My common-law partner of ten years and I have a daughter, age four, and own a home together.
He’s a functioning alcoholic. I left a high-paying evening job three years ago, as I couldn’t leave our daughter in his care.
He’d endangered her life more than once.
I went back to school to study administration and now have a good, though lesser-paying, daytime job.
My partner’s alcoholism has gotten worse and child protection services are now involved.
He makes more money than me, but cannot make the bills, and the debt is piling up.
He isn't drunk everyday but he always smells like alcohol. At times he refuses to pay bills or buy food.
I’ve consulted with a lawyer and plan to leave him.
The lawyer said I should get a protection order but I'm at odds with this as the police will drag him out of our home and he’ll probably go to his Mom.
She’s aware of his alcoholism and has a been a big help in my daughter’s care, picking her up from daycare until I finish work.
If my partner goes to his mom, then I cannot rely on her help as he’ll be at her place.
He’s great to our daughter, but treats me like garbage.
What do I Do?
He may be great to your daughter but he’s also put her at danger and you can’t trust him alone with her.
What matters is whether you also believe that, even when his mother and child are at her home together, if he’s present, she’s still not safe.
If so, and you and the lawyer believe that a protection order is necessary, then his mother could take your daughter to your house, and wait there till you return from work.
This is a logistics problem. You’ve already made the big decision.
Twice a year my two nieces stay with me for a week. My brother recently started dating a woman with a son my daughters’ age (seven), who’s displayed some difficult behaviour.
This year, my brother insists that his girlfriend's son be invited, along with his daughters, for the week.
However, I've just had a baby, so it’d be six children (including the boy who’s a handful).
I said it’s too much for me this year. Now he’s refusing to have his daughters visit, blaming me as mean-spirited.
His children live with their mother. She says the girls can visit, as she’s the one bringing them.
I don’t want to disrespect my brother. I also don't want to come across as excluding the boy.
I want to keep the tradition of the children’s’ get-together.
My brother seems willing to have his girlfriend label me as mean and unkind.
My husband agrees with me that it’s a lot for me to handle right now. Maybe next year, it’ll be different.
Too Much to Ask
You’ve already come up with a solution that feels right for your situation and well-being this year.
Yet you obviously feel guilty about it (though you shouldn’t) because your brother allied with his girlfriend’s perspective, which is natural, too.
Have you considered the possibility of your children visiting with his, at their mother’s home, even for just a couple of days?
That would keep the cousins’ traditional time together going during this year.
If not possible, then explain again to your brother and send a note to his girlfriend, saying you hope to host her son in future.
Acting has always been my lifelong dream, but now that I’m working in a part-time job, my hours are irregular and I don’t know where to begin to get into some kind of acting.
You may have natural talent, or just love the idea of theatre/film/TV work.
Either way, do an Internet search to see if there are local acting classes or online theatre courses you can fit into your free times.
Also, research the theatre/film/TV projects in your local area, and see if there are volunteer areas in low-budget community theatre projects where you can be helpful, even if as a “go-fer.”
It’s a way of learning what actually goes on in the world of performing and production.
All this research and experience will help you and others see the level of your ability and interest.
In time, you may be able to trade your part-time job for paid work in the field.
Tip of the day:
When dealing with a necessary break-up, arrange for what is safest for you and your child.