I met the woman of my dreams last year, while I was still unhappily married.
Knowing we had to be together, I told my wife soon after, but she wanted to go to marriage counselling. I couldn’t see the point.
Now my wife doesn’t get that she’s not part of the family any more. She visited my dying mother in hospital and even wanted to go to her funeral. She still sends my nieces and nephews birthday and Christmas presents.
She’s also taken a full-time job, which means she isn’t home with our children as much. They’re both self-sufficient teenagers and she doesn’t like that she can’t always control what they do.
She’s said our daughter needs to come over to our house after school but my girlfriend and I have the kids over for dinner every week; they’re fine.
Once my wife didn’t pick my daughter up right after work, and left her with us for a couple of hours while she went out.
My girlfriend just started working, and is very tired when she gets home.
Should I confront my wife for keeping me from being completely happy?
- Just Wanting Happiness
You bring new meaning to the word “self-centered.”
Whatever was wrong with your marriage, you were part of it too. Being “happy” doesn’t excuse you from parental obligations.
Your ex also gets tired after work, and has teenagers to handle far beyond one meal. You need to trust her concerns that they not be on their own after school more than necessary.
Your ex’s reaction to her long-time mother-in-law’s illness and passing were natural; your attitude, on the other hand, is not. You’re giving a perverse message to your children, that “family” is totally disposable.
My daughter, 19, disrespects my wishes by letting her boyfriend sleep overnight, on the couch in the basement.
I’m a single mom raising two girls alone for 15 years. I don’t often ask her father for help, but he also spoke to her. Nevertheless, she still lies to me by denying that he stayed over – even hides his shoes and coat.
The boyfriend knows I disapprove. I suspect she’s let him in and out through her screen window as all of the clips have been broken off and there’s a big dent in the front of my car as if someone has jumped down on it.
She’s in college and he’s a college drop-out who hasn’t worked in the six months she’s known him.
They’ve also been drinking in the house, which I’m against. What can I do?
Treat her like the grown-up she’s trying to be, even though she’s using childish deceit to get her way.
You’ve been avoiding the real topic you want to discuss - The Guy. Ask questions rather than argue or give opinions, and help her think through their relationship. Perhaps he shows neediness that attracts her. This is common for young women who aren’t yet confident, and especially if Dad isn’t a frequent presence.
Find out why he sleeps over – no place to go? Drinking too much?
Negotiate some agreements: e.g. he CAN sleep over on Saturday nights.
However, if she continues to lie and sneak him in, call another “meeting” to negotiate further.
Eventually, you may have to make a tough bargain for both of you: Either he pays you some “rent” for use of your home, or they move out together. Though a last-ditch step, it may be the only way for her to see that it’s her behaviour that has narrowed her options.
Recently, my (super-thin) mother-in-law noticed our son, 12, had gained weight.
We’ve increased his activity level and cut back on sugar. He’s filling out before shooting up – as my other kids did.
My MIL called him “really chubby!”
His sister, 18, who’s beaten an eating disorder, was very upset.
My MIL knew this, and knows I’ve struggled to keep my weight down.
I’ve told my husband to speak to her – or should I just tell my kids that she’s getting old and tactless?
They already know she’s tactless, but body image remarks do affect young people, and she should be told so.
You’re a family aware of and working on nutrition and fitness, and you need support, not labels or criticism.
Hubby should say she needs to be part of the encouragement team – e.g. cheer for her grandson at a sports event - or keep mum.
Tip of the day:
Happiness that’s self-centered can become a lonely one-way street.