Father’s Day Special

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Hi Ali,
My ex called to say that she and my daughter had planned a special Father’s Day for me and would pick me up at 1 p.m. and have me home by 7 p.m., but I’m engaged to be married in a year. My fiancée doesn’t like the idea of me and my ex spending the day together, since she wasn’t invited. What should I do? Me and the ex have been co-parenting. I have my daughter two to three times a week. We get along. The two ladies haven’t had any type of interaction or serious disagreements. I want to go be with my daughter, and if the mom wants to be present because she helped my daughter plan the event, what’s the problem?

“Lots of potential hurt feelings here, so be gentle, but really, it’s about the time spent with your daughter and what she wants.”

How sweet of them to plan a Father’s Day event for you! This will set a precedent for future interactions, so you need to be careful about what you agree to and for what you ask. Express your gratitude for creating such an event. That is really nice of your ex to make that happen. Remember, this is about your daughter first and foremost.

I’m going to assume that now that you are engaged, your fiancée has already met your daughter. If that’s the case, I would begin by asking your ex if she wouldn’t mind putting her feelings aside temporarily and allow your fiancée to come along. This woman will be your wife, and your daughter’s stepmother. Her feelings are important! If your ex has a problem with that, then ask if it could just be you and your daughter. If not, hopefully your fiancée will understand that it’s not a date with your ex, but a dad thing.

You need to stay on good terms with your ex because of your daughter, so tread lightly, but be clear with her about what you are okay with in the future and the inclusion of your fiancée. Lots of potential hurt feelings here, so be gentle, but really, it’s about the time spent with your daughter and what she wants. It’s always about your child and not about anyone else. If your fiancée pitches a fit, not recognizing that it’s about your child, she may not be the one to marry.