Ask Ellie: Husband sent wife packing when his parents came to visit

Reader’s Commentary: I’m telling my story to help other women who end up in miserable marriages as I did for two terrible years.

I’m Asian and had a good job in my birth country, when I met a man who’d been transferred there from North America who said he fell in love with me. He took me to meet his parents.

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He wanted me to move with him to his home country, but I said I couldn’t unless we married. I trusted him then. Also, my sister lived somewhere in his city.

We were living in a nice house when one day I arrived home from work to find him packing all my belongings. He said I had to leave immediately because his parents were coming to stay and mustn’t find me there.

He’d already changed, having become verbally/emotionally abusive to me.

A truck arrived for my things and I had to leave immediately. I went to my sister’s place.

I wasn’t allowed to return until his parents left. He said they’d opposed his marrying me because I’m Asian and they believed that meant I was “a gold-digger.”

So, he lied to them and hid me.

That ugly scene happened three more times, with me scrambling to find a friend or see if my sister could take me in again. I had to stay efficient at work while in personal turmoil.

I finally said: “It’s me or your parents.” He chose his parents. I divorced him.

I’m grateful to have found a wonderful second husband. He’s not rich, as I’m not a gold-digger. We’ve been happily together for over a decade and have two children.

Ellie: You’re a courageous woman with a strong message that women mustn’t accept abuse, disrespect and repeated upheaval in their relationships.

Dear Ellie: I’m a male who definitely relates to the shy 38-year-old woman who’s never dated (March 2 column). I’m also too shy.

I’ve tried dating apps/meetup.com and messaging friends of friends on social media with zero-to-moderate luck.

My social circle is small, but even new friends never have anyone for me to meet.

I’ve been set up twice; it didn’t work out. My friends are unable or unwilling to accompany me as wing persons or for support.

I’m told by family and friends that I need to go out on my own.

What can I do/where can I go to find that special someone without using Internet dating?

Single and Shy

Give online dating a rest since it hasn’t worked for you so far. But check out all useful information to help you overcome dating shyness, with a Google search.

Here’s what I learned doing that: Some shy guys lack social confidence due to self-perceived shortfalls regarding success, looks or sexual experience. Some of those perceptions may be due to their upbringing and contribute to shyness.

But, as one website put it, the primary source of shyness is faulty self-image, not who you are as a person.

Those who say “just go out on your own” don’t get it.

The key to improving your chances for dating/finding a partner may best start with getting therapy to boost your self-confidence.

Learning to believe in yourself is alifetime gift. And a great start toward your goal of future happiness.

It doesn’t matter where you start socializing. Strike up a conversation, show interest in what that person says, tell a little about yourself. It’s a start.

Dear Ellie: I’m a woman, 52, who moved into an apartment building in which many long-time residents are 65-plus.

I attended a book-club meeting and everyone stopped talking. I said I’d seen the meeting notice and had read the book. No one chatted with me afterward.

What do you think about ageism in reverse?

Unfriendly Neighbours

They’re making a foolish mistake by shutting out younger neighbours and potential friends. Gently show them the error of their exclusion.

Put a simple invitation for coffee/tea and cookies in the mailboxes on your floor neighbours.

(Tip: Have some non-caffeinated drinks available, and some chocolates).

Keep it simple and chatty; ask few questions. Say why you chose the building, and offer a minimal background that assures you’re not a worry. Word will spread.

Friendships across age lines boost compassion for the oldest, energy for the youngest and shared wisdom and humour.

Also, making new friends while keeping old ones brings more ideas/different perspectives into your life.

Ellie’s tip of the day

Women in abusive relationships need courage/support to get themselves (and their children) to safety as soon as possible.

Note to readers: In this column I’ve answered your questions two weeks ahead to be on time for their publication date. Thus, recent columns were written before the full reality of COVID-19 elicited your concerns.

Some columns still include your pre-virus issues, but many will soon reflect how our relationships are affected in the new not-so-normal.

Send relationship questions to ellie@thestar.ca.

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