I’ve been in my relationship for 17 years and have four kids. I moved out because he’d stay out late and sometimes not come home.
I discovered he’s fooling around with other women.
I’m hurting so much I can't eat, stop crying, or stop thinking about him with other women.
I don't want to get out of bed but I have to, for my kids and work.
When I started working two years ago, he kept saying I was fooling around there.
I told him I love him and never wanted anyone but him. He’d say he loved me and wants his family to work… so why go with other women?
He took them around to our friends and made me look like a fool.
How do I get past this, be happy, and move on?
Nobody moves on easily, not right away and that’s a good thing. You need some of the crying and the hurt to know you won’t take any more lies and deceit.
But when your outrage rises, so will your energy for the necessary steps – keeping your children secure, getting legal advice, and settling financial support.
You loved him and meant it. He spoke the words but let you down. You deserve better.
You’re NOT the fool here. Stick with friends and relatives who are supportive of you.
If you get stuck in sadness, see your doctor to deal with depression and a therapist to help get your confidence back.
Two of our three sons have nothing to do with us – one is 44, with a wife and her twin daughters, and their own son, 12, who’s our first grandson.
The second one, 38, has a wife who has a coloured son (Ellie: This is the writer’s description which I’m quoting because it pertains to my response) and their own three-year-old boy, who’s our second grandson.
They all live close to our home.
Our only contact is with the 12-year-old on his way to or from school, or through Christmas and Birthday gifts.
The second son asked us for “time out” over a year ago. His wife took a picture of us to the school asking that we not be allowed to attend!
We’re not to be at any sports or school functions, though the older boy wants us there. The nine-year-old stepson’s at the same school.
We’ve been to the lawyer and police and were informed that they cannot stop us from attending functions in our town.
We’d like to see you do a column on alienation!
The alienation appears to originate from your side, through bigotry and closed minds. You treat a child whom your son’s raising as his own, with racist rejection. You also don’t accept another son’s twin stepdaughters as part of your family.
It’s hard to understand why you’d expect these openhearted parents to want to expose their children to your prejudice and disapproval.
Instead, they’re protecting all their children from adopting similar attitudes by restricting your access to them.
Instead of seeing police and lawyers – and creating more family division even if you were allowed some contact - you’d do better to seek a family counselor, and maybe have a chance at opening lines of communication.
FEEDBACK Regarding the heartfelt cry of a young woman about her birth mom (February 17):
Reader – “Her mother's lack of communication might not be intentional.
“With four other children and grandchildren, she’s likely very busy, which I understand. I work full-time, have three children and two grandchildren, leaving little spare time.
“My youngest daughter and family live nearby and I’m very involved with their lives.
“My two other children live in California, and though I love and miss them a lot, I hardly ever communicate with them because my days are so busy.
“I do visit them occasionally, but sometimes it’s only every two years.
“The daughter shouldn’t get discouraged and should keep up her occasional relationship with her mom.”
Ellie – Thanks for these thoughts, but realize, too, that the daughter’s knowledge of abandonment at birth remains deeply ingrained. She has huge need for the contact and needs reassurance.
Tip of the day:
Post-separation grief is natural, so long as you look after what’s necessary for your family and work, and seek help if you get stuck in sadness.