I became a widower four years ago. I was left with two sons, one who is thirty-two years old and married, and the other who is twenty-six and single.

Six months ago, I got engaged to a forty-year-old woman because I don’t want to be alone. But my twenty-six-year-old son still lives at home, and he is a little difficult. I want to know if I have done the right thing.

Dear Friend,

Thank you for consulting us. We will try to help, but we are not sure if you are more concerned about your engagement being a problem for your son, or about how your fiancé will be able to deal with an adult son in the house after you are married.

If you are concerned about your adult son’s welfare, please read Case 92. In that Case we explained in detail how widowed parents do not need their adult children’s blessing to get married again. While it was very wise to have given your sons four years to adjust to the loss of their mother, and even though you can’t expect them to ever get over her death, four years is sufficient time for a healthy adult to adjust to such a loss.

If possible, it would be better for everyone if you could move out of the house where you lived with your sons’ mother. It is very difficult for children to see another woman in their mother’s house, using the same kitchen where their mother cooked, and sitting at the same dining table. By moving out of that house, you can have a fresh start after you are married.

One of the options you might consider is to move to a smaller house with your new wife and lend your younger son the money that he would need to move into a separate house or apartment, possibly with roommates. We are not suggesting that you pay his monthly expenses, but only that you help him with the one-time considerable cost of moving in.

Obviously, your fiancée wouldn’t have as much difficulty with your son if you did not plan for them to live together in the same house after your marriage. Furthermore, if your son resents her presence in your life already, it is extremely important that you not expect him to ever live peacefully together with her under the same roof.

Your son likely considers himself to be taking up for his mother. He may feel that he has to protect her memory, and that you are betraying her by entering into a new romantic relationship. If he does feel these things, then he is demonstrating that he is not mature enough to consider your needs. That may take more time, and he probably won’t mature just because you try to explain it to him.

If you haven’t yet prayed that God would give you wisdom, we recommend that you do so immediately. God knows what is best for you, for your son, and for your new wife. If you are willing to follow God’s ways and let Him guide you, you will be able to get through this present difficulty and move forward into a brighter future.

We wish you well,