My wife of one year is an only child, and while we dated, I received many weird objections from her mother. My wife said her mother had mental problems.
However, she later admitted that this isn’t her biological mother; she’s the child of her father’s affair with another woman. She doesn’t know where her real mother is now.
Her “mother” (step) is always upset that she, the wife, was forced to raise the child.
Now, she’s pressured us to let both of them live with us.
But MY mother sees that I work very hard, pay everything (mortgage, education, etc.) for my wife, and that’s still not enough to please my wife's family.
My mother doesn’t know this isn’t my wife’s biological mother.
She’s confused why this woman behaves so weirdly (as a normal mother wouldn’t).
Should I let my mother know the truth about my wife’s past?
- Murky Relations
Do NOT cross the line of telling your wife’s personal secrets, unless she permits it. This situation is confusing enough, and if your marriage is to survive, you two need to sit down and decide how to deal with her resentful stepmother, and set boundaries.
The adult child doesn’t have to continually “pay back” for being unwillingly raised, and you two must figure out where these parents fit into your life.
But that doesn’t mean having them live with you, unless they’re in dire need.
Otherwise, I predict it’ll lead to pitched battle in your household.
If your wife wants your Mom to understand all this better, it’s up to her to explain.
I’m 45, separated three years, during which I was involved with a man who was charming, vulnerable and passionate. Within six months, we were living together.
Prince Charming turned into a controlling, jealous, verbally abusive man. I went into debt, as he had no credit card. The police intervened in domestic disputes - my boyfriend called them when he couldn't get his own way.
Meanwhile, I maintained a close, confiding relationship with my husband, and we’re now back together, having worked out the issues that drove us apart.
Yet, I’m in torment over the verbal abuse that I suffered from my ex-boyfriend. I’m so depressed and ashamed of what I endured. I suffer silently, drink to forget the pain and have gained 30 pounds. I don't feel I can go on much longer pretending everything’s okay.
- Depressed and Hopeless
You’re beating up on yourself, when you should be proud of your achievement in re-negotiating a good relationship with your husband.
Alcohol is fuelling your depression, so draw on your innate smarts to stop hiding through drink.
When despair strikes, call your local distress centre immediately. Trained staff will talk you through the dark moments; they can also refer you to professional counselling, to work through the embarrassment you feel from this trauma.
You should see your family doctor about your ongoing depression; therapy and/or medication can help you handle mood swings and get the motivation you need to exercise, and eat healthfully.
It’s a terrible shame to have your current relationship hampered by this past one, which is over. After all, it’s not uncommon that a controlling personality can be hidden during the dating period, by someone adept at “charming” others. But your survival instinct won out, and can again.
Congratulate yourself for getting out of that situation, and into a secure, happy one.
•Look under distress centre in the Yellow Pages.
I’ve been dating my best friend for several months but his ex-girlfriend is interfering in our lives.
After a few weeks of our dating, I discovered that he’s having sex with his ex plus seeing her.
He comes home late every night and sometimes he smells like he’s been with another woman.
He says he loves me, we have sex once a week, and he holds my hand when we go out.
When I confront him about his ex, he gets mad.
What should I do?
Drop this jerk – he’s not behaving like a “best friend,” or like a serious boyfriend. He’s a user and a cheat.
What he “loves” in you is that you believe his lies; or maybe you do his laundry for him.
Whatever it is, stop. Find your own self-esteem, and tell him to look for another sucker to be part of his two-timing game.
Tip of the day:
Revealing a partner’s innermost secrets is a no-no that can become a deal-breaker.