I’m stuck, trapped, and confused. I’m in a five-year relationship, with my son’s father, but no longer in love.
His bad debt from his past is now our debt as common-law partners.
I don’t want to be trying to pay it off forever.
I’m with him since age 17, got pregnant at 18. He’s 16 years older than me.
I recently met someone closer to my age, and we have so much in common. My friends say we’d make the perfect couple.
I have feelings for him, but I don’t want to have my kid grow up without his dad. I also don't want to break up and regret it later, because there’ll be no going back.
I don't think it’s fair for me to be with him if I’m falling for someone else.
Distressed In Newfoundland
What’s fair: NOT seeing someone else and telling friends about him, before deciding whether you’re staying with your partner.
What’s necessary: learning whether this debt follows you even if you leave.
What’s decent: Be clear that the debt’s worrying you for the future. What does he think can be done about it? Tell him what else is needed to improve the relationship.
If he’s unwilling to talk, or make changes, face the reality of needing to separate in the most amicable way possible for your son’s sake.
What’s wise: your son can be raised by both parents through a joint custody arrangement. It’ll be a lot harder to achieve if you use the other guy as your escape strategy.
I’ve been living with my husband of nine years in a condo purchased by his parents. He’s financially intertwined with them, which I accepted. For years, they “visited” our home, never said when they were leaving.
They treated the condo like their city vacation property.
My husband would only be cold to them, and occasionally complain.
Two years ago, his father died and his mother moved closer to the city, but still lakeside. We helped her purchase a home with two apartments, so we could “visit,” with privacy.
Because my husband will eventually inherit her money, they agreed that he could decide what to do with it.
My paradise has turned into a nightmare. Our weekend visits to the lake are a drama over how much attention we’re paying her.
She cries if we don’t include her on boat rides, or hug her when we arrive. She complains we’re only there to spend time together and it wouldn’t matter if she were there. She’s right.
But she’d previously seemed to agree she didn’t want to impose on us.
I dread spending every Saturday night with her this summer. My husband doesn’t like it, but he loves being at the lake, and I do too.
He’d love if I could make her understand she’s pushing us away, but I think it’s between them. Please help me resolve this!
I’m not sure if it’s all the freebies (your home, and weekend getaway) that’s got you both tongue-tied.
Or, if a straightforward, polite statement about boundaries could never have worked.
Now you have, not a nightmare, but a situation.
You both need to tell Mom your plans with her, and those without her. Yes, a hug when you get there, notice of Friday night dinner together, the Saturday boat trip you’re taking on your own, the Saturday movie you’ll be watching on your own, the Sunday brunch you’re inviting her to join.
After a couple of weeks, she’ll get it.
FEEDBACK Regarding "Frustrated Husband" whose wife rarely wants sex since the toddler and baby were born (June18):
Reader – “Your advice was spot on. I’m going through a similar situation at home.
“I’m a first-time mom, now back at work, dealing with postpartum depression, and I am exhausted.
“The last thing on my mind is sex and the weeks are passing by without any.
“If my husband showed any signs of caring or compassion towards my current state of mind and health, I’d be willing to make time and effort for a little romance.”
Ellie – These are early days of adjusting to being a family as well as both of you working, and your post-partum depression makes it doubly hard on you.
Explain this. Suggest that he talk to your doctor for a better understanding of the hormone changes and their effects, and how much you need his support.
Tip of the day:
When kids and finances are involved, “escaping” without thoughtful, fair planning, is messy.