Third time OUT

Journal Pioneer - - LIVING ROOM - El­lie Tesher

Q

: Ten years ago, I met up on Face­book with an old lover, and af­ter chat­ting for two years (I was sin­gle) his mar­riage ended.

He asked to visit and stayed six years.

I’d dis­cov­ered to­wards the end that he was fre­quently chat­ting on­line with his ex-wife.

My brother was very ill, so I went to help my sis­ter-in-law in their city and he went too and stayed with his fam­ily there. I didn’t see much of him. When we re­turned home, he said he wasn’t happy and wanted to re­turn to the fam­ily i.e. his ex, which he did.

I soon started hear­ing from him again.

My brother passed away and we met for cof­fee. He asked if I’d move back with him.

Well, my fam­ily all lived there and I was alone where I was, so I agreed, sold ev­ery­thing, and sternly warned him: No more email­ing his ex.

We have a great apart­ment, and ev­ery­thing’s gone well for one year.

Then, his iPad pinged and the mes­sage was from his EX!

He said it was just a friendly note.

I’m think­ing of leav­ing him as I be­lieve he’s try­ing to get an open­ing with her again. He’s never come out and said, let’s talk about it.

I know the out­come and what I need to do.

— Any In­put?

A: You’ve al­ready got the score on his two-tim­ing game: Third Time OUT. His pat­tern is short-term need­i­ness, then lim­ited calm, until wan­der­lust strikes him again.

This time, pro­tect your fi­nances and le­gal rights im­me­di­ately, since you’re liv­ing com­mon-law af­ter in­vest­ing in mak­ing changes to be with him. If he does sud­denly want to “talk about it,” go to coun­selling with him and make sure he opens up to you (and him­self), un­der the coun­sel­lor’s guid­ance.

Oth­er­wise, he re­mains a se­ri­ous, re­peated risk to any fu­ture sta­bil­ity for you.

Reader’s Commentary: Re­gard­ing the woman who re­sents her hus­band’s “daugh­ter from a fling” (April 23):

“Re­fer­ring to a child as a prod­uct of a fling is wholly dis­re­spect­ful to the girl and her very ex­is­tence.

“She’s ob­vi­ously loved by her fa­ther and fam­ily, in­clud­ing his ex-girl­friend.

“I don’t un­der­stand her step­par­ent men­tal­ity: Wher­ever the fa­ther is liv­ing is also his daugh­ter’s home. When peo­ple part­ner with some­one who has chil­dren from a past re­la­tion­ship, they need to think long and hard if this is a sit­u­a­tion or life they ac­cept. “Be­cause when chil­dren are in­volved, a step-par­ent is never go­ing to be num­ber one.

“I sus­pect the daugh­ter’s just not buy­ing the step-mom’s in­sin­cere ges­tures and overly man­aged vis­its with her dad. “And a lot of dads in these sit­u­a­tions take the easy route and van­ish into work or what­ever, leav­ing the step-mom and daugh­ter to ‘work it out.’

“Aside from get­ting coun­selling with her hus­band, the woman might want to stop re­fer­ring to her­self as ‘step­mother’ to this girl, at 16. “She has a mother and she has a step­mother in the ex- girl­friend.

“I’d back off the mother-bit and just be my hus­band’s part­ner, leav­ing him to deal with his daugh­ter when she vis­its and only par­tic­i­pat­ing when in­vited by the daugh­ter.

“I saw this work with my sis­ter, who backed off, made clear bound­aries with her hus­band about what she’d do or wouldn’t do for and with the daugh­ter, and let them sort it out, which is the real re­la­tion­ship source.

“Even­tu­ally my sis­ter and her hus­band’s daugh­ter be­came friends as she got older, mar­ried, and had her own chil­dren.”

Reader #2 – “I was like that step-daugh­ter. I gave my step­dad an ex­tremely dif­fi­cult time, though he was al­ways good to me.

“My at­ti­tude caused many prob­lems for him and my mom. She of­ten thought she should leave him be­cause it was so hard.

“I was 14 when they met. Now I’m 28 and so glad she stayed with him.

“They’re mar­ried now and have a won­der­ful re­la­tion­ship. And over time I came to love this man like a sec­ond fa­ther.”

Reader #3 — “Two im­por­tant points: The woman re­sent­ing her hus­band for bring­ing his daugh­ter into her life was ac­tu­ally brought into theirs. She must’ve known there was a daugh­ter.

“She isn’t act­ing like an adult and tak­ing the high road. This girl is a teenager and time will pass. She doesn’t have her there all the time.

“She should make some mu­tual house rules with her, and over time she may warm up.”

TIP OF THE DAY

Two strikes from a part­ner with a “love-them/leave-them pat­tern” should end this hurt­ful game.

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