We’re both second-timers, married for six years, each with two daughters.
Initially, my wife tolerated my girls, but more recently became very belligerent to them. They try and please her but nothing works.
When they visit, they have to stay like mice in their rooms. If I talk to them, she gets jealous and continually finds faults with them. They’re good kids.
Because of her behaviour, they’ve moved in with their mom.
I’m upset and considering divorce because I love my kids and they’ve formerly lived with me.
Meanwhile her own daughter who stays with us is pampered. She does whatever she likes. I don’t find problems with her nor do I criticize her.
I’ve suggested my wife get counselling but she blames the girls or their mother. What can I do?
Make a stand on behalf of your daughters and your own self-respect – and proceed with divorce if she won’t see a family counsellor with you, to work this out.
But get legal advice regarding your rights. Check out any responsibilities you may have to her daughter, and whether she has any to yours, since it’s her actions that forced them out.
Document those past events, including how she treated your girls.
You’ve given this marriage enough time to see your wife’s true nature – selfish, controlling, inflexible, and mean-spirited. Unless therapy can reveal understandable reasons for her behaviour, and she promises that she’ll change, she’s shown no respect or appreciation for YOU, let alone your children.
My new husband’s ex-wife started calling him every day to discuss their son. He’s 7; they have joint custody, and stays with us in our new home every other weekend. Previously they only spoke when necessary.
Her constant intrusions are upsetting me.
Give her time to settle down; she may fear that the boy’s favouring your home. There may also be some jealousy over her ex having a fresh start.
Be polite to her, this is a long relationship ahead you all share as parents. Hubby and she can gradually discuss (with your agreement) reasonable limits for all of you regarding calls.
I’m 20, in a relationship for one year.
I love my boyfriend; he means the world to me, yet he doesn’t feel he deserves anyone worrying about him and me crying over him.
His parents are on-again-off-again people, always threatening to divorce but never do. They’re bringing him down mentally, and he doesn’t feel the need to work hard to better himself.
His friends use his weakness in their favour, making his attitude worse.
I know he cares and gets hurt, but what can I do?
- Hopelessly Devoted
Stop trying to be his Rescuer, and just be a supportive girlfriend.
Ultimately, he can only better himself and his attitude, from his own will to do so.
Your caring and concern are important factors, but he has to want to rise above the insecure atmosphere his parents create, and also lose those friends he can’t rely on. These are major steps in his life, and you alone can’t push him to take them.
If he’s feeling low and unmotivated, you can suggest he talk to someone whom he respects, such as a leader in his faith community, a teacher, older relative, etc.
To boost his own self-esteem, recommend he tries something new that might help him view life differently, such as volunteering with disadvantaged kids, or taking courses in something that interests him.
I’m pretty sure that my close friend (six years) has lied to me about almost everything about her.
I started suspecting that things didn’t add up, six months into our friendship - about where she’s from, who her family is, how much money she has, etc. I knew I should say something, but what… ask for proof?
Yet I have so much fun with her, I’ve learned to just go along with whatever she says. Is it too late to ask?
Truth is essential between longtime close friends. You should not be sharing your personal confidences or giving her full trust on anything. If your main bond is just having fun, enjoy her company but keep her at arm’s length from private matters.
For true closeness, you’d have to be open but kind: Say you like her as she is, so you wonder why she presents such obviously unbelievable stories.
Tip of the day:
When children from previous unions are rejected by a new partner, re-think the relationship.