My husband left me for someone else when I was pregnant with our fourth child. He and that other woman were then off and on for two years.
Recently, he said that he loves me and wants to try again.
I agreed, as I do love him still and my kids miss him like crazy.
During the two years away from us, he only made time for the children on the weekend, and only if his then-girlfriend wasn’t free.
After he told me that he wanted to try being together again, I discovered that he was on a dating app. Now he’s met someone else on that app but claims they’re just friends.
Some nights he doesn’t call me and when I call him, his phone is off or he doesn’t answer. I believe he’s with the new woman.
He was coming over a lot more after he talked of getting together again, then stopped around the time that I found her wallet in the family vehicle. I know he’s not being honest with me.
My kids and I deserve better. Everyone keeps saying I need to let him go, but I don’t know how.
We’ve been together for 17 years, married for 12. I’m afraid that if I tell him I’m done with him, he’ll stop coming around altogether and hurt my kids terribly in the process. What do I do?
Show him what honesty and integrity look like.
Tell him that you won’t accept his lies or having you and the kids treated so indifferently.
Get informed about the rights and responsibilities of both parents in a legal separation. Then tell him he has to understand where his behaviour is leading.
It’s emotional abuse of the children when he regularly avoids them and periodically abandons visits altogether.
It’s also total disrespect of you, for him to come back then soon cheat anew.
Your role is to protect your children from frequent hurt and disappointment and protect yourself from betrayal.
If you accept his current behaviour, he’ll have no reason to change. Show strength and resolve, insisting that it’s time to either work on the marriage or accept a legal separation including child support and scheduled visits.
I share a weekly cleaner with my friend and she caught the woman stealing.
We were both shocked as she’d been working for us for a year. We’d both liked her and felt she was honest and trustworthy.
My friend fired her, of course, and hired a new cleaner from the same community.
This new person knew about the theft and said my friend should’ve reported it to the police.
But my friend didn’t want to ruin the woman’s life.
She felt it was an isolated incident and not representative of hard-working people working in other people’s houses to send money to their own kids and families half a world away.
Was my friend wrong to not report the theft to the police?
Many people will say she should’ve reported this woman’s theft. But your friend’s act of empathy and kindness represents who she is.
Landing the woman in jail, with her possibly facing deporting can, indeed, ruin her life.
Instead, her community of domestic workers saw the goodness that exists in employers like your friend. That’s healthy for everyone involved in a home-based working relationship.
Some of the fellow cleaners/babysitters likely warned this woman who stole, that they won’t tolerate her messing up that relationship again.
I’m with your friend.
FEEDBACK Regarding the older second marriage couple in which the husband changed his will, making his son his beneficiary (July 17):
Reader - “The husband’s changed will denied his half of the matrimonial house to his wife, leaving it for his son instead.
“I was under the impression that a spouse automatically inherits their partner’s half of the matrimonial home upon their death. However this situation revealed the situation differently. Are you correct in this?”
Ellie – The column questions come from people from many different legal jurisdictions, with most from the United States and Canada, but some from Britain, Australia, European countries, etc.
Laws of inheritance in marriage differ across these jurisdictions.
Not being a lawyer myself, I recommended that the woman seek legal advice (but not from the same lawyer her husband uses).
I then focused on the relationship issue, which is the column’s purpose, reflected in her resulting distrust and feelings of betrayal by him.
Tip of the day:
Do not accept a spouse’s repeated cheating and irresponsibility regarding your children.