I’m dating (again) a man, 67, who’s a widower. We’d previously lived together for seven years, then split up.
He then met and married his wife, who died five years ago.
If we’re going out where he won’t return to his home the same day, he brings his late wife's ashes along.
He sets them up wherever we are, opens the box to reveal the little urn and her obituary.
I told him that I think there’s something wrong with this. He doesn't think there’s anything wrong.
What should I do?
State what’s really bothering you about it, rather than pronouncing judgment about right or wrong.
While his commitment to having her ashes with him is unusual, he has a right to this choice.
But he must understand what the effect is on you (and likely on any other woman he might date).
It makes you uncomfortable.
Moreover, it’s hard to interpret: Is this a cultural tradition he’s carrying out? Is he signalling that he’ll never get over his loss and grief?
Does it mean that your dating is meaningless regarding a relationship and potential future together?
Tell him to speak up before he goes away from home with you again.
Say that you need to know what it means between him and you.
Then you decide whether you can accept him on those terms – whatever they may be – or should look to date someone else.
My daughter in law is a narcissist. If you don’t agree with her or like what she likes, she has no use for you.
When she and my son first had their twins (now age six), they asked if I’d be interested in childcare in their home.
I did this for almost three years, five days weekly, 50 weeks a year.
I didn’t offer advice or direction. I shoveled snow, did laundry, whatever made life easier for the parents.
Suddenly, I was out.
My son would be responsible for the children, besides having a full-time job.
I get to see the kids maybe six times a year for a few minutes. I only go to their house for special occasions when invited.
I was “unfriended” off Facebook. When they go away, I get to take care of their dogs. The other grandmother gets to take care of the children.
His wife has alienated all my son's friends and most of his family members. His sister was badly hurt by this narcissistic woman.
My son goes along with it; he doesn't even have time to breathe.
I know he has to live with her and it makes life easier just to agree.
How does one deal with people like this? My family NEVER had any drama until this princess rode into town.
One way to deal with someone, with whom you want at least a civil relationship, is to not “diagnose” them based on your assumptions.
Yes, she sounds difficult, but she also sounds like someone you knew from the start would be that way.
You have to try even harder if you want involvement with your grandkids.
Your son may be busy, but you should still try to approach him… with sensitivity about his wife. Ask him: How can you help ease the standoff she’s given you?
How can you have some meaningful contact with his children – e.g. through visits to your place, or outings with you along with their father?
Any outreach you can make is worth a try.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman, 66, laden with purchases and blocked in the aisle by a rude much younger woman (August 20):
Reader – “The younger lady felt “entitled”' to leave her cart wherever she wanted, while the other lady said "excuse me," showing manners and consideration. (Ellie: She then said, “Do you think you own this aisle?”).
“It seems today many people feel they can do whatever they want with no consequences. Look at some political leaders as examples.
“Their behaviour trickles down to the common person who sees people who don't show consideration and don't suffer consequences. If rudeness is okay for them, why not us?”
Ellie – If we let rudeness rule, we have no right to criticize others, including politicians. The same goes for lying, deceit, and bullying.
The older woman asked me if she was right to talk back to the younger. I say, don’t stoop to the lower level.
Tip of the day:
Bringing a late-spouse’s ashes along on a sleepover date may send a silent message.