Last year, I fell in love with this amazing lady, she was separated and has two beautiful daughters. She'd been in an abusive marriage, was hurt often and spent years in depression.
We had an awesome time until her ex learned she was in love; he began threatening to commit suicide, harassing her and pledging his undying love.
Her children, both teens, love their dad; she thought it was the right thing to try again. But she detests his touch and his presence.
For nine months we'd tried to make a go of it but he kept up the harassment, phone calls, following her, following me and even my family members. He also harassed and threatened his kids.
Finally, she gave up fighting because the only way to have her kids happy was to take their dad back.
She speaks to me often, and hates that she can't be with me.
I love her. It's hard to watch her drown; hard to see why she'd allow her children to think that this is the way for a man to treat a woman. I believe that making her daughters happy now will scar them for life.
- Hard to Understand
I agree - staying in an abusive union does children no favour. It teaches them to handle abuse and violence with fear and acceptance; it leads to a cycle of poor relationships in the grown children's future, because their concept of "love" is tainted.
They feel wrongly comfortable when they meet up with a controlling, possessive person just like their parent.
Your staying in touch may be dangerous for her, but if you have contact, urge her to have a plan in case she needs to leave fast. Supply her with information about where to get help; insist that if she's frightened for her safety and that of her children, that she go to the police.
This woman's troubles seem unlikely to be over.
I'm a divorced woman living with a divorced man for the past five years. Our relationship is comfortable but I have no intention on getting married again. The main reason is that his family are Jehovah's Witnesses and do not accept our relationship.
They exclude us from all of their gatherings and make me feel very uncomfortable if I happen to be around them by chance.
One of the family members is a realtor and helped us purchase a house and gladly took the commission, only to cut us out of her life again.
I also have a business and two of the sisters call me to request my services, which are financially beneficial to them.
How do I handle this family that criticizes me, yet wants to do business with me because they can profit from it?
- Hurt and Confused
Discrimination of any kind is hurtful and hard to bear, but discrimination in the name of serving a religion is even more upsetting.
So long as you haven't badmouthed their beliefs and practices, they owe you normal respect and common courtesy.
Perhaps they feel your unmarried relationship is the biggest problem; but whatever their reasoning, you and their son deserve an explanation and decent manners.
Your guy should be saying this to his family, and pointing out that you've been more than gracious to help them commercially when they've been so rude.
If there's no change, it's up to you whether you want to continue your kindness to them. I suspect that you'll do so, because it's the kind of person you are.
My 17-month daughter is the love of my life but my relationship with her father has been rocky since our early 20's.
One problem: his mother and father have no interest in our child; they don't even acknowledge her as his child because they don't like me, so they don't like her.
I know the easiest thing to do is walk away, but where's the justice for my daughter to not know his side of the family?
What am I to do?
- Wanting Best for Her
Forget about "justice:" It's more important to protect your daughter from being hurt by disinterested grandparents than to try to force that connection.
Focus on your relationship with her father, between just the two of you. If you're together, it's his job to try to soften the situation with his parents.
Or you both agree they're too toxic to include in your life.
Tip of the day:
Abusive relationships are destructive to everyone involved.