I’ve begun a new relationship - I’m 42, he’s 48. I have a son, 13, whose father suddenly passed away 10 years ago.
I found it difficult to date, feeling no one will ever love my son as his real father would’ve.
This new boyfriend states he’s not interested in my child, and we need to focus on our relationship.
My son hates him – he says he's extremely rude and annoying - and I can see my son's point.
This man has old-school attitude.
I don't believe the “beat him into submission” routine is either healthy or rewarding for my child.
My son believes he’s only dating me because I'm sexy and he loves making love to me.
I’ve not been this happy in 10 years, nor so torn.
My boyfriend thinks my son disrespects me, that he’s jealous that another man is stealing time away from him. I agree, but my son isn’t ready to accept this new man.
I cannot explain to my new boyfriend how hurtful it is to lose someone and carry on, especially for a 13-year-old.
Let’s cut to the chase: he’s the wrong man for you both, if he truly believes in “beating (kids) into submission.”
Your first responsibility is to protect your son. With so much early hostility, plus his lack of interest in your son, you’re heading for far more conflict if you continue the relationship.
Worse, if you choose a man whose child-rearing attitude differs greatly from yours, your son could well end up feeling “abandoned” by you.
If what’s attracting you most is the sexual connection, consider this man as the “turnaround guy” who helps you recognize your need for male companionship and your right to date.
But be selective – there are plenty of good men out there who are sensitive and understanding about a mother’s obligations, and about a young person’s need to feel safe and trusting with a new man in the picture.
My wife and I were married for 13 years, with our share of ups and downs. I paid all household bills.
When my mother went into a nursing home; I required a ride from my wife to visit her. This created huge tension, led to a blowout argument, and I got arrested. She was more responsible for the fight than me, and had assaulted me frequently.
Since then, I’m feeling helpless. I pay the mortgage, gas, and electric at the house we own. I also pay the rent, electric, DirecTV, and computer contact where I live.
I’m constantly almost broke.
My problem is my wife, who I cannot have a conversation with. I need a referee. She feels entitled to work part-time and this doesn't help with the bills.
I could go on and on about this lady screaming at people. I'd really like to move on though.
- Big Problems
You can’t move on when you’re lost in bitterness.
Even if your wife is at fault, you need to get pro-active and find out how to manage this situation. Going to a mediator is a good route to negotiating a better separation and the financial issues involved.
The court system in your jurisdiction can inform you about how to find a mediator. While there’s a cost, you may be able to get some relief through legal aid.
Even borrowing to pay for mediation would be worthwhile if it lessens your current cost burden.
My lifelong friend, 23, started cheating on her husband (together since she was 16).
She separated, leaving their young kids with him. She moved in with a friend of ours and slept with a different guy every night, admittedly without protection.
She’s also a pathological liar and tried to cheat her roommate out of money.
She badmouths us to get her ex against us.
Her parents gave up trying to help, because she won't listen.
I care for her like a sister.
Should I cut my losses, or try to help her?
- Confused and caring
You can be there for her when she crashes – and she will - by having available the name of a counsellor for her to see, and a clinic for any sexually transmitted infections (STI’s).
For now, tell her you care enough to warn her that her current rebellion is self-destructive. Then, wait for the call.
Tip of the day:
Single parents need to seek potential partners who are supportive to their responsibilities to their children.