I married very young and have two sons, now 24 and 23. My ex-husband never cut ties with the woman he was with before me. I lied to myself that I could live with it.
I helped him climb his career ladder and noticed all his cheatings. We separated briefly when the boys finished high school but neither that, nor counseling after, helped the marriage to survive that woman plus his other affairs.
Then I realized how lonely I was and finally got the courage to divorce.
I met a man who had all I could dream of, except that he mentioned at the beginning that he’s in a divorce battle that may not work out in his favour, and will affect our long-distance relationship.
Two months ago, I realized that I should continue alone rather than with someone who’ll break my heart again, and I ended the relationship. I believe I’m a lot happier by myself with myself.
Being happier is good; being smarter is still needed. This second relationship was problematic from the start, since the man was still “attached” and hedging his bet between the two of you…. not unlike your past marriage where “three” was too many from the beginning.
Use this time on your own to learn more about your tendency to accept this familiar pattern, as if just having someone want you is enough. Individual counselling can help you learn to spot this kind of doomed scenario before it even starts.
Your self-confidence and self-image will increase to the point you’ll never again allow yourself to be runner-up in an intimate relationship.
My son, age four, swears when he’s angry. His older sister never did this. My husband and I both react immediately, saying that we don’t accept that language in our home. We take away something he wants that day, such as watching his favourite kids’ TV show.
Why does one child swear when another doesn’t?
There’s no ready-to-download text of what a child’s thinking, but there are strong signals, and a youngster’s swearing is one of them.
He sees that it gets to you, and thus brings your attention right to him. Yes, it’s negative attention, but still suits his need for wanting you to focus on him.
That’s just the beginning. Now you, his parents, need to explore why he needs that attention. Just as with a baby, start with what may be making him uncomfortable – e.g. perhaps lashing out because he’s been physically hurt, teased, bullied (by his sister? at daycare/pre-school? by neighbours?), etc.
Or he’s asserting, albeit annoyingly, his unique place in your family’s dynamic.
Or, he heard it on TV, from another child, or even from a frustrated close adult who swears while driving in traffic or trying to fix something.
Explore these possibilities, and research some parenting experts’ views, to see if other possible explanations and approaches bring understanding and strike a better chord than what you’ve been doing so far.
My friend, 44, is devastated after her boyfriend, 24, dumped her. She’s angry because I said she was foolish to think it’d last, given his age. Was I wrong to be honest?
You were wrong to whack her with the obvious result, in this case.
And unkindly judgmental, blaming her for accepting the age difference.
She trusted the wrong person, which can happen to men or women, of any age.
With Christmas so recently past, I’d like to remind people out there to reconsider the season.
It’s so easy to buy for those we love... a joy. But Christmas is an opportunity to reach out to those who never get a hug, a gift, and a phone call. A time to surprise the lonely with a gift basket or even a card.
Think about those you know who have no one to spend Christmas with, and make a phone call that could make the season so much brighter.
And please take a moment to thank those who’ve remembered you.
I recently sent gifts to two nieces and nephew - young adults. When their mother phoned me, I asked if they liked my gifts... gift cards, framed photos, etc. Oh yes, they loved them.... but they didn’t pick up the phone or send an
email. People like to be thanked, appreciated, valued. “Thank-you” could be your best gift in return.
Tip of the day:
When relationships fail from similar patterns, seek professional insight into why you’ve accepted situations bound to hurt you.