Stop pay­ing child sup­port for adult kids who won’t see you

Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - ARTS & LIFE -

DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: What is your take on parental alien­ation? In March of this year I filed for di­vorce af­ter 31 years of a bad mar­riage. I worked out­side the prov­ince and was home for a week ev­ery month, and all my ex and I did was fight. I was the bread­win­ner, making good money so she could stay at home and raise our three kids, the youngest who is now 18. We did our share of coun­selling, but that didn’t help.

I’m hap­pier now that I have moved out. I pay her spousal and child sup­port, and all three kids still live at home. My is­sue is that she was in agree­ment with the sep­a­ra­tion at the time, but has since turned vin­dic­tive and has dragged our chil­dren into her pity party. With all of her wail­ing and crit­i­cism, she has man­aged to turn them against me for want­ing a di­vorce. I was even un­in­vited to my daugh­ter’s grad­u­a­tion in June. They refuse to talk to me, see a coun­sel­lor and ig­nore my texts. Ba­si­cally, I’m a bank ma­chine and that’s it.

I still see a coun­sel­lor on my own, but I find my­self start­ing to crum­ble, es­pe­cially with Christ­mas just around the cor­ner. I wanted out of the mar­riage, not out of my kids’ lives. They no longer want me in their lives be­cause they feel sorry for their mom. Their hate for me just seems to worsen as the brain­wash­ing con­tin­ues. How do I end this? — Dad at the End of His Rope, Man­i­toba

Dear Dad at the End of His Rope: Why are you still pay­ing child sup­port for th­ese grown-up kids? Are they go­ing to univer­sity? Are you plan­ning to pay spousal sup­port for­ever?

It’s pretty easy for your wife and kids to throw dirty snow­balls at “the banker” now that they think the fi­nan­cial foun­da­tion is about to crum­ble. As for the kids feel­ing warm and fuzzy to­ward you this Christ­mas, forget it this year. Maybe tale a trip to a sunspot with a buddy and do some think­ing on the beach!

You say you didn’t want out of your kids’ lives. Were you ever in them? What did you give them, in terms of love and at­ten­tion over the years? For all of their lives, you’ve been ab­sent. Nat­u­rally, the kids are be­hind their mother like a small army.

If you want to soften things with the kids, you have to go through her, so be prac­ti­cal: money seems to speak to your ex and you have lots of it. How about a very gen­er­ous one-time set­tle­ment with her so she can “re­tire” if she wants to, with enough money that the kids can still get a good ed­u­ca­tion?

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m down­town most of the time when I’m still sup­posed to be at work. I lost my job a month ago be­cause of my drink­ing, and now, un­be­knownst to my wife, we are liv­ing on our sav­ings. If I don’t get an­other job by the mid­dle of Jan­uary, I will have to con­fess to her, but how can I tell her and the kids what hap­pened, and worst of all, that it was my quit­ting early and drink­ing on work time that got me fired?

I tell my wife I have one drink on the way home (be­cause she can smell my breath) and that I take the bus be­cause I’m so care­ful about drink­ing and driv­ing. The truth is, I leave work early. I have a job in sales where no one I see at the bar knows what time I am sup­posed to fin­ish work — or so I thought. I meet my drink­ing bud­dies for an hour or so and then I drive a few long blocks from home and walk like I’m com­ing from the bus. I’ve be­come a big liar and I don’t like my­self any­more. — Be­com­ing a Ma­jor Drunk, Win­nipeg

Dear Be­com­ing: You’re far­ther down the road than just “be­com­ing” an al­co­holic. Your next step should be a visit to the Ad­dic­tions Foun­da­tion of Man­i­toba for a talk with a coun­sel­lor and to un­dergo test­ing. Are you also cross-ad­dicted, as so many anx­ious or pain-rid­den peo­ple are, and us­ing pills, mar­i­juana or harder drugs as well as liquor?

Above all, you need to fig­ure out what’s eat­ing you. How did you get to this place where your drink­ing is en­dan­ger­ing your job, your health, your mar­riage, your kids and ev­ery­one around you? There are big prob­lems un­derneath all this.

And yes, I do know liquor can taste good and it’s en­joy­able to drink with friends.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m the writer of the re­cent let­ter about the expectations of rich rel­a­tives and how they make poor peo­ple feel at Christ­mas. I was laid off dur­ing the time I spoke of and couldn’t af­ford to buy gifts for rel­a­tives and pay postal costs. We sug­gested that they buy gifts for them­selves in­stead of us, and we buy gifts for our­selves. (Usu­ally we got gifts we couldn’t use.) They agreed, and that way ev­ery­body got gifts they wished for and we bought what we could af­ford and use. It still works af­ter all th­ese years! I hope this will help. — Get­ting Cre­ative In Hard Times, Win­nipeg.

Dear Get­ting Cre­ative: That idea might work for older peo­ple, but it’s tough for young­sters. As adults, you can do your self-giv­ing or play the game where you buy goofy gifts and then trade them three times each, and the last per­son has to keep the gift. Adults really enjoy that and see the hu­mor in funny or even down­right ugly gifts. Lit­tle kids need real presents filled with love from you or Santa. Please send your ques­tions and com­ments to love­coach@hot­ or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Win­nipeg Free Press, 1355 Moun­tain Ave., Win­nipeg,

MB, R2X 3B6


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.