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I am a single mother (42 years old) and I have two daughters, ages 15 & 6. My boyfriend of two years and I are contemplating getting married. My oldest, Emily is going to be a Junior next fall. We are unsure of what to do about school. If I do get married before she graduates from high school we would move about 30 miles to another school system. My boyfriend works 90 miles in the opposite direction, so moving our direction is not feasible. My options are:

  1. Make her change to a new school - She says she will hate me forever, move to her father's home and he does not live in the school system that she currently goes to so she would have to change schools there also.
  2. I could give my brother or my mother guardianship and have her comute to school from where would live 30 miles away. I feel that driving 30 miles each way every day is too large of a responsibility. She is a very responsible teen, but I would feel guilty if anything would happen. I don't want to loose her, but I don't what her to be the one making the decisions in our life.

Can you give me some insight on this matter?


I can appreciate your struggle. I very much appreciate the way you are seriously taking your daughter's future into consideration before jumping into marriage.

Let me be truthful: there is no win--win solution here. From what you've said, getting married would likely create a huge rift between you and your daughter. If you've read my book you know that I am a huge advocate for the couple's priority once marriage takes place, but before marriage, you should move very slowly with a decision like this.

My best advise: don't get married until she graduates high school. Be a mom first; get her through a very important developmental time in her life, then marry and move to a new location. Remember, there is no win--win solution. If you force a choice, don't be surprised if you force your daughter to choose as well.

One more thing: if your boyfriend can't understand this, it tells you something about his character. It also tells you something about his ability to fully accept your children and look out for their best interests as a stepfather. Take this into consideration as you make your decisions about the future.