Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy
My ex-wife recently caught our 14-year-old son smoking a joint in the basement of their home. A few months earlier, his mom caught him smoking up in the garage. My son told me about it, not the ex. I asked him where he got the weed and he said from his sister’s room where she always has a stash. Her mom, against my approval, let her smoke around the house since she was 14 becouse, she said: “It would be safer than anywhere else and I can protect her.”

This time she sent me the nastiest text blaming me for every bit of why our son smokes weed and that she wouldn’t let him see me on the following Sunday when had plans for the day. She would not reply to my message asking for details, asking what we’re going to do about it, and how we need to find out how our son is and show concern since he’s someone you would never expect to use drugs.

I had dinner with my son on a few days later to talk things through. Two days later, I realized that the reason I took him to a counselor the summer before might be connected to why he’s smoking weed now: he was never home, never wanted to come home for dinner, stayed over at friends’ homes a lot, and hung out at a small strip mall where he ate at this chicken joint regularly instead of going home when he and his mom fought. Not a good scene.
Anyway, so I asked him if he was smoking weed because he was mad at his mom for letting her boyfriend move in and no longer comfortable in his own house, and his answer was yes and yes.

I told him I’d take him back to the counselor again to talk things through and he agreed and asked me not to tell his mom what he told me. In confidence, I did tell his mom what he told me and I told her that I was taking him to the counselor and that she should go afterwards in hopes that things may get addressed.

Unbelievably, she told him what he said to me and got mad at him. In turn, he got mad at me. But because he and I have a tight bond we took an hour apart, calmed down, and were back good again.

So any suggestions what should or should not be done going forward?? It’s going to be another two weeks before we can get into to see the counselor so I wondered if maybe you had some productive suggestions in the meantime.
Thoughts? — Concerned for Son

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Here’s what we’re discussing this week in the forums:

How to have opposite gender friends when married

Stepdaughter (14) Hates me…

Baby Shower Etiquette After a Falling Out

How to deal with a rude neighbor

Was I dating a narcissist?

Man telling his buddies he had sex with me

Why can’t he understand?

Web of lies… feeling trapped

Mixed Signals from My Own Cousin

Guy friend confessed his feelings hours after my breakup

Sister-in-law pregnancy advice

My boyfriend broke up with me before I even got an abortion

Desperately lonely and sad at 35: help

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

“Silvia” and I first met when I was 11 and she was 19. She was my best friend’s older sister. I was a precociously bright child, and she was always kind to me, never condescending. I came from a broken home and her family sort of adopted me unofficially. By the time I was 15, I realized what an incredible woman she was. I fell madly romantically in love on top of the familial sort of bond we had. Of course, there could be no reciprocation so I kept it to myself. When I was 23, her marriage failed. I should have tried to date her then, but I just thought she was out of my league, so beautiful and sophisticated. I had nothing to offer. So I went out into the world to seek my fortune. I married unsuccessfully, divorced, drifted lost for a while. I met my second wife by chance, was married to her for many years, and raised our son with her. Then I was diagnosed with a terminal illness, given a 3-5 years expectancy at age 45. I became completely disabled at 47, and now at 50, my life expectancy is a few months.

I am still married to my second wife, and I love her as much as ever. She’s a wonderful woman who doesn’t deserve to be hurt. I’m completely honest with her and trying not to hurt her. I still love Silvia, with the same intensity and desire. It’s not something I can turn off. As I learn more about what her experiences have been, we draw closer together. We were simply made for one another. Even if she didn’t love me back, I would always love her. I would just express it in the sibling relationship terms. I never dreamed that she wanted me also. I never dreamed “WE” could be. And now it’s too late for anything but a moment. A memory. But we must fulfill our destiny. She finally said to me, “ I love you.” After 30 years of waiting, it’s the peace my soul needed. This is the truest of true love. What do you think, Wendy? — Terminal

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Happy Valentine’s Day! If you hate the day, I get it — it’s not for everyone, every year (or ever) — and it will be over soon. I like it a lot more now that I have kids – not that I didn’t like it before kids, but I get such a kick out of their excitement over tiny cards, boxes of conversation hearts, wearing red or pink. It’s all the fun and joy without any of the baggage. Joanie made a heart-shaped Valentine’s card for me at school today that has a picture of me and Miles surrounded by hearts and I felt really seen. (Don’t worry – she drew the two of us on the back and wrote “I love you mommy”— the first time she’s written that, and it seriously made up for every single tantrum she threw last year when she was three. Well, most of them anyway.)

The kids have winter break next week and we’re heading to Missouri to visit my folks. The candy they got at school today is but a small taste of what awaits them at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s. Wish me luck!

Have a great weekend, and here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

How to Make Your Marriage Gayer (Because Same-sex spouses feel more satisfied with their partners than heterosexual ones)

From The Loneliness of Early Parenthood:

“The nature of new parenthood can lead to loneliness, but the weakening of new parents’ social circles is also a result of the nature of friendship. “Across adulthood, one of the most important determinants of friendship is how our lives are organized,” says William Rawlins, a communications professor at Ohio University. When your life undergoes a major change, such as the arrival of a new baby, the structure of your friendships can’t help but change, too. “Friendship is always a matter of choice—-we choose to spend time together. The role crunch that happens in young adulthood when you’ve become committed to a partner, [or] you have children, perhaps both of you have full-time jobs—all of these things leave very little time and freedom for friendship.”

For new parents, then, the key issue is the extent to which their old friendships can both accommodate, and be accommodated within, their newly organized lives. “With friends who don’t have children, it can be a bit of a litmus test. Are they able to accept and understand that, in some ways, a child changes the center of gravity of our entire lives?” Rawlins asks. Viewed in this way, change may be inevitable, but the loss of our friends may not be, if we and they are both willing to adapt.”

Meghan Markle and the Myth of Happily Ever After

File this, from “Young Men Embrace Gender Equality, but They Still Don’t Vacuum” in the yeah, no shit folder:

“Researchers have different ideas about why the division of labor at home has been so slow to change, despite women’s other gains. One of the simplest explanations: Men might be happy to have a partner bringing in another paycheck, but not happy to do more chores.”

12 Signs of a Healthy Relationship, According to Therapists

How to stay together, according to a relationship scientist

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to [email protected] and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!
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My husband and I have been together for ten years but only married for one. We have a baby at home and another one on the way. We have a great life and are very happy, with one exception: he has sleep apnea and his snoring keeps me awake when he refuses to wear his sleep apnea machine. Whenever he goes out and has a few drinks, he NEVER wants to put his mask on. It seems like such a silly problem, but it escalates into an unimaginable fight almost every time. If he does not wear the mask, not only is it dangerous for his health, but also he snores like nothing you’ve ever heard before and I cannot sleep at all. On top of pregnancy, it is really starting to wear me down and I get irritated. I don’t know how to explain to you how mad he gets…. it turns into yelling and name-calling and telling me to go sleep on the couch. It turns into the biggest fight we’ve ever had over essentially nothing.

I am so lost. I don’t know what to do anymore. Aside from this issue, everything is totally fine, but I am honestly considering divorce if he doesn’t stop treating me this way every time I ask him to use his sleep apnea machine. The whole thing is just absolutely ridiculous and never gets resolved in the morning. He just acts like nothing happened. It’s absolutely mind-blowing. — Pregnant and Sleepless

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