My wife of 14 years just cheated on me with a work colleague. A bunch of them partied too hard and she fooled around all night.
I can hardly stand to look at her or touch her anymore, given where she's been and with whom. I feel the end is inevitable.
- Am I Right?
You’re naturally hurt and despondent, which is a consequence of her reckless actions that your wife needs to see. Nevertheless, it’s too soon to pronounce the marriage’s demise.
If children are involved, it’s worth probing why this happened and if it’s possible to get past it.
It appears a one-shot mistake that she’s confessed. If alcohol/drugs were contributors, she needs to acknowledge that she can’t handle them. If your relationship had previous problems, it’s time to examine them with professional help.
A partner’s one-time, one-night-stand is rarely about loving another. Take time to settle your emotions and insist on getting marriage counselling together, before making any firm decisions.
My alcohol and drug dependent brother, 50, lives with my elderly mother. He doesn’t work or contribute to the household. Mom says he’s financially draining her - $50,000+ in the last nine months.
He’s verbally and mentally abusive to her; she takes anxiety medication before talking to him. He’s hostile to her, my sibling and me.
He and I have joint power of attorneys (not in effect yet) and I fear having to deal with him. Out of fear and not wanting to live alone, Mom defends his actions.
- Horrible Situation
See a lawyer immediately to discuss how to put a lock on your Mom’s finances and to make changes regarding the power of attorney.
With evidence of large handovers of money (gained through harassment?) plus a record of hostile and abusive incidents, you could also get a social worker from your area’s department of services to the elderly, to support your case.
Be prepared to call police if your brother’s behaviour worsens.
It may also be time to consider having Mom live with other seniors in a retirement home, where she won’t be lonely or at mercy of your brother’s moods and demands.
Feedback – In response to my January 5 column in which a couple faced an unexpected bill from the grandmother who photographed their baby, here’s one man’s answer to how to handle family/friends’ request for professional services:
Reader - “I'm a retired plumber who for years did free work for family and friends. Eventually, I was losing most weekends’ free time to help out someone.
“No money, nothing was ever offered. I came up with the "family" rate to cover cost of materials. Suddenly, I'm not getting phone calls. We still see all these people but without favours being asked.”
- Works for Me
More Feedback – In my January 6 column, a woman who got back with her boyfriend who’d cheated, after three years apart, had been withholding sex for one year. A reader’s comments worth sharing:
Reader - “Much of the problems with our relationships occur because the emotional doesn’t keep pace with the physical.
“A sexual relationship should keep in step, and reflect, the emotional connection and commitment.
“If there are lingering doubts of faithfulness and commitment, then to return to physical intimacy could set the woman up for emotional damage.
“She should figure it out first, before re-committing to physical intimacy.”
Good advice … but not for a year of “punishment” for long-past misdeeds. The reader’s correct – this woman should figure it out, NOW.
I only conquered my eating disorders these last five years through therapy and medication. However, my husband relishes in how fast he can eat.
He uses a soup spoon, barely chewing, loudly shoveling in large amounts. It’s similar to the binging I did for years. I feel disgust and guilt when seeing it.
I obviously still have issues regarding my eating disorders, but is it unreasonable to request he slow down and use proper utensils? He sees my criticisms as control. It’s a much bigger issue than it seems.
Ask for his understanding and invite him to learn more about the difficulties of overcoming eating disorders. Also, gently suggest that his own eating habits are neither healthy for him nor socially attractive.
He should change for his own sake. If he doesn’t, eat separately. Either his habits won’t affect you … or you’ll start dealing with the real power struggle between you.
Tip of the day:
A one-night-stand is a loud alarm, but not necessarily a death knell.