DEAR DEIDRE: FOR ten years I cared for a lady with dementia. After she was put in a care home five years ago, her husband and I became lovers and would visit her together each week.

I’m 65 and he is 69. All our friends accept our relationship except his children. They are in their 30s. His wife died two months ago and they didn’t even want me at her funeral. I sent a sympathy card instead.

I did this for my partner as I didn’t want him having a family row.

My partner says he can’t change his will but has told his children to “see me right” when the time comes.

I told him to tell his children I don’t want anything.

He did but when I asked my partner to marry me he said he was too old and his kids wouldn’t like it.

DEIDRE SAYS: It is wonderful you have found love but losing their mum was a devastating blow for his children. They see you as a rival but they shouldn’t run the show.

Reassure them how important they are to you. Spend one-to-one time with them but set firm boundaries.

Your partner should be more open to your hopes for the future when he sees you and them getting closer. My e-leaflet Step­family Issues will help.

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