I was stunned when my husband and his colleague were asked to resign due to a continuing affair.
His absences had been plausible due to his job and frequent travel.
After 15 years and three children my happy-home illusion was shattered.
He returned to our home town to seek employment while staying with relatives.
He was successful through previous connections and our children, family, and friends only knew that he was away due to his job.
His colleague quickly relocated nearby, which indicated that she was planning a future with him.
I felt my best option was to return to our family home, which was rented while we’d been transferred here.
My own job prospects are bleak after being a homemaker for 15 years.
I’m alone, under severe stress, and responsible for organizing and packing for a long-distance move.
My husband hasn’t asked for a divorce. He’s a good father and I hope to keep my family together.
Have I made the right decision?
So long as you give your decision a real chance for both of you to work at, it may prove far from “foolish.”
It means that you must ask whether his not asking for a divorce means he wants to try to stay married.
He has to be willing to talk to you - and you willing to listen - about why he was open to an affair.
He must also talk to you openly about what he sees for your future.
I say “must” not to be dogmatic about advice, but because avoiding talking and just trying to carry on, won’t work. The affair will then become the elephant in the room, between you.
Some couples can handle this conversation on their own, while others need the professional marriage counselling to open up about painful truths.
You’ll soon know whether you need outside help to get past blaming or shutting down.
However, IF you’re holding the family together because you fear being alone and unable to support yourself, it’s a fragile foundation.
You need to be strong, informed, and resilient, for your own sake and your children’s.
Learn your legal/financial rights and build the self-confidence that you can carry on no matter how the future unfolds.
I was bullied by some girls at school. It really affected me. I realized recently that I’m actually afraid of them.
Because they used to team up against me in a group, I always felt alone. My parents came to know about the bullying eventually.
I think the reason I was unable to move on in my life is because that fear still exists, and also because no one ever stood up to them.
I know talking to these girls isn't an option, but I'm not sure who to report them to.
Talk to the school principal or a guidance counsellor if one exists. If the response isn’t helpful, talk to the school board.
Ask your parents to accompany you.
Be sure to write a report that details the bullying that happened, and include the fears that it created in you.
If there’s no renewed bullying this school year, still ask school officials to create a program that confronts bullying in school and how it affects everyone involved.
Read the writings of Barbara Coloroso on this topic, including her book, The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander (third edition/2015).
If still fearful, ask school officials and your parents to arrange counselling for you.
Regarding the mother who’s constantly involved with three teenage daughters, while Dad is “odd-man out,” (August 19):
Reader – “I have three teenage daughters too.
“Can you elaborate on how to “re-boot” our family’s functions?”
It’s easy for a one-sided routine to develop, when one parent, perhaps with seeming-more time, drives the children, cooks, does laundry, etc.
But this is 2017. Both parents have skills and qualities that benefit their kids and can equalize the tasks. Teenagers can pitch in, too.
The “re-boot” is a change that’s worked out together. Example: Dad and daughters cook together one evening or on the weekend and freeze some meals.
You drive to an activity, he picks up. Or you go together and watch, so you’re both conversant about what they’re learning, the sport they’re playing, etc.
You only need mutual willingness to compromise to make family life feel more like a team effort.
Tip of the day:
Trying to save your marriage is worth the effort, IF you can work at it together and regain trust.