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Daughter wants me to go on vacation with her, while leaving fiance at home

 
pollinator
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I have a partner in the Philippines and I'm going there in two weeks. It's likely that we will be married within six weeks of that. I was there for two months before and I'm staying for 3 months this time. Hopefully that will be long enough to get through the legal process of getting her a visa to travel home with me. Our long-term plan is to operate a plantation and small motel in the Philippines.
.......
A few days ago, my daughter told me that she is planning a trip to Asia, and since I'm going to be there, why don't we get together in the Philippines? I thought that was a great idea and we started talking about the details today. At first she mentioned meeting in Manila, which is at the opposite end of the country from where I will be. It's just a jumping off point, neither of us want to spend time in the dirty city. So I told her that makes no sense, since our apartment is in Cebu and there are lots of places that can be reached by ferry from there.

Then the reason for it came out. She would like to spend a week traveling with me, alone. We haven't done a vacation together in 10 years. She's 24. It seems really strange to me that she would want to travel all this way, and then avoid time with my fiance, who she has never met. She's framed it as, "You're going to be there, I'm going to be there, so why not spend some time together?" But this isn't like, hey I'm going to be driving past your house, do you want to do something? To me it's a serious snub, if she were to come and then not want Nova to be along for the trip.

I won't be doing it, at least not in the way it was presented. I'm going to give her the opportunity to rethink it and perhaps we could all meet somewhere and then go on a few short  excursions while Nova is busy cooking or sleeping.

They are roughly the same age, so I expect it's more likely that the two of them will ditch me, while they go into a mall or get nails done or do some other girl bonding thing.

How would you deal with this?
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Everybody takes a picture here
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I was far too hot in this picture
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She said she really liked my long hair
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3 days later it was on the floor of the barbershop
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Another trim a few weeks later. Now she
 
gardener
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I'm 24.

If I were in your position, I would talk to your daughter directly about it. Is she uncomfortable with you dating a woman your age? (I would ask that) If so, why? I think that asking that will open up any other issues, but I could be wrong. It might be that they would bond like you said, but it might also be awkward because of the nature of their relationship. If she hasn't booked, maybe ask your daughter to simply come to where you are in the Philippines  and spend some time with you and your fiance there
 
pollinator
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obviously you know your daughter better than anyone else here, but just considering the circumstances...

at 24 you're just starting to get your act together, real person grownup wise, and maybe realize that you can repair relationships and grow up for real.
It's about the time I realized just how hard parenting is and that my relationship with my own parents was changing. Maybe she's afraid she's going to "lose you" to your new spouse. Or maybe she's afraid the new wife won't like her! If you have a relationship that allows you, ask your daughter, in a neutral, 'i'm glad you want to travel with me but I wonder if you'd like to see where I'm going to live and who I'm going to marry for a day or two" kind of way.

(if you don't have that relationship, I hear you. My mother and I are now able to talk like reasonable adults, but I don't have that with my siblings, everything is some sort of sneak attack or attempt to get money out of me.)
 
gardener
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Dale,

My impression from reading some of your posts is that your daughters are kind of uncomfortable with your engagement to Nova. I would myself be kind of thrown for a loop if my dad were to suddenly remarry and move to another country, and I would be, well, something close to horrified if his fiancee were my age. I totally think you should do your thing, and you and Nova sound good for each other, but from a daughter’s perspective there is something deeply weird and borderline creepy about the idea of my dad marrying someone my age. Rationally there’s nothing wrong with it, but my gut reaction is a giant HELL NO. So my guess is that your daughter feels ultra awkward/possibly resentful about spending time with Nova, and would like to bypass that whole experience. And probably she wants to talk to you about Nova, maybe not in a very encouraging way, and Nova being there would throw a wrench in that. And maybe she feels like you are slipping away from her and she will not be your top priority relationship-wise anymore, so she does want to spend some one-on-one time with you.

That being said, I feel that it would be rude to Nova for your daughter to just not meet her.

