My husband of 12 years and I have had major difficulties in recent years. He’s experienced headaches and pains with no medical cause found. We’ve suffered three deaths in our family, including my husband's grandfather who raised him.
Later that month (January), my husband met someone online. They talked frequently and he started lying about where he was going and wouldn't come home. It was both an emotional and physical affair.
He said that our marriage has never been strong and that I control him. However, he gets to do whatever he wants, I may complain, but he still goes - snowboarding trips to South America, dinners and hobbies with the boys - while I take care of the kids and home.
I decided to leave with the two kids because he wouldn't. He said he’d end things. Then two days before our family trip, he decided that he wouldn’t go, but still wanted the other girl in his life.
I told him to leave. Then he came back saying that his relationship with her was a fantasy and he needs to be with his family because that’s reality.
He’s now fallen into a depression, which I believe started before this. He doesn't want to be at home; if he’s here, all he does is sleep. He keeps flipping on his decision to leave, saying he doesn't want the kids to live in a divided household and that he loves his family.
Or, he asks where did our friendship go and he doesn't think it can be repaired. He says he can't live with the decision he made and the guilt is killing him.
I’m willing to work things out but I can't deal with this emotional roller coaster anymore.
He needs direction (that’s not control). Insist that he get individual counselling because his guilt, indecision, and self-indulgence are combining to cause health issues and deepening depression. Not to mention they impact negatively on you, and on the children he purports to protect.
(Their home life is already stressed by his behaviour and inconsistency).
Once his own therapy helps him focus, you two need marriage counselling before either of you make a final decision. You’ve been through a lot, together and apart. Yet you both have inclinations towards trying again. Give it a chance.
My son, 30, lives in another city an hour away, with his girlfriend. She’d gone to Alcoholics Anonymous previously and claims that she has her drinking under control.
On their last visit, she spent a lot of time in the bathroom. When she came out, she was obviously high on something.
My son's friend told me that she does cocaine. My son had confided this to his friend, who said she claims it's an adult drug and it's so cool. (She’s 30 and just got her job back after being previously let go for drinking problems.)
I haven't mentioned anything yet to my son. What should I do?
Confronting Drug Problems
Let your son know he can talk to you about this, without judgment, because that would push him away.
He knows what she’s doing. Yet he’s hanging in, likely believing that he can help her. It’s very compelling for some young people to see themselves as rescuers… and creates co-dependency.
Say what you saw, and know, and that she probably needs professional help to quit, and that you’re there to help him when needed.
My divorced father remarried and had two other children and apparently forgot about his other children. No pictures of us, nor my children are in his home, despite tons of pictures of their other kids and grandchildren.
He never helped us when I got married, had children, bought our first home, or during our financial difficulties. He helps his other adult children.
He visits us occasionally. When we visit him, we stay in a hotel; he’ll take us out for a meal.
I feel disrespected, and that I should sever ties. Your opinion?
He’s a careless, absent father immersed in his second family (possibly starting with divorce-related issues between your parents).
Unless he’s truly toxic to your well being, severing ties is a harsh message to your own children and grandchildren. The better model is the loving connection you maintain with them, while rising above his neglect because you acknowledge that, though imperfect, he was/is your father.
Tip of the day:
Confront a cheating partner’s guilt and depression by insisting on individual counselling for him/her, for everyone’s sake.