My daughter’s cheating on her husband who’s in the Philippines. Every time we advise her, she quickly retaliates and threatens us to be chopped up if we don't stop meddling in her life.
We greatly pity her daughter, four, whom she brings along, seeing what they're doing. The girl herself told us that her mother sleeps with her uncle. (The lover is introduced to her as “cousin,” so she calls him “uncle”).
They live with us, but go to the place of the lover either to sleep over or come home in the wee hours.
I’ve been tempted to report her to the police for her repeated threats to massacre us, or to protect the girl from them as the lover is a smoker, and they both drink alcohol.
What’s the best move to take?
Disgusted and Confused
If you believe her threats are serious, and that she’s capable of causing you physical harm or arranging it, talk to the police.
Meanwhile, your criticism, however valid, is fuelling her anger and isn’t working to have her behave differently. It could result in your losing contact with your granddaughter who needs you most.
Back off about her affair. She’s an adult living away from her husband, possibly for years. She’s already fully aware of your disapproval. It’s the child you need to think about, plus diffusing your daughter’s threats.
If you can achieve less tension between you, offer to have the child stay with you instead of being brought along.
However, if the situation worsens in any way, do alert police.
Three years ago, my best friend was dating this guy for several months, just long enough for him to make her feel special. She isn’t typically hot.
He introduced me to one of his close friends and we started dating. Then her guy cheated on her. She's smart and tough enough to walk away from him with minimal damage, but I'm still happy with my relationship.
Her guy then started a long relationship with the girl he cheated with, and she moved into the place where he and my boyfriend then lived.
I don't like this new girl - mostly due to loyalty, but also to clashing personalities.
Everyone assumes I'm jealous because she's prettier than me, and thinks I'm a crazy witch for not immediately befriending the girl who hurt my best friend.
No one (not even my boyfriend) understands that I don't owe anyone my friendship.
This happened three years ago and it bugs me that people think I don't like this girl because I'm jealous and not because I think cheaters are slimy and despicable.
I’m on a waiting list to see a therapist about all this.
I’m glad you’re seeing a therapist because, though your loyalty’s natural, your friend’s apparently handling this better than you.
It reveals a deeper upset in you, for reasons which you and the therapist can explore – something in your past or childhood, perhaps, related to cheaters.
Meanwhile, don’t let these feelings affect your own relationship. Your boyfriend can’t understand them since you also haven’t probed why they persist.
It seems this couple have something strong that drew them together. And no children were involved… just your friend who’s past it. But not you.
Be prepared to learn more about yourself in therapy, which is a good thing, as it’ll help you in all your relationships. And be prepared to help your boyfriend understand you better.
I like a boy who’s two years younger than me. I’m 14. We’re into the same music and activities. He likes me too.
He wants to hang out with me more. We don't go to the same school, and hanging out another time could lead to other people seeing us.
People are very judgemental about "cougars." If people see us, I'm screwed.
There’s a reality gap here, more than an age problem. You’re not a “cougar”… you’re a very young teen who’s adopted pop ideas about social behaviour, without the maturity or experience to handle them.
If you and this boy want to just hang together, do so at your place or his, with parents around. Let your friends meet him as your pal.
Do NOT think that keeping this friendship secret is healthy, or that you’re at the centre of a gossip drama. Do NOT think you’re ready for a relationship that involves sexual activity.
Tip of the day:
When family tensions are high, back off criticism, or alert police to threats.