What I would do ideally is have them meet and all three of you spend some time together, maybe a couple/a few days, but not so long that you all are trapped in awkwardness for a long time if things are uncomfortable. And then you and your daughter go on your own father-daughter vacation for a few days. Long enough to decompress from the meeting and hash things out, and then hopefully have some nice time together at the end after all that is over with. Day trips might also work, but I think it would be good to give your daughter a few days of uninterrupted quality time with you if possible, without the pressure of coming back home to your fiancee every day, if Nova is okay with it. I think most step parents I know are cool with their spouse occasionally going off with their kid(s) on vacations to spend quality time without them, as long as they are not always excluded, but your daughter avoiding Nova totally and refusing to meet her would be a definite snub even if she doesn’t mean it that way.

I think your idea of them bonding and running off to do girl stuff together may be overly optimistic, but maybe they will “fake it till they make it” or maybe I am overestimating how weird your daughter might feel about the whole thing based on my own feelings.

Of course I may be totally off base about everything, but that is my best guess. This advice may very well be worth what you paid for it!
 
Tereza Okava
pollinator
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tagging on to what Jennifer said, because I'm cooking and apparently not able to think in a linear manner---

north american moving to the third world tends to set off alarm bells and stir up peanut galleries everywhere. add to that matrimony with a tawny-skinned third worlder and everyone has something nasty to say. Even if you're relatively open minded, if you're surrounded by these thoughts it's hard to ignore them. I cannot tell you how many conversations I had with friends of mine, especially white American women, about how "wrong" it was to marry a nonwhite Brazilian and bring my American and whitish (they carefully ignored the fact that she was also half nonwhite and Brazilian) daughter to the Dangerous Third World. I wish I had had the presence of mind at that time to really pinpoint what bothered them so much, in a truly questioning way. (instead, I basically just cut people off.)
If you can talk to your daughter, maybe you can find out if she's worried that you're going to get your kidneys sold, lose all your money, leave her out of the will, whatever the case may be. And then you can assuage her doubts with the one thing that really matters- you are following your heart but you truly appreciate her concern for you and prize the relationship you have with her.
But if you don't ask, you'll never know.
 
master steward
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Dale Hodgins wrote:

I won't be doing it, at least not in the way it was presented. I'm going to give her the opportunity to rethink it and perhaps we could all meet somewhere and then go on a few short  excursions while Nova is busy cooking or sleeping.

They are roughly the same age, so I expect it's more likely that the two of them will ditch me, while they go into a mall or get nails done or do some other girl bonding thing.

How would you deal with this?



I think you're on the right track. You guys do group stuff for a week, and during that week, you do one or two "day trips" with just your daughter. Something that's 3-8 hours with just her. She wants some personal time with you, maybe to bring up the courage to talk to you about something, and you could drive out somewhere with just her to spend some quality father-daughter time, and show her that you value her, too. But, you still go home to your fiancée. That way you show your fiancée that you value her, too. Since Nova sees family as very important, I'm thinking she won't feel uncomfortable or sad that you spend a day trip or two with your daughter.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Thank you, everyone. Nova is more than willing to be accommodating. So much so, that she's not standing up for herself, so I have to. She has been worried since we first met online, that this would be a huge problem, but I assured her that my family does not make my decisions, and I stand by that.

My daughter knows that I'm going to do whatever I do and that she can't actually sway me. I have lived a very unorthodox life, in opposition to just about everything that society wants of me. My kids have always known this and for a long time things have been fine.

We have talked about these things a little bit. She lives very close to me right now, so we have had every opportunity to go on vacations together, but haven't. We do get together very often and no subject is taboo. She knows that I'm totally in favor of the War on Drugs for instance. And I mean it's a real war, with no trials and no prisoners taken. But let's leave that alone. My daughter and I have talked about every political and philosophical and family issue since she was very little. We have talked about her career planning and her education before that. She has been a full-fledged school teacher since she was 21 and a half years old. We're not sure if she was the youngest graduate in the province that year. So she's a smart girl who marches to her own drum. She has worked in Italy, England and Canada, currently on a Native Reserve, which is a bit different than the regular school system.

