I’m a 48-year-old man and my fiancée is 42. She has an 8-year-old son. I have two teenage sons who are with me about half the time. My fiancée and I have been together for two years, living together for six months, so this is our first Christmas living together.
With the holidays coming up, she uses Santa A LOT to bribe her son about behavior, homework, etc. I never used Santa Claus to bribe my sons when they were younger, and I don’t believe in using Santa as behavior leverage. When my sons were young Santa was for fun, not for pressure. How can I get my fiancée to see that she’s doing it wrong?
Dr. Chalmer answers:
“Conflicted,” there are all kinds of ways you could get your fiancée to see that she’s doing it wrong. All of them would mean she won’t be your fiancée anymore, because what she’d see she’s doing wrong is living with you.
If you want her to stay with you, you’ll need to respect that you might have some differences about things like this, and what worked for you with your kids doesn’t necessarily work for her with her son. That doesn’t mean you can’t offer your opinion, but if you think you know better than she does how to raise her son you’re in for trouble.