Dear Amy: My "very charming" psychopath/personality-disordered, almost ex-husband has found his next victim — his first girlfriend from college.
It has been more than 30 years since she dumped him in college, and she has probably forgotten the reasons behind their breakup.
He is using his fake-charm to lure her into a long-distance relationship and will trap her through marriage, etc. with financial attachments. This is how he got, trapped and messed me up with lies and a life of chaos.
Should I forewarn her of patterns to expect so that she's not fooled as I was?
Soon-To-Be-Ex: You might as well try to warn this woman about what she is in for, but you should expect to be ignored, disregarded or criticized.
If delivering this warning would put your own legal separation/divorce proceedings or child custody at risk, do NOT do it.
Only do this if you can do so safely. Write down your statement, and take a lot of time to review it. Keep the tone as neutral as possible. Do not use any inflammatory language (“psychopath,” etc.), but do tell her in general terms about the financial issues and overall chaos of your life with him. Be aware that anything you write could be shared with others, and might be taken out of context and used against you.
Do not post this on social media.
It sounds as if your own life will stabilize once you are divorced. I hope you will grasp and enjoy your own second chance.
Dear Amy: My parents married in 1968 and divorced almost 42 years later, in 2010.
They decided to remarry each other in 2013 and have been together ever since.
Had they stayed together the entire time, they would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2018.
My husband and I recently threw my in-laws a 50th wedding anniversary party.
My dad is miffed that we didn't offer to throw them a 50th anniversary party last year. He feels the years should be "bridged."
I don't agree, but it seems he won't let it go.
What's your take on this?
Wondering Daughter: My take is that your father needs a party, stat!
I well understand your frustration concerning your folks. Because your dad is reacting to another couple’s celebration, his behavior regarding his own anniversary seems petty, selfish and self-serving.
However, I believe that ANY couple that manages to stay together for such a long time — through thick and thin (and thick again) — should be celebrated on whatever timeline works well for the clan. One year here, one year there — none of this is going to matter when you gather to recognize the full and rich reality of a very long (and sometimes imperfect) union.
The tricky math here will give all of you some talking points during your toasts to the couple. Keep it good-natured, and celebrate.
Dear Amy: "Grounded" described her life, working full time while her spouse (retired early) travels the world without her, spending down their nest egg in the process.
I think Grounded should consider using the phrase I have picked up from a local financial planning advertisement: "Retirement is just unemployment without the paycheck."
Unfortunately, life is expensive.
I would also suggest she seek out some counseling, as I have finally done, to work through the resentment of having to work after watching the nest egg we had set aside dwindle to nothing. All of this has been happening while we still owe a substantial amount on our home.
In my case, my husband didn't travel, but due to poor health he just sat at home on the computer with a credit card to keep himself occupied.
And, yes, I should have been more aware, but I had confidence that he was watching out for our financial health. How wrong I was!
I am well into my senior years, so it gets even harder to go to work every day (both physically and mentally), but such is life.
Exhausted: I can absolutely feel your exhaustion as you describe your life.
Now that you know what is going on, please do everything possible to mitigate your current situation. Meet with a financial counselor or social worker to see what you can do to safeguard your income in order to try to secure a more stable future. Given that the real estate market seems fairly robust right now, it might be wisest to sell your home, pay off your loan and relocate to something smaller.