When I talked to her earlier today, I mentioned just about everything in my initial post, the idea of not showing right up at someone's doorstep and then passing them by. And I think she gets it. She's probably under some pressure from her mother, who would prefer that both daughters not give Nova a chance. This is her nature and there's no changing that.

I have experienced every possible opinion from friends and acquaintances on this issue. The people who know me best, particularly the men, think it's a great idea. Some of the women who know me, also think it's a great idea and the only way I could possibly find someone who could keep up with me. Women who I only know vaguely, find the whole thing distasteful. One woman told me that there are plenty of single women here, some of them struggling to raise children on their own, and I should find one of them.

My ex-wife suggested that her family might try to kidnap or kill me. That is a distinct possibility and the reason that we are not going to live on Mindanao. Her home island is almost always on various travel advisories. Her home village is a social disaster. Some folks are only a few generations away from being headhunters. I don't mean helping to poach employees from other companies, I mean real Gilligan's Island shit. :-) One inebriated cousin mentioned to her brother, that I might have cash value.

I'm going to give my daughter a day or two, to come around. Normally I would call my older daughter and try to get her to give a phone call. But there's a possibility that they have already talked about this, so I don't want to give anybody a reason to dig their heels in. My older daughter is getting married and I think she wants that to be the only marriage in the family this year. But the problem is they haven't set a date, due to her own immigration issues. She met her American fiance while she was working in Korea.

The idea that my marriage to Nova will separate me from the kids, doesn't reflect our relationship. The kids have been moving all over the place. My younger daughter is looking seriously at a job in either Hong Kong or New Zealand. Both are comfortable hop from the Philippines. I've been living at my job sites for a long time. So there hasn't really been a home base where we could visit. We have always gotten together in public places or I have visited them at their place or their mother's place. Once I have a motel on a tropical Island, surrounded by a food forest, I think that will be a nice place to visit. And I will happily subsidize their travel, once the time for that comes.

The day she first mentioned coming to the Philippines, I reminded her that I am living with Nova's family, in fairly tight quarters. She knows that we are shopping for a piece of land. I told her that we should get together plenty while we are both here in Canada, and then she could come to visit when I don't live on the edge of an overcrowded city. I'd like to get a house up, and some stuff growing and get myself somewhat established. Then everybody's invited. You are all invited, but I can't subsidize your travel. ☺

I will talk to her again tonight or tomorrow.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Things are moving along nicely. We've decided that we will probably all meet in Boracay which is a serious tourist trap. It's going to cost about $90 for both of us to fly there from Cebu. Then we will take public transit through Panay Island and Negros Island and finally on to Cebu Island. There are small ferry hops in between. None of us have traveled this route before.

We are going to try to plan the wedding for that time so that my daughter can attend. Then we might go to a couple more Islands. It could be part of our land search. Along with prices, the culture of each island will be taken into account.  Some places are friendly to outsiders and some are more like her home village, where everyone sees you as a potential mark.

So, wherever we end up, it will be a foreign place to both of us. I want to be two ferry rides away, from grasping and threatening relatives. And I want to be a safe distance away from the Muslim autonomous region, since that's by far the most dangerous population to foreigners. The government has been doing a pretty good job of suppressing piracy and other activities that involved bandits using Southern Mindanao as a home base. I'm also hoping to find a place that doesn't have a lot of potential for social upheaval. So somewhere that is not too poor and with only one significant religious denomination. Less to fight about. And I'd like it to be a place where most of the land is owned by family farmers and not by companies like Del Monte or Dole. There's huge potential there, for bloodshed.

It's shocking how little travel Nova has done. Just going to wherever her employers took her when she was a nanny. And being shipped off a few times for schools, never very far from the bamboo hut where she was born. Her first big trip was a kidnapping when she was 5 years old. Her aunt kidnapped her and took her to the city without telling her mother. Then she was promptly kidnapped again, but escaped. That guy went to jail for other crimes against children. Then she was shipped back home by the police, and didn't go anywhere very far until she became a full-time nanny. After that, most travel was just around the local neighborhood in the city. She has seen the beautiful white sand beaches of the Philippines and the rainforests and everything else mostly on YouTube. These things are out of reach to the majority of city dwellers. A tourist who spends a week in the Philippines is likely to go to more islands, than millions ever make it to in their lifetime.

