I’ve been separated from my wife for over a year and have three beautiful boys, ages nine, five and four, for whom she has primary care.
I value my time with my kids but I’ve since met the woman of my dreams who lives across the country.
I’d be the one having to make the move to be together as she has primary care of eight-year-old triplet daughters.
Is it wrong for me to be true to myself and follow my dream with the woman I love, and tell myself that my children will always be mine and they will accept my decision?
I want to start my own new life, but I feel like I’m forced to choose between my children and the love of my life.
You are NOT being forced, so don’t rush your decision. That could be the worst mistake. Whichever the final plan, you need to prepare yourself and everyone involved.
You’ve only known this woman less than a year, and met when you were dealing with the stress of major change.
She may be the “love of your life,” but she’s also a seeming refuge from whatever broke up your marriage.
I am not minimizing your feelings for her or the possibility you’ll end up together.
But it’s too soon to make a decision to move so far from your own young sons.
The impact on them will exceed that of your marriage break-up.
Consider: Can you afford and handle travelling back and forth several times annually, and also spend at least two weeks at holiday times with your sons in either locale?
If your visits are rare, or your new life too busy for frequent contact, you risk your sons feeling abandoned by you.
Take this year doing the hard work of making a decision you can live with comfortably.
Visit your girlfriend; get involved with her children, her friends, and her lifestyle.
Learn her thoughts about you needing consistent time with your own family.
Do the math on what your responsibilities/commitment to two families of children costs and the time it requires.
Talk to a therapist about what your decision means to your life and that of your children.
My best friend of ten years and I dated briefly, but it never seemed to work.
I once tried to restart our dating relationship, but was given a solid “No.”
We do often accompany each other to parties or events, and it’s assumed that we’re together.
In recent years, he’s been in very unusual and somewhat abusive relationships.
I realize he enjoys the drama, but the silliness has gone too far for me.
These relationships get started back up, then one of the parties deletes the other from social media and cell phone contacts. A week later they’re talking again.
Yet my friend’s repeatedly stated that he’d never speak with the abusive person again.
The last straw for me was on New Years’ Eve, when he left me at the subway station to be with his last abusive lover.
As a friend, should I just walk away and let him do what he wants?
Tired of His Dramas
Yes. Walk away. You’ve become his enabler as much as his friend. You listen to his stories, which gives him the chance to play them out a second time.
You’ve wanted more and asked for it, only to be refused. There’s no other future here other than being a sounding board for him.
We lost our home and claimed bankruptcy - it was our own fault.
We then rented a home, sublet it to our son and pregnant daughter-in-law, and moved in with Mom.
We offered first-year help with rent and child support.
I thought we’d travel with money saved by our living rent-free.
Three years later, their monthly payments are sporadic or missing. So my husband pays the rent with his pension cheque.
It's our 40th anniversary and we can't do anything. Yet her mother travels all over the world!
I feel used and degraded. Our son has visited us six times in three years. Your opinion?
Stop paying the rent.
Your son and daughter-in-law don’t appear to respect or appreciate your help.
Your own past difficulties with handling finances may be all that your son knows.
Urge the couple to learn financial management and attend a course with them, for all your sakes.
Tip of the day:
How you handle your first family post-divorce affects everyone involved for years to come.