My husband’s first wife socializes with his family all the time. We see her all the time at his two brothers’ homes; I think if she wants to get together with them, she should do it when I’m not around. My husband doesn’t say much, but his brothers consider me a poor sport for not wanting her there. How can I encourage his ex-wife to get on with her own life — or at least stay out of mine?
I left my wife three years ago after she committed adultery for the fourth time. I gave her custody of our two teenaged sons, and never told them about the adultery so they could have a great relationship with their mom. I call them every day to tell them I love them, and see them every weekend. My ex is very bitter about our breakup, and has told our kids it was my fault. Now the youngest has taken her side and refuses to see or talk to me. I am so hurt, and I also can’t stand to think of my son in so much pain. I’m terrified I’ll lose him forever — what should I do?
Dear Scared Dad,
My wife has always been very attached to her family, and it’s tearing our marriage apart. Whenever her mom calls (which is a lot), she goes running — even if it’s our anniversary or we’re about to leave on vacation. She also always asks her parents for advice instead of me — including what car we should buy or how to decorate our home. I love her, but I’m tired of playing second fiddle to her family all the time. How can I get her to see that if she doesn’t start caring for our marriage, we won’t have one much longer?
Dear Second Fiddle,
Because I have to travel for work, I think our kids would be better off with my husband during the week and with me on alternate weekends and one weeknight when I’m in town. He has agreed to this, but I am conscious that everyone thinks I’m a bad mother because I “gave up” my children. I don’t want to live without my kids, but our family needs my salary (I earn more than my ex-husband and always have). Is my decision right or wrong? And what should I tell people who think I abandoned my kids?