My girlfriend of four years is a widow with two small children. I’m a divorced dad of three.
I’ve treated her kids like my own. I rub her back and legs nightly. I’ve showed her love and affection.
Yet I’ve never heard an “I love you” or any endearment.
She says it’s hard for her because she’s a widow. She’s never posted about me on social media, yet writes eloquent posts about her late husband.
I try to be supportive of this. I helped her go on her “dream trip” and helped her through a major panic attack before we left.
After, she wrote a beautiful post about her late husband, while I was regulated to "someone who told me I could do it."
When I said it bothered me, she said I was being unsupportive. She said she’d never post about me and that I shouldn’t put such pressure on her.
I don't think it’s wrong to want to hear words of love or be acknowledged for what I do.
I’m ready to walk away but I want to make sure I’m making the right decision.
You’re not getting what you want and need from a partner.
But the issues here - her sense of loss, the children involved - call for a deep conversation.
Tell her your feelings, not what you “do” for her. Ask her to say honestly what she feels for you.
If she can’t, or won’t, tell her you can’t accept that little support.
Even if she had grief counselling at the time, suggest her talking to a therapist anew.
Grief has many elements, including guilt, (which isn’t always rational) that are carried emotionally.
Tell her that you’ll stand by her through therapy… but need some hope for love.
If it’s not forthcoming, and she won’t get counselling, you’ll be more certain about leaving.
My daughter in kindergarten told me that her cousin, who’s 18, touched her private parts.
She said it in a way that kids don't make up. Also, the cousin had the chance and time to be alone with her.
I reported it to the police and spoke to the cousin's parents. They got upset, said it’s a family matter, and said their son wouldn’t do that.
They said little kids say stupid things sometimes.
They scared me by saying they’re getting a lawyer to sue me, and tell everyone my child and I are liars.
I felt badly, guilty, scared, doubtful, and confused. I didn't cooperate with the police, so they closed the file.
The police then reported me to Children's Aid Services. After investigating, they said my daughter's safe from harm and hadn’t answered their questions about the cousin. So, they closed the file, too.
My daughter is okay (I told her it’d never happen again, I think she forgot about it) but I don't want her to see my cousin’s family ever again.
Since they refuse to think their son did anything, I think I must cut from the whole family to keep us safe.
I still worry about the 18-year-old doing the same thing to other kids if he has the chance.
Protecting My Child
You responded as a parent must, in reporting your child’s abuse account to the police.
The teenager’s parents reacted by denial rather than by investigation. If he’s guilty, they made it possible that he could abuse again.
Be watchful for other signs from your daughter of a memory that might return. If it does, she may need specialized counselling.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding driving rude teenagers:
“I have a 13-year-old daughter and also helped raise my step-kids.
“I’ve given many rides to their friends. How I personally handle the situation when children don't talk, say hello or thank you, is this:
“I always talk to the kids. I say, “Hi, how are you?” If they don't answer, I tell them to say Hi back, that it's good manners.
“If they forget their thank you’s and pleases, I tell them, “Say thank you… or please."
“They always comply and in time they come out of their shell.
“I ask them about general things, as well as about school or their family, to get them to open up.
“They always do. They're kids and need to be taught. I don't mind teaching them if the opportunity arises.”
Ellie – A gentle show of caring about teens puts them at ease and teaches them basic communication manners.
Tip of the day:
Relationships can’t thrive on a one-way street.