My boyfriend of three years is legally separated with two young kids. I'm divorced, no kids.
Due to financial difficulties, he still lives in his ex-wife’s house, and they share babysitting when one goes to work.
Our arrangement: He comes to my place twice a week, depending on his kids’ schedule. I have no problems with that.
He attends family gatherings with his ex-wife and kids, and spends more time on holidays with them than me.
I’ve said that in future I want to have my own kids. He doesn’t want any more children.
When I decided to break up with him, he said he has plans for us.
I rejected his plans because I'm not a Number One priority in his life. I’ll always be the one that has to wait for him.
Did I make a right decision? I love him so much and know he loves me too. But I believe it’s going to be more complicated.
He’s also my friend’s ex-boyfriend. She never knew about the relationship which we’ve kept secret.
Not His Priority
You made the right decision, from your gut instinct – it IS time to move on.
There’s no way you can be his priority when he’s dependent on his ex-wife economically and for a home base, has responsibility for two youngsters, and is rightly sharing family and vacation time with them, which apparently excludes you (but doesn’t have to, over time).
Meanwhile, having kept the relationship secret has also left you in the shadows socially regarding this guy.
Whatever his plan, it’ll be a long time before he can manage joint custody from a new home base with you, and your desire for having children with him may still be delayed or denied.
Those young children need their dad a lot, now. You need a life in which you have a meaningful role.
Stick with your instinct on the relationship, and also repair your friendship.
My elderly overseas relative keeps calling me in the middle of the night.
He’s my “acting Grandfather” (his sibling, my real grandfather, died young). He’s lived in Singapore for 60+ years, never married or had children.
He acted as a fatherly figure from abroad to his two nephews (whose mother was institutionalized) and later, as grandfather to their children.
His health and memory have steeply declined. He’s now in a nursing home. Singapore is 12 hours ahead. Early afternoon there, is very early morning here.
Recent calls were at 3am, then 4:30am because he forgot we spoke earlier.
When I answer, I hear repeated information from prior calls or gibberish. But when I don’t pick up, he leaves panicked messages.
My wife and I have two kids under age four. We’ve had to unplug the phone every night.
He calls other relatives much less or not at all.
He’s treated me well and I wish to honour him as the family patriarch, but I’m at my wits’ end.
Your consideration for this fine man is deserved, and compassionate. But your energy for your own life has to be maintained.
His memory won’t improve, there’ll be repeated information and untimely calls ahead. Unplugging the phone so you can sleep is one necessary step.
Contact his nursing home supervisor (English is spoken widely) to explain, when he panics because you don’t answer, that it’s night-time here and you’ll call him later.
Send photos of your wife, yourself, and children to him. They’re an important visible link and reminder that you care about him.
My wife and I are writing Wills. We differ on how to split the money if we and our children die simultaneously.
She wants to distribute the estate as follows: Her sister gets 50%, her brother 25%. My sister gets 25%.
I think it should be divided 50/50 and each assign our half as we wish.
My wife's arguments:
Her sister is married with two children, money’s tight. Her brother’s drug-addicted, has no family. My sister is married with one child, money’s not a problem.
What’s your assessment?
Check with an estate lawyer and your accountant for their professional experience. From me, you get my years of dealing with people’s relationships.
Little divides a family faster than hearing differences in a relative’s will from which they expected equal shares.
In a 50-50 division, and assigning your own shares, she could include some funds for her sister’s children to help that family.
Tip of the day:
Too-complicated relationships without a foreseeable change, wear people down.