I’d been divorced from a cold 10-year marriage for two years when I started dating a man who showered me with affection and convinced me that he was in love with me. We decided to buy a condo together.
He’s divorced, too. When his daughter visited for a weekend, she stayed in the spare bedroom and I enjoyed having her with us. I have no children.
It only took 15 months for things to go downhill. His moodiness started slowly, but eventually ranged from hyper and impulsive to depressed.
He refused to see a doctor. I never knew what to expect. He kept insisting that he was fine.
Suddenly, three weeks ago, he announced that he’d rented a larger condo in another building as his ex-wife is moving to another city and his daughter, now 16, will live with him to attend her same high school.
I’m reeling from this news. I’ve learned from his friend’s girlfriend that he was informed of his ex-wife’s move months ago, and bought the condo soon after. He’s been secretly readying it for the move.
He’s now saying that his figuring out what to do had made him so moody. He swears that he still loves me, wants me to move with him, and keep the current condo to rent out and share the proceeds.
All this emotional upheaval without warning, is overwhelming. I like his daughter a lot. But I don’t feel that I’m on solid ground to decide anything about this man or my relationship with him.
He acted sneakily on his own, not as a partner. He avoided discussion, then expected you to be happy about his plan.
Your feelings of insecurity and lack of trust are natural responses. Had he explained the situation, you might’ve agreed, or preferred a different joint purchase and been happy with it. Now, you don’t know what else he might change unilaterally.
If he won’t see a doctor or psychologist about his mood swings, take time and consider therapy to help decide your own future course. Meanwhile, if you stay apart, consider wishing his daughter well through an occasion card such as her birthday, starting school again in the fall, etc. She’ll likely appreciate knowing that you’ve genuinely cared for her.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the response from a grieving “Alienated Mom” (June7):
“I’m a newly-divorced father with sole financial (and apparently emotional) care of my kids.
“I was used and emotionally abused until I shared my intent to work less than my crazy long hours spent for years to support the family.
“At that point she spent almost a year scheming and manipulating events to maximize her financial gains and her financial dependency.
“She then announced she had a moving truck coming... no discussion or warning.
“(While fully capable of earning a wage similar to my own, she’d refused to return to work).
“As the children learn of all her actions and goals (documented in the court and settlement process) they will become alienated from her because of her own actions.
“My children have already lost so much in the break up, I would not alienate their mother from them as well, but their mother’s likely alienated herself from them.
“As they re-examine their memories of the family dynamic and are confronted with our new financial limitations, it’s inevitable.”
Ellie - Then they’ll need your emotional support and help in coming to terms with their mother’s actions, if possible.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman fed up with a colleague’s email overload (June 7):
Reader – “Did this person raise the issue with Human Resources or senior management? If this is not an option then she should talk to a lawyer as the behaviour is harassment.
“(The fact that makes this an issue of harassment is that the emails did not stop after the letter-writer requested for them to stop.) A letter from a lawyer to this person will wake them up to stop sending unnecessary emails.
“During performance reviews, did the writer ever formally raise this issue, especially since it’s impacting her/his performance? Next such meeting, make the point more forcefully.
“In Ontario, Canada, it is against employment laws to dismiss anyone for standing up for their rights, even if it involves their seeking legal opinions, and even if the person is proven in the end to not be correct.”
Tip of the day:
When one person in a relationship makes unilateral decisions about major changes, it often leads to separation.