I’m a divorced mother of two boys, 12 and 9. I’ve been dating a man who’s separated and has two children, eight and four, since early November.
It was intense from the start.
We’ve had a great relationship, falling in love, and could see ourselves together for a long time.
Then his ex (common-law) asked him to return to her and the children. She asked this in front of the eight-year-old, who started to beg him to come back.
She’s the one who left him over a year ago. She’s now saying she still has feelings for him and wants to make it work.
He’s told me that he cares for her, but doesn’t love her.
He’s afraid he’s making the worst decision of his life, but the children mean the world to him, and he has to move back.
He’s said that losing me is the worst thing that’s happened to him, next to losing his kids a year ago.
I’m hurt, disappointed, can hardly think about them being together, and selfishly hope it fails.
But I do love him and want him to be happy with his kids.
I feel he’ll stay even if he’s unhappy with her.
What are your thoughts on staying for the sake of children?
Losing My Love
Re-working a relationship for the sake of a family staying together, is sometimes possible and great if it works.
But it often does not.
It usually requires major changes from both partners, about relationship issues that have little or nothing to do with the children (e.g. a couple’s communication style).
His ex seems uncertain of what she really wants – first, disrupting their family life, then, using a youngster to pressure his father to return.
Your sadness is understandable, but your wishes for his happiness with his kids, are admirable.
If they find that whatever caused her to leave him is still presenting problems, they have a lot of work ahead.
Do not wait, hoping he’ll return. Focus on your kids and your close friends and family. Feel free to date if you meet someone.
Bottom line: Children’s security is a priority, but “staying for the children” doesn’t always give them a peaceful, encouraging, secure home life.
I’ve worked for three years on two sides of the “invisible divide” between staff who are unionized, and those who aren't.
I’ve now been on the “administrative” side for six months. My role is engaging, challenging, and I love the work.
Except for two people in the office. One person’s mostly just jaded and indulges in minor gossip about me.
The second person, however, derives enjoyment from hurling jagged “compliments.”
She’s actively on the hunt for debate.
Whenever I need information, or to get something done in her area, her belittling starts: "Well, shouldn't you have already done this?”
But if I react to it, this person will come out on top, since she’s just below the CEO!
So, I'm not going to challenge her because a pink slip could just as easily come with her signature.
How do I learn to stomach this person?
You’re giving her too much power by taking her so seriously. Ignore her “compliments,” avoid her debates, be too “busy” to linger.
There may still be annoying instances, but you’ll care a lot less if you keep a polite distance.
And make sure your life outside the workplace is also engaging. It’s great protection against investing yourself too much in office irritants.
My mother recently blew up at me about something small that’s grown into something huge.
However, when I try to tell her how I feel, she yells at me for something else.
So, I wrote her a brutally honest letter, saying everything.
Do I give it to her hoping that she understands and we try to change things?
Or, do I not give her the letter, not hurt her feelings, apologize, and keep going on as we are?
Honesty is healthy but brutal honesty’s vindictive and mean.
Writing the letter was a way for you to re-examine your feelings. Now think of the ways you can change some things, to show her your good intent.
First, apologize. Then say that you need to find a way to stay connected without hurting each other.
Say that if she just yells at you, nothing gets resolved. Instead, if you both make changes, your relationship will be happier.
Tip of the day:
Making "staying for the children” work requires both parents’ commitment to their relationship.