My husband of 16 years met a female co-worker at a company seminar in another country four years ago, and never disclosed that he’d not only fallen in love, but was preparing throughout the next months to have her transferred to our city (he’s an owner and very senior executive) so they could appear to “start” their relationship then.
I only discovered this when a junior female co-worker decided to tell me what was going on. She wanted to make a case for it being against the company’s hiring policies.
When I confronted my husband about it, he said they were in love and he was initiating a divorce.
By then, the company policy didn’t matter, as the woman, 15 years younger than my then-husband, wanted to have a baby instead.
During the break-up period of seeing lawyers, telling our kids, and having family therapy for their sake (a daughter 15, a son 12), I was astonished at how insensitive my soon-ex could be regarding his own children, me, my parents, our friends, etc.
It was as if he re-made himself in the image of whatever his new love wanted.
He never called my parents to explain or apologize or thank them for their generosity and caring about him over the years. He never apologized to me for turning my life upside down… not even in therapy. (I’m fine now).
And though he “cares about” our children, he forgets dates he arranged to be with them, uses Covid as an excuse to cancel even chats on FaceTime, is distanced from several couples who were past friends (whose wives are much older than his fiancée).
I’m completely over him now, but still easily saddened on behalf of the children. Any advice how I deal with this? He won’t engage in a conversation with me.
Forgetting the Kids
Lead by example. You’re over him, so no need to raise issues he won’t discuss (unless some serious matter requires both parents’ involvement).
When he can see the kids, accommodate his request. But if one or both children balk at a plan of his, try to find out why and help them adjust to being with him in his new setting.
Being an ex-wife doesn’t have to include being the caretaker of his new relationship with his children. However, by helping your kids adjust to the new situation, you’re modelling the best kind of parenting about what matters most.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the young woman whose new boyfriend’s family was “awful” (January 3):
“After just four months dating, it was getting serious quickly.
“But “his parents, brother and sister-in-law seemed determined to make (her) uncomfortable.”
“And the brother rudely asked, “When did you learn that my brother makes a lot of money?”
“I would’ve expected the boyfriend to stop the brother from pestering her about money being her motivation. The fact that he did nothing and was reluctant to leave upon her request, indicated that his loyalty is to family first.
“But he didn’t forewarn them about what he expected from them nor intervene about their behaviour.
“If it were me? I’d assume that what she saw is what she should expect from then onward.
“He’d really need to prove to me that he values me as a future partner and possible wife — and does not believe I am after his money. Otherwise, it’s a future of resentment, with him not in her corner.”
Lumbering toward the end of this terrible month when post-Christmas get-togethers sent Omicron spreading Covid among so many, has me fearful about Valentine’s Day.
Will the holiday celebrating love bring more illness because people will gather, dance, hug and kiss?
How do we prevent another surge, or are we doomed to pretend it isn’t happening until it does?
No Kisses for Me
In his 1933 inaugural speech, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” This now applies to a pandemic spread by a highly transmissible virus that can infect humans.
We’ve learned that getting sufficiently vaccinated, wearing masks over our nostrils and mouths, avoiding close contact with people not in your immediate “bubble” can prevent infection or weaken it to the level of a cold.
Feel free to wish people a happy Valentine’s Day online or by text, on that day.
Tip of the day:
An unwanted divorce still calls on the spouse who’s been left, to help their mutual children adjust to the new situation.