Ask Ellie: Focus on son in dealing with cold, calculating ex

Dear Ellie: We’ve been married for two years, but we are now apart. She always told me that she’ll one day leave me forever and sue me to support her bringing up the children.

She said that her Option B was ready.

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We have one young son. I call her six times daily, but she never receives my calls. She calls me only when needing help.

I’m thinking of moving on and looking for another lady to marry … please advise me.

My Options?

If you’re testing me with this messed-up situation, I’ll be blunt: If all you can think of is seeking another woman to marry, then you and your first wife were a match. I hope that’s not the case.

She, as you describe her, is a cold, calculating person who knew she’d want out, soon, and also how to get a free ride.

You mention, in passing, having a young son, but stress wanting to focus on getting a new wife. Yours is a different approach from the other men who’ve written to me over the years about women who don’t honour co-parenting agreements.

They feel bereft and try every possible way to re-connect with their kids. You seem concerned about yourself first. Perhaps the situation has affected you this way.

I strongly suggest you get a lawyer and do everything legally possible to be able to see your child regularly.

As for your ex-wife, ask yourself why she “always told you” she’d leave you forever and sue for support. Then, consider what you could have done to change her mind.

If she truly manipulated you into marriage solely for Option B, leaving with money, then get personal counselling to help you move on (while still trying to see your son).

You need some understanding of how you married someone so determinedly self-interested. It can help you develop better judgment when you’re dating new people. You’ll learn to recognize a “taker” and be wary of someone who comes on strong too fast. You now know that, beyond early attraction, couples need to know each other’s values and character.

Feedback regarding the woman whose job (first responder) is making her sick from PTSD (Nov. 15):

Reader: “She MUST find something else immediately. Her job’s not worth her health. She may not make the same money, but she’ll get back invaluable benefits, give her family a happy woman, not someone who’s always scared or angry.

“As a teacher, I was put into a stressful situation. My health was suffering, and I changed to supply teaching for less money. Our kids were young, and I could come home early and take care of them until supper.

“The years one will enjoy without stress are worth more than any money.”

Reader 2: “It’s two months since I worked as an educator since receiving my diagnosis of PTSD, following an intervention in a student’s suicide attempt months ago.

“I’m also struggling with the prospect of moving to a job that likely won’t afford the same benefits that I enjoy as a teacher, while recognizing that returning to teaching is likely not in my best interests for the foreseeable future.

“I, too, am struggling with making sense of how PTSD may require changes in my relationship with myself.

“Thank you for giving people like us some guidance and the permission to take time to figure out how best to reconcile our experiences and the hopes we have for the future.”

Readers’ commentary regarding the wife of an Alzheimer’s patient asking about a future with a new man (Nov. 13):

“I’m in an identical situation regarding feeding my almost fully unconscious partner in the last stage of his life.

“This woman will have taken responsibility for, and cared for, her husband for years already. Her family/friends know that.

“The appearance of a good man into her life is a gift in a time of continuous sacrifice.

“If he’s willing to stick with her on the understanding that she’s committed to accompanying her husband to the end of his life, then she should speak to all those family and friends whose judgment and gossip she fears.

“Surely, if she explains what a blessing this new source of support and companionship is for her, and that it won’t reduce her commitment to her husband’s care, then it may be hoped that she’ll be met with understanding and generosity of heart.”

Ellie’s tip of the day

Do NOT “move on” to another marriage until you’ve learned how your first marriage failed so dramatically.

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