I'm a 36-year-old father of two, divorcing after seven years (married for the last three).
I’d suspected she was cheating on me for 18 months. Friends showed me pictures of her out with another guy (we live in a smaller town).
Whenever confronted, she’d get angry and defensive. Yet she’d sit on her phone texting this guy.
She ended it after a fight about her refusing to wear her wedding rings. I was devastated.
Her lover helped her move out when I was at work. She took everything of the kids, and most of our furniture.
She was taunting me about it and insulting me for being devastated.
How do I move on from here?
Our relationship was picture-perfect for the first five and a half years.
Now she's fighting me for every cent she can get, as I have a good job and she's been mostly unemployed while we were together.
I feel defeated and humiliated, selling my dream house and moving into a smaller townhome condo, losing over one-quarter of my after-tax income to child support, and watching this man with whom she cheated moving into my role raising my kids.
I called so many counsellors who never call me back. My friends and family are incredibly supportive, but it's not always enough.
You are not “broken” but need to rebuild your sense of who you are, one piece at a time.
Start with your kids, whose lives have been changed abruptly. They need to see you and know you’re alright, and you need to see them and know the same.
If access to them is a problem from the start, get to a lawyer fast. If not, you’ll still need a lawyer regarding all other divorce issues, but keep the father-child matters as clear as possible – insist on joint custody, defined times to see them, having them stay with you, etc.
Child support is an essential part of your parent role that doesn’t change with divorce.
She may be asking for unrealistic amounts, but your lawyer and financial advisor will discuss with you what’s reasonable for your income.
More important, it’s about how you want your children to live, within what you can afford.
I empathize with you that betrayal by a cheater feels devastating. But her behaviour demeans her, not you.
What you need from a counsellor is validation of your right to your pain but also your need for the will to regain confidence and get on with your life.
Seek a counsellor for those reasons, not just to vent anger (which may feel necessary initially, but is only a starting point to healing).
We met at a job I started. I’m 19, and he’s 36. We share many common interests.
We like each other a lot and want more.
I don't look at the age difference, but at our connection.
However, my dad’s overprotective and won’t give the guy a chance, assuming that all he wants is sex, or me as a trophy.
I don’t want to lose my close father-daughter relationship. The guy also doesn’t want to cause issues between us. What should I do to get my dad to understand?
This man must to try to earn your father’s trust.
He has to show sincere long-term interest in you.
You need to convince your father that you still plan to further your education and/or work life, and increase your independence.
Take it slow; don’t sneak around. See what develops.
FEEDBACK Regarding the young man who was tired of his long-time friend’s poor social skills (June 13):
Reader – “I’m a mother who knows that he should re-consider dropping this friend, and not inviting him to a birthday celebration after including him to all the previous events.
“If he excludes this friend he may hurt him more than he could possibly realize.
“It’s a possibility that his friend may have a condition called Asperger’s Syndrome.
“Being withdrawn and disinterested are part of the package.
“The main problem with this condition is the social interaction, or lack thereof.
“If this is the case, this person needs friends more than anything else. I suggest the writer do a Google search on this condition and find out more about it.”
Ellie – Many people with Asperger’s Syndrome are bright and high-functioning in specific fields, but as this mother says, their difficulty is often with recognizing social signals… not with loyalty and caring about friendships.
Tip of the day:
Divorce is the pits, but your children’s and your own adjustment must be priorities.