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Kerri Zane Headshot

He Called my Teenage Daughter a Bitch -- Now What?!

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As a single mom for the past 12 years I have dated, or been involved with, a rich variety of men. Many had interesting qualities I admired and were fun to be around, but ultimately there was something missing to truly be the REAL package.

Then one day, after kissing my fair share of frogs, that guy came along who I believed was worth it all.

In truth, I don't know that I'd ever actually experienced that falling in love feeling until I spent time with this man. (He is now affectionately known as "the O Hater." Offspring Hater... you get it right!) A single father to two boys, he was a highly educated investment banker, lived in a sweet little house, owned the cutest dog on the planet and drove a decent car. Though his career had been slightly derailed and he was unemployed when we connected, it didn't matter to me. I was willing to stand by his side, no matter what, because I'm smart enough to know the green stuff comes and goes but the awe-inspiring and often elusive 'click' is priceless.

One of my favorite memories was our third date. He "took" me for a drink on his rooftop. When I say rooftop, I literally mean we sat on top of the tar tiles on his rooftop. We snuggled up on beach chairs, sipped martini's and watched the sunset. Not a flashy date but extraordinarily romantic. Like I said, he was a bit low on cash flow, but I didn't care because I believed in him. It was these kind of sweet gestures that made me fall in love with him.

Within the first two months we'd immersed ourselves in each other's lives. I joined him to watch his boys play in a basketball tournament and I brought him around to meet my girls. At the time they were 14 and 10. My daughters are sweet, smart, kind, polite and well-mannered. Until it comes to the men in my life.

It was three months into our relationship when we attended a party with my teens in tow. My eldest daughter has always had a tendency to be protective of me since my divorce, which manifests as a cool stand offish demeanor toward anyone I date. This guy was no exception. He got the full on iceberg varietal treatment at the party. He managed to handle the situation with aplomb and let the bad attitude roll. Later that evening we discussed it like two adults and agreed that over time her freeze would thaw. Maybe she would never love him, but she would learn to like him or at least be tolerant of her mother's friend. It was cool.

BUT....a month later when we were out at a pub having a heart to heart about family, friends and US. He ignited the hater bomb. "Can I be honest with you", he said. "Your daughter is a Bitch". Holy Crap. He did not just say that! This is bad. This is wrong. THIS IS A DISASTER.

What does a woman do? For the first time since my divorce I saw my future with a man. I wanted to wake up next to him for the rest of my living days. I wanted to walk his dog every morning (and I'm not really a dog person). I wanted big family dinners with his children and mine. I wanted to laugh, cry, care for him in sickness and health and yes, I wanted to sit on that tar rooftop at 80 years old watching sunsets and drinking martini's with him. I loved him.

But I love my daughter(s) too. In truth my love for her (them) is unquantifiably unconditional.

So I made my choice. The only choice that was right for me. The O Hater had to go.

What would you have done?