In light of news about Jian Ghomeshi and his alleged abuse of women over a long time, I’m wondering whether I should warn my 46-year old brother's new girlfriend (six months) about his past behaviour toward women.
He has restraining orders against him by his ex-wife and two adult daughters, is obsessed with being able to see and talk to his ex-wife, and had a physical struggle with a previous girlfriend where he hurt her arm (not sure to what extent).
He has a hard time keeping a job, has anger management issues, and is addicted to porn.
He can be very charming, deceitful, and manipulative, and has convinced various people to give him loans which he can never repay.
His girlfriend’s extremely likeable; I’d love her to become part of our family. She has a very good full-time job and her own home.
But I’m very worried about her well-being. I worry that if she angers him or decides to end the relationship, that he may harass or harm her.
Do I voice my concerns to her, or do I let the chips fall where they may? I fear if something happens and I didn't warn her, I’ll never forgive myself.
The stunning result of the groundswell of commentary on the Ghomeshi allegations (none have been proven in court) is the conversations it’s inspired from tens of thousands of women who lived for years with pain and silence about having been sexually harassed, abused, or raped.
And the awareness it’s created among men and women that such non-consensual acts of harm and violence cannot be tolerated.
You’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t alert her, and she’s harmed.
Be factual, focus mostly on his anger, the restraining orders, show whatever proof you can. She may not thank you for the warning, and may even disbelieve you and stop contact. But she’ll be more wary.
If your brother reacts with threats to you or harassment, alert police. There’d be no honour in protecting him, given your belief that he can harm this woman and any others.
I’d been best friends with my daughter’s godmother for 13 years. Throughout, I’ve been subjected to barbs regarding my choice in men, and choices made for my daughter.
When I met and married a wonderful man, the dynamics between us changed. She and my then-boyfriend had a falling out (both were to blame). I tried to keep the peace and see them separately.
I chose her to be my maid of honour but she refused to hold a bridal shower.
What finally broke this friendship was her calling my husband-to-be a derogatory name because he wouldn’t use his construction discounts to get her cheaper cement costs.
A year later, she now wants to see her god-daughter. She’s always been good to my girl. But the feelings of friendship just aren't there.
How do I end what was once a good friendship?
I’m very happy with my choices in life, and enjoy healthy relationships and no drama. The anxiety I feel when she phones is hurting me.
You can’t maintain a friendship with someone who’s disrespected you, and makes you anxious.
Yet she wants to re-connect with your daughter. Can you trust her not to pass on her criticism and negative attitudes towards you and your husband?
She’s disqualified herself from the godmother role. Find a truer friend or loyal family member to help guide your child over the long-term.
My husband’s becoming very forgetful. When I ask him if he followed through on something we discussed, he says we never had that conversation.
He’s also more impatient and interrupts me when I start to tell him something, saying, “I got it.” However, his mind’s still alert and his memory’s fine when he’s doing what he wants to do.
We’re both mid-60s. Is this normal or should I insist he see his doctor?
Between Annoyed and Worried
His patience level has changed. This could be because he’s distracted by what he prefers to do, or because of a natural part of getting older: Needing to cut down some time demands towards a more comfortable pace.
Keep a loving eye on your husband and yourself. You both may need to reassess your activities and how you communicate with each other through different stages.
But if he seems increasingly distracted/impatient, a health check is warranted.
Tip of the day:
Knowing that a person may be unwittingly in danger of an assault imposes a moral duty to warn them.