Dear Aunty Lisa

I’m a 43-year-old woman and I’ve been in a loving relationship with a guy for the past year. Compared to my ex – the father of my two kids – he is the perfect man.

He’s kind, considerate and my kids adore him. He buys us anything we want, has paid off my debts, is totally loyal and cares for me in a way my ex never did. In short, he’s perfect except for one little thing – none of my family or friends like him, even though I’ve told them I love him.

He admits he can be possessive, but I know it’s in a nice way – he treats me like a princess and has given me bags of confidence I didn’t have before, encouraging me to leave my low-paid job and get something better.

I had a difficult relationship with my parents who battered my self-esteem, but my partner made me see I was better than that, and I disowned them as their attitude was making me physically ill.

I also had a close male friend who was like a brother to me, but out of the blue he accused my partner of interfering with my teenage daughter. My partner encouraged me to ditch this toxic friend and to see his betrayal as jealousy. My kids still miss him, though.

Now we’ve decided to relocate to my partner’s home town some 200 miles away as we can’t afford to live where we are. I want to go because I love him so much, but my friends say I should consider the children. Maybe they are right, but I’m sick of being told what’s best for me. How can I get people to see he really is ‘the one’?

Aunty Lisa says

If you really feel he’s the one for you, then at some point you have to have belief in your own choices and go after the life you want for yourself.

You sound like someone who feels they’ve been manipulated their whole life. However, it does concern me that none of your friends and family like him – can they all be wrong?

Some of what you’ve said about your partner is positive. He’s given you courage to do certain things like leave your low-paid job and get something better, and he seems to be building your confidence and self-esteem. But it also seems to be a lot about what he wants.

I’m slightly worried that you’re so desperate to feel loved, cherished and valued that you might be missing a few warning signs that your friends can see because they’re not emotionally involved.

First of all, I think you need to deal with this alleged incident involving your daughter. If your friend has lied about that, then it’s a horrendous thing to do, but have you actually asked your daughter and let her know that it’s OK to tell the truth?

I don’t know why such a close friend, who is also close to your kids, would come out and make such a serious accusation if he didn’t think it was true. Yet, you don’t seem to have questioned it and would rather take the word of someone you’ve known for a year. Why would your kids miss your friend if he was such an awful person?

I think you need to put the brakes on and give it more time. Work through these issues instead of jumping in the car and moving 200 miles away.

If he’s as loving and caring as you say he is, he’ll understand that you can’t just uproot your children without giving it some proper thought.

And please don’t ditch all your friends. He’s encouraged you to ditch your job and your parents. What’s next – telling you how to dress and who you can talk to?

Controlling your every move isn’t caring – it’s emotionally abusive, so bear that very much in mind.

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