing you can do about this but accept that she may need some time to absorb it all. It’s a sad situation but your only obligation to her is as the daughter of the man you love, just treat her with as much compassion and consideration as you can – if she cannot handle it, just don’t use it as an excuse to get malicious with her, give her the time and space she needs to work it out!

  2. This is an amazing news.Such things were impossible. It seemed monstrous even to think of them .But it is fact.We should be able to understand.In every heart there is a room, a sanctuary safe and strong.Best wishes!

  3. I feel like I may be going through something fairly similar. I, too, have preferred dating gentlemen older than myself. I have been dating a friend’s dad off and on for about three years and only until recently (the past six months) have we begun an exclusive relationship. The ex wife is in the same field as myself and we have always been respectful to one another. I’ve been to her home on several occasions with her daughter/my friend and it’s never been an issue. Not until now have I received the same reaction as you from both the daughter/friend and the ex. I cannot see the forest for the trees and it helps to hear from someone who can express a like situation to help us understand the discontent.

    In responding to your questions, I kind of answer my own doubts. It would seem there is fear of loss of her dad to you – even fear of inheritance. She is being replaced in her eyes. Also, maybe her romantic interests don’t lie with older gentlemen and it is difficult to process – especially when she pictures her father being romantic. The bottom line is we have to be true to ourselves. It is our lives. It is not intentional or with purpose to “take” someone away from another. Continue to be you. With time it would be wonderful to know that the disharmony was just the process of change.

    I am a good person. I do not seek out older men in the hopes of seeing what I can gain from them and leave. I am in love. It’s as simple as that. The ex (for 20+ years, I might add) is insecure and unhappy in life in general. Each woman my boyfriend has dated has gone through this. Maybe she feels warranted in “protecting” her first love. Little does she realize the negative light she casts my way will only enhance the positive that reflects.

    I hope this gives you a little solace. Go with your heart. We cannot make people feel any specific way. They choose to do this.

  4. If you take the highschool friend out of the equation, you end up with:

    “I am engaged to a man who is significantly older than me. We are very much in love and happy together. The problem is, he daughter (who is my age) is refusing to attend the wedding or holidays. What do you think?”

    Which is the story that SO MANY people live each day.

    His daughter doesn’t need to like the fact you’re getting married. She doesn’t need to enjoy spending time with the step-mother on the holidays. She doesn’t need to break bread over family dinners and be your best friend.

    She DOES however, need to respect you and her father!

    Love is love is love. It comes in all sorts of sizes, colors, languages, religions and ages. There is nothing wrong with love. Just because your love doesn’t fit into her lifestyle doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

    Remember: Being polite to someone who doesn’t like you doesn’t make you fake, it makes you more mature and levelheaded than them.

    If she wants to throw a temper tantrum and act like a child – let her. Just don’t let it ruin your big day!

  5. If this is what you want, you shouldn’t let others stop you. As you said, it isn’t like you are a naive teenager. Be prepared, however, to endure criticism from many others and maybe lose his daughter’s friendship. :-(

  6. ” I saw him again (I had not seen him since high school!) 2 years ago. ” She claims she is 29?e

  7. Well, I guess it would still be difficult for your friend to see you even if you are not best friends. For her or for most people, it would still be the same. I also have friends who married a guy that is twice their age and they are living a pretty good life. You cannot control other people and how they will feel since you cannot please everyone. I guess during the first years of your relationship, you will mostly be criticized and be discriminated even. But if you truly love each other, you will be able to surpass such hardship and you will end up having a great marriage life. So just hang on. If your friend doesn’t accept you now, she will eventually accept you later once she accepts the fact that you will be constant and a loving companion of his dad.

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