I was invited to my older daughter's place yesterday and she had spoken to her sister. So some of the kinks were worked out in my absence. I'm glad I decided not to apply pressure.
.........
Edit --- Nova is very good at using humor in awkward situations. She does it when her mentally deficient mother does embarrassing things. She is younger and smaller than both daughters. The other day she said that she will look up at them and tell them, no shoes in the house. Listen to me because I am your stepmother. It was said with a big smile. She's not too bossy except with her brother, who seems to need that. She doesn't think for a moment that she will actually fall into any sort of stepmother role.

She has started to tell me how to dress, and act, but always very nicely. Very similar to what happened with both kids when they reached 10 years old. She's been raising children for a long time and the consensus in the Philippines amongst the women, seems to be that men are large children, requiring some direction. But not one bit of what I would consider actual bitching. I won't miss that.
 
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If this truly is about the age difference I’ll try to add my two cents.

Both of my parents have had relationships with people in my age group after they separated, it’s a hard thing for some to accpept - including me. I never really accepted their younger partners the same way I did when they had relationships with people closer to their own age group.


Imagine in a reverse world, your daughter dates a man your age. I may be close minded and ignorant and I apologize for that, but it would creep me out as a father.

I understand as long as the love is well intended and mutual relationships are a beautiful thing and all you should want is your loved ones to be happy and well taken care of, and at the end of the day that’s mostly how I feel

Depending on the type of person your daughter is, trying to talk about it might help, on the other hand she may just need time to adjust to it.

Hope everything works out for your family. Lord knows life already brings enough problems for us to have to deal with outside of things like this. Just the stubbornness of instinctual feelings.
 
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[quote=Dale Hodgins]...and the consensus in the Philippines amongst the women, seems to be that men are large children, requiring some direction. [/quote]

I thought women everywhere knew that about us.

Edited...Don't know why my quote looks weird...
 
Dale Hodgins
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I totally realize that we are likely to turn some heads. And that doesn't bother me. I am someone who has looked after his health and finances. Any western man who has done that, can do quite well in a number of places around the world. I make no apologies for using my advantages to find the mate that I have chosen. She had no interest in any man from her country. That has to do with financial success, but also a fascination with people who look much different. When the women get yakking, they go over every detail concerning perspective suitors. Anyone broke and likely to remain that way, isn't given the time of day. The huge rate of alcoholism, gambling, spousal abuse and other social ills, has caused many young and attractive women to try their luck elsewhere. I have met a few who are very happy about that decision. And I've met quite a few very nice ladies who are married to a local man who is unlikely to amount to anything, because of his vices. Then there's the whoremongering. It's rampant.

But the pickings are also very good for any upwardly mobile Filipino man who doesn't have those vices. Those guys are a highly sought-after commodity, because there is a dearth of them. The death rate among young Filipino males is high, due to self-destructive behavior which includes the aforementioned vices plus, vehicular incidents, imprisonment, violence and suicide. So there's a definite shortage.

My young brother-in-law has so far accomplished nothing in his 23 years. I am hoping to help him change that. He hasn't had a girlfriend, because he has been unable to find one interested in a guy who does something close to nothing, most of the time.
 
Dale Hodgins
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My reply here might be redundant , since many of you will have learned that I got married and my daughter came to visit a couple weeks before that. I was unable to give her and exact time because we were waiting for paperwork. So she had to book it and hope for the best. They got along really well. And just as predicted they went out to get their hair and nails done.

Jasmine was also not a fan of most food available , but Nova made lots of things that she did like.

We took her to see a few sights and after three days she continued on the remainder of the her 6 month journey. Jasmine saves her money and almost always gets to buy on less than $50 a day. Her time in Cebu cost less than $10 a day.

There was nobody from my side at the wedding, but there were plenty of positive messages on WhatsApp and Messenger.
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Jasmine is the tall one
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