I’m the divorced first wife (26 years married, with four children) of the man in your October 27th column, who was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) years ago.
Living with this man was/is extremely toxic.
Through the urging of my children, I have recently become friends with his third wife, who wrote to you in that column.
Our friendship’s helping us both to heal.
We’re horrified to learn that this man’s now living in a relationship with another woman. He’s her private live-in Personal Support Worker (PSW) for her paralyzed bedridden husband who can't speak.
We’re certain that he’ll destroy her life – emotionally, socially, and financially – as is his pattern.
Should she be warned? If so, who should warn her? Who can speak for her husband? Is her husband safe in this man's care?!
Been There and Suffered
First, a catch-up for readers: The man’s third wife had written to me several weeks ago that she was ready to leave this man because of his rage episodes, rigid lifestyle demands, and refusal to seek medical help and/or counselling.
Also, he constantly changed part-time jobs while she supported him.
Apparently, they’ve since parted and he’s now living with another woman, and caring for her severely disabled husband.
A warning to this woman is absolutely necessary.
Holding back information about this caregiver’s potential for rage and other difficult behaviour leaves his vulnerable patient at risk.
The evidence of two wives is pretty powerful, yet it’s possible that this woman – likely grateful for his help – might disbelieve your information.
That said, you must still warn her. Include the financial concern, too, so she sees that he may have a negative motive for taking this job.
Try to meet with her personally. If she refuses or disbelieves you, tell her you’ll both have to send a letter (with a copy to her) alerting your local social services department that this patient may be at risk of caregiver abuse.
This protects you both legally, and is also the right thing to do on behalf of someone who can’t protect himself.
I’m going to a destination wedding in the Caribbean in a few weeks and have spent the last four months getting my figure in shape through exercise and a changed diet.
I gave up chips, bread, cookies, ice cream, etc. and lost 20 pounds!
My close friends know that I’m not allergic to dairy and gluten, but they saw how determined I was to restrict those foods by eating mostly protein, vegetables, and fruits.
So I was upset when, for a girls’ getaway weekend before the wedding, their “menu” of what to bring is loaded with snack foods.
H do I avoid ruining my hard work, since those foods have always been so addictive for me?
Get more informed so that you know the reasons why high sodium, high-fat foods, and simple carbohydrates that give a sugar hit, make you crave more.
Then, go shopping. Buy gluten-free crackers, lactose-free cheese, low-fat turkey slices, apples, pears, carrots, celery, etc. for this weekend trip.
If you’re enticed to “just taste” something, say you’ve put in too much effort to achieve good nutrition to lose it over cheesecake.
It’s not about losing weight for a one-off event and then caving in to old habits.
The more you understand what’s a healthy weight for you based on your well-being and energy needs, the less likely you’ll ever again need to “diet” to look and feel good.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman, age 43, who was upset when asked if she had “retired” (October 18:
Reader – “The reason a stranger asked this question is because she was on a bus trip, which many retirees/seniors would take.
“It has nothing to do with the woman being 43 and looking younger. It wasn’t a rude question, and the woman who asked it likely doesn’t have distortion problems, such as dementia.
“I see it as a polite, unobtrusive question to a stranger who was asked to sit with the three women at a meal.
“What would the writer prefer being asked - what she does for a living? What exactly does she think would be a suitable question to start a conversation?
“I’m going on a bus trip soon with seniors and retirees even though I am still working. I’ll be happy to be asked by others to join them at lunch.”
Tip of the day:
Knowing a vulnerable person’s at risk of abuse means a duty to report it.