My common-law partner and I decided to split six months ago.
He blames me, as we stopped having sex after our child, age four, was born.
We've been to counselling for a parenting plan, but he was too angry.
When I tried to set up mediation, he accused me of trying to take away our child.
He stays with his mother, I stay in our home (co-owned and co-financed), and we both see our child daily.
I feel it's unhealthy for me to have so much time/communication with him. I'm a better parent without him always around.
There's no physical abuse (some mutual emotional abuse).
We can get along around our child, but there’s still some conflict.
I’ve briefly consulted a lawyer, which hasn't helped much. I don't want to carry on like this.
You’re at loggerheads between his anger and your potential depression over being “stuck.”
Get counselling on your own to regain confidence in your decisions and determination about what’s best for your child.
It’ll help you rise above his stonewalling, and get clearer ideas, such as seeking court-ordered mediation he can’t refuse.
A clear, pro-active meeting with your lawyer is needed.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who’s boyfriend didn’t confide his friend’s “secret wedding” to her (Nov 17):
Reader – “Decades ago, my husband's brother invited him to lunch.
“I was told, “My brother wants me to consider working for him” though they were in totally unrelated fields.
“Years later, my brother-in-law casually said: "Well, you knew all about how my marriage ended."
“I then learned the luncheon had really been about my BIL's crumbling marriage - a secret I was not to know.
“EVERYONE ELSE in the family knew.
“Later, my BIL would only speak to me, not my husband, who didn’t offer the verbal support his brother needed.
“This is but one example of living with a closed-up, non-verbal introvert which has caused great stress throughout my marriage.
“Finding out about business trips with women, only afterwards, and countless other lies and deceits has taken its toll.
“I buried my dreams of being first in his life. But it still hurts deeply today.
“Your writer’s a young woman with years ahead to find someone who’ll put her first and consider her feelings.
“I agree with her that she should move on now.
“I say, hold tight to a high expectation of what you require in a relationship.
“Focus on your well-being, within a healthy relationship!”
Ellie – Your view is understandable, coming after a history of deceptions, lies, and lack of support.
However, many other readers responded differently, believing that the writer’s boyfriend owed his promise of secrecy to his close friends.
She’d written that because she didn’t trust him anymore, she’d leave him.
I now see this as typical of those unexpected hard events that crop up in any relationship, and can create turning points.
That young woman had the choice to explain in a deeper way what being left out meant to both of them and their relationship.
He could then have said why the secret was so important, but that he wouldn’t withhold information from her again.
Those kinds of conversations aren’t just counselling ideals.
They’re real efforts, sometimes painful but determined, to deepen the understanding and connection between a couple.
Sure, there may be initial tears and defensive reactions.
But for those couples who then take a mature second-look at why they’re together and what they can be for each other, the future is open and positive.
Reader’s Comment “I related to the nanny/caregiver who feels life’s unfair because her friend’s employer gives her gifts (June 10 or Oct.6).
“I emigrated here with a university degree from back home but was working as a live-in caregiver for four children.
“Most other nannies are so focused on sending money to their families that they continue as nannies or Personal Support Workers, often overworked and underpaid.
“They don't design a plan to improve their future.
“I got a job as a bank teller until I could become a Permanent Resident and qualify for student loans.
“I'm finishing school and have started working for a big organization making way more money than ever before.
“To that nanny: Don't lose hope.
“Invest in yourself and your education, and upgrade your skills for the job market here, and your quality of life will get much better.
“And you’ll help your family better.”
Tip of the day:
Personal counselling can help you through a prolonged break-up.