I lost my wonderful husband of 15 years to a sudden heart attack at 56.
He’d been divorced from his first wife for seven years when we met. His young children grew close to me over time, visiting during the week, every other weekend and on summer and winter holidays with us.
I was 44 when he left us so unexpectedly. They were ages 19 and 21, and we were all shattered by it.
I was so grateful for their almost daily visits, phone calls, even sleepovers when we felt the grief drawing us together.
Then it stopped. I’ve never been told why.
I know that they were surprised that he left me his half of the townhouse we’d shared, but that shouldn’t have offended them.
They live in a large home with their mother, which she got from their divorce (her wealthy parents “bought” his share so she and the kids could stay there).
He also left me his pension, but he left his children substantial education funds. We’d worked these will details out several years back, because he knew the kids would be looked after financially by their grandparents whereas I only had him.
One year passed two months ago. I reached out, heard nothing back. Maybe they were hurting deeply, but so was I.
They haven’t contacted me during the lockdowns. I received only one neutral email this past Christmas, though I’d sent them both gifts I know they like.
Do I just let go of the connection I once had with my step-children?
Do not disengage. It’s been a tough year of adjustment for all of you, but you’re the mature adult in this still-hurting group.
You’ll all gradually heal. But for children, the loss of a father is forever.
It may even be that the memories they hold of the happy times they shared with him and you, adds to their grief.
As for their father’s will, they may’ve had other expectations, or others may’ve expressed such thoughts to them. If so, wait till it’s raised by them to you, personally.
Keep gently reaching out, periodically.
My wife of 23 years and I have a good healthy relationship. In recent years we’ve discussed being with other people.
She’s been hooked on one guy from work. She says she wants to be intimate with him “for extra fun.”
I don't have a problem with it and enjoy her describing what she wants to do with him while we’re having sex.
They’ve gone out after work, just talked/kissed and sent each other dirty pictures. He’s single with kids and told her she should love me, that if it’s just sex, he doesn’t mind.
When people mutually consent to sex outside of marriage/relationships and no one’s being physically harmed or endangered, it’s none of my business.
But you wrote me for advice:
Your wife has picked the wrong time to tempt complications and trouble.
When close contact outside your safe bubble can make both of you dangerously ill from COVID-19, people who may be having sex with several other outsiders increase your risks. Period.
This guy tells her “just sex” is fine. But who else is he saying that to?
Turn to arousal modes that don’t come with a virus threat, e.g., more fantasy chat in bed between you two, mutual massage, varied positions.
Sex play is healthy, so long as you stay healthy!
FEEDBACK Regarding the single woman who’s having a relationship with a married man (Dec. 14):
Reader – “I’d like to tell the “younger woman” to run as fast as she can from the married man. He’s dishonoring you, his wife and daughters.
“My relative who cheated on his first wife left her and their children for the other woman. Years later, he’s cheated on her, too.
“Why would you trust a man who cheats? What makes you think he’ll be faithful to you if he left for you?
“You’re young and he’s using you to feel better, instead of working on his marriage. His behaviour is childish.
“Get out, get counselling and find out why you’re having an affair with a married man. Why are you flirting with married men? Perhaps you need to look into what’s driving your behaviour.
“We’ve all been young, I don’t judge you. That’s the advice I’d give my daughters.”
Tip of the day:
Grief takes time to heal, for everyone. But children’s loss of a parent is a blow that hurts forever.