After two years’ dating, the man of my dreams is close to proposing. He's divorced with two kids (12 and nine) with whom I have an amazing relationship.
But his ex-wife is increasingly more aggressive towards my guy.
They have 50/50 custody, she receives a huge alimony, and doesn't work.
Yet she’s constantly complaining to him how hard her life is, threatening to sue him for more money, accusing him of having a mental disorder, and making up false stories about his behaviour.
She barrages him with 70 texts daily, and angry screaming phone calls every other weekend.
It’s a lot of drama and I’m conflicted about whether to proceed.
I'm worried that she’ll come after me and my money next. Is love enough to keep us together?
It takes a lot of love, plus commitment, maturity and mutual agreements about setting boundaries with her.
It’s especially difficult now, when she resents that he’s in a happy relationship and that her kids like you.
See a lawyer to ensure that your money has nothing to do with her alimony or other needs.
Your boyfriend should also check with his lawyer that her child support money and any other financial arrangements with her, are appropriate for the children’s needs, and hers too (not her wishes).
It’s up to your boyfriend to start setting boundaries for her on which you two agree. Example: He’ll answer any important texts readily, but not those that are just harassing.
Yes, there’s drama there, and if it escalates you may re-think your decision to marry. But don’t give up before you try some moderating steps.
Both you and he should get couples’ counselling now, to discuss more ways for handling all this.
My older brother has been diagnosed with a possibly fatal cancer. When I was 11, I was raped by his friend, while my brother raped my friend.
I buried the memory well, until I was teaching a Child Safety class. It all flooded back.
I’ve had some counselling, have accepted it, and tried to forgive, but can't forget. I’m resentful. I suspect that he may’ve been similarly sexually abused.
Now that he may be dying, should I confront him?
My brother-in-law, married to my deceased older sister, is now dying. He'd regularly beat her.
My siblings and I confirmed our suspicions since her funeral. We’d each kept it secret while she was living.
Should I visit him while he’s living? Should I confront a dying man? Should I attend his funeral? If I don't, his family would wonder why.
Dredging this up may be harmful to myself and others.
Dilemma and Doubts
These ugly (and criminal) truths won’t go away no matter your choice.
You’re wise to weigh your options.
You express sensitivity that your brother may’ve “learned” abuse by experiencing it.
The decision affects your future, not his eventual death.
If you feel the need for raising it, if it helps you lose resentment, and perhaps even gain understanding, go ahead.
If it only serves to stir up your inner pain to no conclusion, best to leave it alone.
Your brother-in-law was a brute to your sister who suffered in silence with no one trying to save her.
If you have a relationship with her family (children, grandchildren), attend the funeral, for her sake.
Only visit him if you need and intend to tell him that you know and despise what he did to your sister.
FEEDBACK Regarding the arguments that occur in families during wedding plans (May 24):
Reader – “I had a rift with my father leading up to my big day as a bride.
“I decided, after an argument, that my father would not give me away. I was 28 and old enough to make my own decisions.
“I walked down the aisle on the left side of my husband and, after the priest's blessings, walked back on his right side.
Nobody questioned this later.
Now I’m 75 and have forgotten what it was about. Most likely it wasn’t a very serious disagreement, as my father and l never mentioned it again.
The wedding reception went on very smoothly after the ceremony.
Ellie – That’s a life lesson on how what looms so important at one stage, sometimes hardly matters at all at another.
Good for both you and your father that neither held a grudge about whatever it was about!
Tip of the day:
Facing ongoing drama between divorced ex’es, the new couple-to-be should seek counselling help.