After I went through painful medical procedures and two miscarriages, my husband and I adopted a child.
Now with our son, age seven – with hockey and swimming his favourite activities, and one or both of us always cheering him on - my husband’s decided he wants a divorce.
He’s met someone else, younger. She’ll probably want children of her own.
I can’t understand how he can turn away from the commitment he made to give this child the happy, stable life he deserves.
I feel that the man I once trusted for life, has lost his moral compass.
How do I handle this terrible hurt and loss of respect?
You’re shocked and personally devastated, which is natural when divorce is initiated.
But don’t anticipate that this father will drop his commitment to a boy he’s loved and raised.
It’s unfair to both of them. They may pick up your mistrust which can affect their relationship.
Your expectation involving co-parenting has to be mutual - the child is not “divorced.”
It’s possible to have a workable agreement on joint custody and child support, access to visiting, and separate weekend and vacation time, plus necessary accommodations.
To do so, you must ignore any wish to punish your husband through your child, or an attitude that will force the boy to choose only one loyalty.
Your husband’s choice is an unfortunate reality of life in our society.
Your pain is real, but try to keep it between you and him. It’s harmful for your son to be put in the middle of it.
I started a new job six months ago and made close friends with many of my new co-workers.
We all have dinner together, go to the gym, double date, and even have a group text.
We vary in age, but while the rest of us are settled in long-term relationships, one of the younger one’s enjoying clubbing and promiscuity.
We’re trying to support her but we’re having trouble keeping up with her lifestyle.
She wants us to stay out with her until 3am and get hammered. She’s fine the next day, but we need three days to recover.
If we don’t go out with her she’ll drunk-dial us at all hours, driving my partner up the wall.
She invites random guys from Tinder into her home and to social events in our homes. I used to live that lifestyle but I became tired.
Is it fair of us to ask her to slow down? We don’t want to lose her as a friend, but we also worry about her and want to see her walk a safer path.
A Friend on the Edge
She’s not being “fair” to you when she drunk-dials you at late hours, nor when she brings guys she doesn’t know into your private homes.
And you’re not being “fair” friends when you don’t reach out with caring and concern.
Sure, some of her behaviour’s familiar from your own younger years.
But she could use some honest chat about consequences.
If she can handle work after a night of drinking, the rest of you have to be clear that you can’t. Let her enjoy those with other, similar-minded friends.
Then speak truth about the promiscuity.
Be open about the painful, embarrassing, and chronic symptoms of STD’s, and about frightening incidents you barely escaped.
She knows she’s hanging out with women of some experience. So long as you’re not just making critical judgments, she’ll appreciate some big-sisterly advice.
FEEDBACK Regarding the couple whose parents won't babysit (November 3):
Reader – “My dad’s 93; mom’s 85. My mom said, “Don't ask me to babysit, I did my duty already.”
“Neither took care of their aging parents, they let their siblings do it.
“Dad had to stop driving eight years ago. Since then, my siblings and I go weekly to their house, do all their shopping, take them to doctors’ appointments, and manage their bills.
“My parents also didn’t do much with their grandkids.
“However, even though we get tired (we all work), we treat them with kindness.
“Mom says we owe her. We tell her, “we owe you nothing, but we do it out of love for you both.”
“I do love her but don’t like her. She’s mean and selfish, but I cannot abandon her.
“I have grandchildren now and I can never get enough of them. I decided to be different with my kids.”
Tip of the day:
When parents split, keeping children secure is a crucial need.