Kids, money are flashpoints in second marriage
: I married seven months ago to a woman I’d dated for three years. We’re both in our 50’s. She has three children; I have one son, 21.
We have almost equal net worth and both have professional careers (I earn 25% more than her).
She’s scheduled for parttime work (two-thirds the hours) soon. She’ll start planning our dream home that we’ll build. I love her dearly.
However, her youngest son lived with us one summer at 21. That almost ended our relationship.
He’d come home from his co-op work-term job “too tired” to clean his mess in the kitchen, leaving me to clean after him though I worked 10-11 hours.
He’s now finishing his University degree, his tuition, and school living expenses all paid for by a family trust for her children’s education. His earnings are used for extras and fun.
When he recently started his last work term, he borrowed several thousand dollars from his mother for apartment rent and clothes required for the job.
He claims that he’ll repay her but he keeps buying things on his credit card. I can’t see the loan ever being repaid (her other children never repaid her loans).
We share all household expenses. I also pay for the costs towards our future home from my savings.
Once she’s part-time, I doubt she’ll be able to continue sharing her half of the expenses, as she has many personal expenses (i.e. personal trainer, massage therapy, etc).
I don’t mind carrying more of the expenses when it’s for us, but since she likely won’t get repaid, it feels like I’ll be working longer than I want to.
I’m disappointed that she isn’t pursuing getting the money back. It makes me feel angry, because her son doesn’t respect that it’s partly my very hard-earned money. — Love and Money
A: It’s all about her son. He took advantage of your willingness to clean up (you could’ve left it for his mother to clean) and you haven’t forgiven his easy-care attitude.
You clearly raised your kids in different ways. She had the family trust money for their education and forgave her kids’ “loans.”
But if you overreact, it could divide you.
There’s seemingly enough money between you. You agreed to her working parttime. Overseeing the house project is part of her contribution.
Back off. Point out, gently, that you both know he won’t repay so she may have trouble maintaining her share of expenses.
Then drop it. Unless you have some mutual solutions, leave the shortfall up to her.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the man with embarrassing body odour (July 12, August 7, and 11):
“According to a study by researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, one-third of people with unexplained body odour may actually have an inherited metabolic disorder.
“This disorder impairs their ability to metabolize a compound produced naturally from many foods.
”The hereditary disorder is called trymethylaminuria (TMAU), a disease that impairs the ability of an enzyme to metabolize or transform the compound trimethylamine (TMA).
”Although the compound generally has an off-putting fishy smell at lower concentrations, the odour of TMA may be perceived as unpleasant or “garbage-like,” say the researchers.
“Production of TMA is associated with foods rich in choline, such as organ meats, eggs, certain legumes and saltwater fish. Excess TMA is excreted from the body in sweat, breath, saliva, and urine.
“Once TMAU is diagnosed, body odor can be controlled through changes in diet and other methods, the researchers said.”
: I worked with a girl for a year before she returned to school. We went separate ways.
Before, I’d confessed to her that I liked her. She said that she’d divorced three years ago and wasn’t seeking a relationship.
She was telling me No in a nice way. We still-occasionally communicate.
My confession was a year ago and my feelings for her persist.
I wish I’d never met her. I’ve been raised in a very traditional/conservative way. My parents take marriage and divorce very seriously and it greatly influenced me.
I still like her. However, I want to forget and not think about her. What should I do? — Still Upset
A: Recognize that your feelings are now just fantasy recall. Neither you nor your parents would’ve easily accepted her divorce. And she was just being honest.
Stop contact and look to meet someone who shares your core values. You’ll have those feelings again.
TIP OF THE DAY Parenting styles and money managing are common flash points in 2nd /3rd marriages. Proceed carefully.