Reader’s Commentary “I was a victim of “stealthing” by my then-husband on the fifth day of our marriage.
“It happened during our honeymoon, while we were in a country where I had no access to the morning-after pill.
“I felt then, and still feel to this day, that I was raped, devastated and violated.
“However, no one whom I told about this situation agreed with or validated my feelings, until you did with your column September 20.
“My life was hijacked by an unplanned pregnancy. He’s never shown remorse for his actions.
“None of my friends understand why this was a violation to me since he was my husband and thus “entitled.”
“His one act of stealthing was just the first of the behaviors he exhibited, flaunting his so-called entitlement over any of my needs or feelings.
“Over many years, I was brought to the brink of suicide before I realized I could exit the marriage through divorce.
“Now I'm free and healing and want it to be clearly known in society that stealthing is rape.
“I thank you so much for giving me validation and a voice.”
I wrote several years ago regarding my daughter-in-law (DIL) not allowing our family to see our grandkids.
Nothing’s changed. We see them only three or four times a year. My DIL has only called once or twice a year when she’s stuck for a babysitter.
Their time is filled with her family, careers, friends and activities. There is NEVER any time for them to visit.
They’ve recently dropped special occasions like Thanksgiving. We’re down to a couple of hours on Christmas Day.
I accidentally learned that one grandchild got confirmed with all her family present. I e-mailed my son asking for a photo. I was ignored.
I don’t have a huge issue about not being invited, as apparently guest numbers were limited and it’s her religion, not ours.
Also, my son’s been sarcastic whenever we do speak, about my not keeping contact.
I seldom phone because he’s always asking what it’s about, and says they’re just leaving the house.
I text instead. Not a single reply.
We still invite them for everything we do as a family and are refused every time.
I feel that my son wants it both ways – i.e. Don't bother us, then push-back that we don't make an effort.
I know he’s hurt, but if he wants it different then he needs to change what’s going on at home…
Am I Right?
No. There’s no easy right or wrong when dealing with a backdrop of religious differences.
Some “mixed” marriages get off on bad footing as early as the couple’s dating gets serious, when both families are negative or concerned about their union.
It leaves hurts and resentments on both sides.
Your son may feel conflicted in the middle, but his first priority must be his wife, if he wants peace in his marriage.
Meanwhile, she’s not just disinterested. You have to accept that the lives of young career-minded parents are extremely busy.
It’s unsurprising when they seek the least possibility of conflict and judgement.
If you want to improve things, you can only try harder to do so. That means no criticism, and more understanding.
Try offering to host your son, DIL, and grandkids along with her family when there’s an opportunity - e.g. a child’s birthday or a casual weekend BBQ, anytime when there’s no religious aspect to the occasion.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose “lazy” partner doesn’t do any house chores though they both work similar hours (Sept. 23):
Reader - “There’ve been recent letters about getting partners to do their fair share of chores in the house.
“Whenever someone asks how I get my husband to do his share (and probably then some) I say: He lives here. He eats here. He does his part.
“He earns more than I do, but I pull in a very respectable professional salary, too.
“In chore division, it should never be about the money. It should be about the hours.
“If I reduced my paid working time to half-time, I’d expect to do more around the house.
“But as long as we’re both putting in a full week's work in the office, we both put in our full share of work in the house.”
Ellie – Note that “lazy” is a tactic, not an excuse.
Tip of the day:
Everyone who experiences sexual assault has a “voice” needed to speak up, and identify the act and the perpetrator.