When I met my husband five years ago, he was divorced from his ex-wife for eight years. Everything was great with my stepchildren.
Then, my stepdaughter had her first child; she invited her father to the christening, but not me, because her mother didn't want me there… though I wasn’t involved with their break-up.
My husband refused to go without me, though I said he should.
We’ve since been excluded from birthday parties.
Now, my stepdaughter’s getting married and wants her father at the wedding but not me - "Mother’s" choice.
I'm not sure how to handle this. I think it's unfair of her mother to use her daughter and granddaughter to get back at her ex-husband.
I love my stepdaughter, but we don't see her or our granddaughter very often.
Though babies and weddings should inspire joy and generosity of spirit; some people would rather feed on a buffet of bitterness.
Your husband should encourage his daughter to make her own decision, based on her own feelings, not those of her mother. He’s shown her his own strength of character: Knowing that you’re an innocent in this family divide, and wanting to support you, he’s missed important events rather than be a hostage to his ex.’s nastiness.
However, your stepdaughter may unfortunately not have the self-confidence to take a similar stand. Tell her father to walk the bride down the aisle, witness the ceremony… then leave.
Dear Readers: Please share how you handled similar situations, and I’ll run a selection of your responses.
My boyfriend of six years sweats excessively; it’s physically unattractive and unprofessional. He has large, wet stains on his shirts, strong body odour, soaking wet hair, and a red face. His body overheats, leaving him with blisters, hives, burning hands and feet.
In winter, he rolls down the car windows or turns on the air-conditioning. When he eats spicy foods, drinks alcohol, coffee, coke, eats chocolate, walks, jogs, runs, shops, dances, he sweats profusely.
When I confront him, he does nothing, and won’t see a doctor.
Does he have allergies, or a serious problem?
- Damp Dating
You BOTH have a problem: You confront, he retreats. If you hope to last as a couple, you should jointly be trying to deal with something that’s affecting you both.
Talk to his doctor or your own about possible causes of excessive sweating, what triggers to avoid, and any treatments that can relieve the severity.
If you can’t work on this together, there’s more than sweat that’s come between you two.
I've been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, am in therapy, working on alleviating the responses that sometimes cause my anxiety attacks.
I work in a high-stress job, having nearly lost my last job over a messy breakup with a long-term girlfriend.
I haven't dated in the past two years, haven't wanted to.
I don't socialize, as I'm afraid to get attached to someone new and risk my job (my only stability) again.
I feel trapped, but lack the will to do anything about it.
- Down in a hole
Stay with your therapy, and discuss strategies for adding some socializing into your life.
While friendships and relationships can add occasional stress, human interaction can also be part of healing. It can introduce humour and nurturing into an otherwise bland, detached existence.
An experienced professional counsellor can help you explore ways to be with people – including dating – without raising unrealistic expectations or undue fears.
I’m a married mother of two, and my husband of 12 years and I have a small group of friends.
I’ve noticed that one friend is always staring at him and asking about him. I’ve been consumed with trying to uncover if something happened between them.
My husband insists there’s been no affair; something tells me otherwise, but I’ll probably never know.
This happened before… was I too blind to see?
Should I just drop it?
Decide what you trust more - your husband’s answers or your instinct. If you trust Hubby and intend to believe him, consider this “friend” too flirtatious or restless for your comfort; distance yourself from her.
But if “it happened before” means that your guy attracts women’s interest, consider him too flirtatious. Tell him to stop sending out come-hither messages, and to recognize that he’s upsetting you.
If nothing changes, you have another decision to make.
Tip of the day:
The ongoing bitterness of an ex-spouse can harm a family more than the divorce.