Question: My question is a little unique. I am considering remarriage to a wonderful man, however; I have a daughter who is legally blind, and she has a beautiful 3- year-old daughter. If I remarry, I would be moving out of state. My daughter is not anywhere near being self sufficient and I am not going to just abandon her. My fiancé has said that he would wait as long as it takes for me to help my daughter become independent. Neither my fiancé nor I have plans to break up if this process does not move as fast as we had hoped. I would like to start my own life, but I have always been there for my daughter and granddaughter. I feel like I am abandoning them and trying to Usher them out the front door. I figured at my age marriage was not something that would really be in my future (I'm 44, divorced). A marriage proposal should be a joyful event, why do I feel so crappy about it? ...Lynn
Answer: First let me say that I sympathize with the position you find yourself in. It is a dilemma familiar to many parents; having to choose between their own happiness and their commitment to their children. At best it is a precarious balancing act and at worst, an exercise in self-sacrifice verging on martyrdom. And in addition to the common concerns everyone has, you also have to take into consideration your daughter’s disability. Certainly your decision is one that demands a great deal of assessment and soul-searching.
Though you did not mention your daughter’s age, since she has a three-year-old of her own, I will assume that she is, at least legally, an adult. You didn’t indicate whether her legal blindness is the result of an accident or progressive illness, something she’s been dealing with for a few years or a congenital disability. You also did not indicate if she lives with you or what specific needs she depends on you to provide. That said, however, I do believe I can bring some clarity to the situation you find yourself in. To do so, I am first going to address your relationship to your daughter. While you state that your daughter “isn’t anywhere near being self-sufficient,” I am assuming that is something you would like to change, and that you would want that regardless of your own personal situation. And though I understand your daughter’s legal blindness may present certain obstacles, these can certainly be overcome with careful thought and planning.