Q – I’m a woman, 44, divorced with a son, 11, a daughter, eight, and shared custody with their father.
Last January, a co-worker said he wanted to set me up with his friend as he was certain that we’d click. He was so positive about this, that I agreed.
That first date and the dozen that followed very quickly over five weeks were full of good times, laughter, common interests and moves towards intimacy.
Then, in late February, my new boyfriend had dental surgery that turned problematic and he needed to recuperate for a few weeks. He asked if he could do so at my place, so he wouldn’t be alone at his.
I agreed and paid my housekeeper extra since she was the one who checked on him, while I was at work and my kids at school or staying with their father.
Before I realized it would happen, the lockdown started, and my self-described “partner” said he’d better stay until he wasn’t “vulnerable” to the coronavirus from his recent dental problems.
I then saw his other side – demanding (of my housekeeper, I learned) and cheap.
Despite having long been a high earner, he never offered to pay for groceries for us and never left the house to shop, despite that I was working at home and also helping my children with home-schooling.
Though the dentist said he was completely recovered, he has remained needy of constant attention.
But his worst side was revealed when he was openly dismissive of my kids when they asked him to play cards with them during a break. He hadn’t realized I was just around the corner when he told them, “I don't play kids’ games. Go away.”
I want him to leave. But he has privately rented out the apartment he owned and only revealed that when I said I wasn’t interested in a future with him. What should I do?
A - Tell him that there’s no longer a relationship between you.
He took advantage of your kindness, abused your generosity, was rude to your children and your housekeeper, and therefore he must leave.
He can afford to rent elsewhere. It’s not your concern. If he resists, talk to a lawyer about how to get him out, legally and finally.
Reader’s commentary regarding the woman who claimed she woke in bed to find her husband molesting their young daughter (June 29):
The daughter, now an adult with her own children, has depression and anxiety. The mom isn’t sure if it’s correlated from the molestation. The father distanced himself and doesn’t want to be involved with the daughter!
The police should’ve been called along with a children’s protection agency. Children know on some level that they’ve been violated. Why would the mother want a relationship with the man (father) who molested her daughter? She feared it might’ve happened more than once! Father denies it.
Ellie - Yes, police and child welfare workers should’ve been called, 31 years ago. They weren’t.
The father still rejects contact with both of his now-adult children (and their children).
He could’ve been a pedophile on the loose, since there was no incident report.
The mother either caved to wanting to hide any public knowledge of the incident or to avoid any shaming of her daughter.
But it was a choice that left the father free to potentially molest other children.
It’s likely why the mother’s so focused instead on her daughter needing counselling.
Q - My wife and I have two school-age children. We both left downtown offices to work at home during the lockdown, but now our companies want us back in our offices, as soon as possible.
Accordingly, we’d like our kids to be in school this fall, but also for their mental health because they need the socialization.
But, regarding their physical health, we don’t want them exposed again to COVID risk from the hundreds of children in classrooms, halls, the auditorium, etc.
One hybrid solution suggested is that students attend on alternating days in smaller groups. That’s a safer plan, but how then can my wife and I return to our offices?
Conflicted and Confused
A - Follow the information coming from your political leaders, public health officials, school boards, etc.
If you find persistent conflicts/inconsistencies between attempts to open up the economy versus the realities for working parents and children,s schooling, speak up at parent/political meetings, now.
Ellie’s tip of the day: Relationships started with lockdown orders either revealed the best in a new partner or the worst.