When I was 16 in high school, I had a sort-of boyfriend. We weren’t a known “couple” but he’d phone me every night and we’d talk for an hour.
Our weekend “dates” were hanging out in the basement family room at his place or mine, until after our parents went to bed.
That’s when he’d pressure me for sex, but I never went that far. I wasn’t ready.
I heard he’d died suddenly at 32, in a different city, leaving a wife and new baby daughter.
I’m now 37, married with my own children. Recently, a family moved into the area, I bumped into the woman and realized that she’s the widow of my late “boyfriend.” She’s remarried and pregnant.
I liked her immediately. Do you think it’d bring back good memories for her if I told her I’d known her late husband?
A widow living in a new city with a daughter who’s lost her father, might find comfort in hearing a neighbour can tell the girl about her father when he was a teenager.
So long as you don’t frame the friendship you had back then, as a relationship.
Your neighbour’s launched a new life with a second husband, and soon a baby, all in a new locale. She’s chosen an optimistic future.
Her grieving, and the adjustments she had to make when her first husband died, are in the past.
Don’t base the friendship, if one develops, on your limited high-school history with him. It’s unrelated to the adult couple they became.
Be a guide to her new city and someone she can get to know and trust, as part of her new life.
My husband long ago told me about a widow with two small children, ages eight and ten, whom he used to help occasionally.
When we travelled to India, I insisted on meeting her. He showed me a rundown house but said she was then away. I felt he was lying to me and said so.
We actually lived in Dubai so I let it go. We grew very close.
The day of our marriage I got an anonymous phone call saying my groom was already married. I was surprised/confused.
My husband-to-be assured me that it was nothing. I trusted him and didn’t tell any of my family members about this call.
Over 32 years of marriage, nothing too worrying happened except whenever he visited his family in Mumbai.
We always ended up fighting as he’d lie and visit the other family. They’d send me pictures of them together.
The last time he was there, I told him that I was going to leave him as I realized he’s been lying all the time.
I accidentally came across the phone number there on our long-distance carrier’s invoice. I also started checking his cell invoice and realized he’s talking with another woman too.
I have records of 10 to 40 phone calls, text, WhatsApp, all made in a day. What should I do?
Years of Lies
It’s an unusual story of a long marriage that managed well, between his visits to another wife and family who he kept secret.
Having discovered his intense contact with yet another woman, it’s natural to want to leave him.
But I urge you to first seek informed legal advice regarding bigamy/divorce and the division of finances and assets in marital break-up in both India and Dubai.
Protect your legal rights, since he can never be trusted.
FEEDBACK Regarding why the grandkids asked why their grandparents/relatives “don’t like us.” (Sept. 16):
Reader - “I’m a large family’s matriarch. I believe that even those who walk away from family are hurt/bitter.
“The answer to the children: Mommy is too self-righteous and sanctimonious. Her letter tries to show how she’s right. Yet she was backing away already.
“To keep a family together, all must acknowledge that each person has their own beliefs. If your children hear statements from family with which you don’t agree, explain your reasons later.
“Grandparents have often been scarred/hurt by past events, they can be depressed, have early dementia.
“If we only associate with those with the exact set of ideals/beliefs as ourselves, our children are victims who lose out on family love.
“I believe the grandparents are hurt by this situation. She should get off her high horse. The actions of family are important, not just words.”
Tip of the day:
Enter a new friendship thoughtfully, respecting the other’s start of a new life.