After 14 years married, I started walking early in the mornings to temporarily clear my head of issues regarding my newly ex-husband, our kids, etc. I knew I had to deal with the family changes and feelings, but I walked to focus on the workday ahead.
Suddenly, a man caught up to me, declared that he was a neighbour and had always hoped we’d meet. I slowed a bit and we talked.
He’s 10 years younger than me, unmarried, no children. He kept my slow pace and said he noticed no wedding ring. I simply said I was single.
He caught up with me the next day and the next. I didn’t get to plan my workday but I admit enjoying the chats. Until he suddenly asked if I planned to sell my house.
He saw me flinch, turned the chat to flattery, and said “a beautiful woman like you” will have men lining up. “And I’d be first at your door,” he said.
Next morning, he was at my door, almost muscling himself inside. My kids had left for school and I was alone. He suddenly pushed me, but I screamed, and he fled. I remained, shaking.
It was an assault I’ve never forgotten. I suddenly realized my life would become very different, on my own.
What’s essential to learn about being a loving, responsible single parent and also having a “life of my own?”
What a horrifying experience. I’m so sorry that happened. To move forward, meet the “you” who’s always known your own mind, through different age stages.
You’re responsible about your work and you love your kids. But there were years of a former marriage and now a large part of your life has changed.
So, facing new steps ahead of which you’re unsure, go slow. Build confidence.
This man had his own unstated interests - whether to buy your house, or to take advantage of you being alone, I’m not sure. If he ever again forces entry into your space, inform the police.
I’m a woman dating a divorced man. We’re both 54 and we’ve known each other for years.
Both our spouses cheated and left us with kids six years ago. They’re all adults 22 to 27 now. His two older kids accept me, mine accept him, but his youngest male child is a manipulative narcissist trying to break us up after our five-plus years of dating and four years cohabitating.
This college graduate refuses to get a driver’s license or job, requiring his Daddy to come rescue or move him.
He chose a school far from us. My boyfriend has to fly to one city to get a hotel, rent a car, and move his son’s stuff twice annually.
I’m barred from being present when he’s around. Recently, I had to wait in a car for hours, excluded from his graduation.
He’s now choosing graduate school - three more years of constant manipulation at holidays, moving in and out.
My boyfriend feels guilt about his divorce and tries to make up for his ex-wife leaving, by being the “involved good parent.”
It’s destroying our relationship because he always chooses his son’s fake needs over mine.
Ready to Give Up
It’s a tough challenge that some adult kids of divorce throw at the parent who caves.
This parent thinks they can “help” their child adjust. But some still cry “needy.”
Meanwhile, you’ve understandably lost patience. Your “boyfriend” is choosing to be stuck in this unhealthy dynamic.
Refuse “exclusions” or move on. If possible, keep contact with the other adult children.
FEEDBACK Regarding "What's a Fair Will?" (June 10):
Reader - “Splitting the assets between two sons shows fairness and love for each child, no matter their career choice or family situation.
“If their oldest son choses to use a portion of his inheritance toward post-secondary education for his children, that’s his decision.
“In our family, the parents leave their money to their children. If there’s a special relationship with grandchildren, there’s a small sum for them to buy something meaningful to remember the grandparents.
“But most of the assets don’t include the grandchildren.
“This has always been discussed openly between the parents and their children.
“Perhaps these grandparents can share their decision and reasons behind it with both their sons, but not be swayed by the sons’ opinions.
“Also, if son #2 gets married and has children in the future, the will doesn’t need to be amended to include the new family members.”
Tip of the day:
Divorce, other peoples’ children, and dating anew all require work.