More leftovers questions from a popular online chat, “Red Flags and Suspicions,” (July 9):
I was crazy about the woman I was dating, but since we’d both been married before, I felt we should proceed slowly. But she cried about how insecure her young daughter felt after her divorce, and how she needed a solid home in a good neighbourhood to get settled in school.
So I bought a house and she contributed what she could afford (about one-quarter); but soon after we married, she started insisting on all kinds of renovations. I was smitten and gave in. After three years of marriage, she suddenly said it was over and won half the value of the house in our divorce. She then bought me out with money she’d invested offshore. I was taken.
She was a master con artist, and you obviously appeared as the decent kind of person you are, who unfortunately could easily get swindled when smitten.
A second marriage, and one that involves large assets, calls for at least a little caution, if not a pre-nuptial agreement.
She kept pushing your nice-guy buttons, which unfortunately weren’t wired to the wary part of your brain.
Hopefully, you’ve sharpened your radar for any future users and takers.
The saddest part of your story is about the young daughter who’s growing up with this manipulative mother who doesn’t mind unsettling a child’s life repeatedly, for unfairly snatched material gain.
My boyfriend of two years and I are moving in together and talking about marriage. He’s 29, I’m 24; we’re both professionals with good jobs.
Six weeks ago he dropped a bomb on me that he doesn’t want kids.
I’ve been open about my desire to be a mom, and feel blindsided.
Throughout our dating, until today, he’s made comments about our “future kids.” It's confusing.
The reasons he gave included not being able to afford to send them to post-secondary school, not being able to go on annual vacations, and not being able to meet up after work for dinner and drinks.
He said he isn't patient enough, yet he’s great with his young nieces. He said he’s fickle and will maybe change his mind. But now I’m left devastated. I love him. I know he loves me.
How do I move forward with moving in together or deciding not to? I'm so emotional about the subject I fear badgering him or pressuring him.
I actually respect people who choose not to have children. I don't think anyone should be judged either way.
How do I mesh my desire for children with his hesitance, or deal with having to choose between him and potential children I may never end up having with anyone else?
You’re about to move in together, and he realizes his whole life is about to change. One new thing for you is how to respond to his shock-approach to something he knows you care deeply about.
Tell him you understand that he’s having normal apprehensions about the future. But a definite decision to not have children could be a deal-breaker. So you’d like him to think it over and postpone moving in for a couple of months.
Even if this is a financial bother, insist on the delay. He needs to see the impact of dropping this “bomb” on you, in case he’s just musing aloud. My guess is that you’ll make that move together.
My new boyfriend’s so devoted to his mother it seems too much to me. He drives to her house every morning to check on her (and his father), goes there for dinner three to four nights a week.
She’ll phone him when we’re together and he never says he’s busy.
He has a good job, lives in his own apartment. Is he a Momma’s boy or a great family guy?
If you two are getting serious, talk about how he sees your life together. If he’s clueless about making changes, gently explain that you’d not be interested in having dinner with his mom that often, and that couple time can’t always be interrupted - there has to be boundaries.
If he doesn’t get it, it’ll take a lot of her intrusions, your anger, and his resentment, before you even know if he’ll ever become a partner first, son next.
This red flag needs to be confronted soon.
Tip of the day:
Even the excitement of new love shouldn’t cloud your vision of red-flag signals that something’s amiss and needs further investigation.