I’m a woman who had a close relationship with a divorced man for two years. It ended when he became more distant, and then, I was offered a good job in a different city.
He got involved with someone else very quickly, which hurt me. He was with her for four years. We had never lived together during our relationship, but he had this other woman move in with him.
I was surprised because he’d always been very protective of his now-adult children’s feelings about him moving on after his divorce from their mother. He’d sleep over at my place some nights, but we never lived together. (I don’t have kids).
He broke off with her a couple of years ago. I’m now 50, he’s 49. I’ve dated other men but I always had this guy from my past on my mind.
A mutual friend reconnected us, and after some texting and a long telephone chat, he came to visit me.
I felt more at “home” with him than I’ve felt with anyone else, all the years in-between.
I know he felt it too, because we spent every minute together, had a wonderful time when we went out, and were totally relaxed when alone together at my place.
But his visit got shortened due to an issue that needed immediate attention at his job.
I’m familiar with his business and knew he couldn’t ignore it. He had to leave.
Now I’m back where I was, not knowing what’ll happen next.
Do I just invite him back for a longer visit as soon as he can get away? Or do I suggest I visit him? I could give a casual reason like going to see our mutual friend, so that I don’t suggest just moving in for my stay.
Start talking instead of hoping: Tell him that after all these years, you two need to openly discuss what draws you together, and what pulls you apart.
Earlier, his concern for his kids mattered. After you moved away, it was easier to connect with someone else.
But it’s obvious there’s still a tie between you two. Say so. Ask whether he sees a way to a new chance and consider it yourself:
Would you move to where he lives if that’s what he wants/needs? Do you know what you need/want most?
Don’t expect an immediate final conclusion. Set a date for a next visit, either there or to you. Then, if there’s no plan on getting together at least regularly, kiss the past goodbye.
I’m the mother of three daughters. I’m also the youngest of three sisters, who each have children. My eldest sibling was always “the favourite” of our parents… something we sisters knew and laughed about.
Now her youngest daughter is the favourite grandchild who can do no wrong, and my youngest is the least favoured, who gets blamed for every mishap. My siblings and I are aware of this unfairness.
How do we tell our parents, without causing a family drama, that their favouritism harms both of their granddaughters?
First, tell them this soon: They’ve created potentially lasting, harmful labels for these girls – one as “spoiled,” the other as “mischievous.”
Speak with one voice as their adult children, with each of you stressing that though you love them, you can no longer ignore their negative pattern of choosing “favourites.”
They may not realize that they’re repeating it again with your children, but it must be changed.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who didn’t want to be called Grandma by her step-daughter’s baby, preferring to reserve that name for grandkids from her own children (December 10):
Reader – “As a woman who had a very bitter, unhappy mother, until she remarried a man she adored and had two children by him, I was left an unwanted child without real grandparents.
“Now, I’m very elderly with memories which are hurtful. Can’t the woman understand the pain she causes her husband and step-grandchildren by refusing to regard them as equals?”
A Particularly Affected person.
Ellie – While many people responded similarly to that column, I want to repeat here the truly caring things that same letter-writer had said of her step-daughters:
“I love his kids, treated them as my own. I bonded well with them, as they did with me and their two younger siblings.”
I’m hoping readers’ comments helped change her young-Grandma mind.
Tip of the day:
Wishing for past love too long? Don’t risk missing chances for a happy/better future.