Question: My wife and I have been together for 10 years, married for four. I found some text messages and emails from her to our daughter’s coach two years ago. They’d been going on for awhile and they exchanged very personal information.
I confronted her and she said nothing was going on. Some of the emails were racy, and she couldn’t answer why she’d sent these.
I had no proof anything happened. I said I found it upsetting and expressed my disapproval to her. It was difficult for me because I knew they went on tournaments and team fundraisings together.
Miore than a year later, her behaviour again became questionable. I checked her email and found a photo that she had sent to the same guy.
When I confronted her, she responded (1) Are you spying on me? and (2) It’s not a naked picture.
Again, she said she couldn’t account for her behaviour but admitted she’d been in contact with this man.
I love her and she says the same. But I can’t read if anything is between the lines. I still have a gut feeling things are not as they seem.
Answer: Her behaviour and repeatedly vague responses ring loud alarm bells. You don’t need proof; you need some way to have an open, honest discussion, which she’s purposely avoiding.
She’s clearly had/having a close connection with this coach — he could be a confidante, it may be an emotional affair or he may be her outright lover. She owes you an explanation. If he’s really only a friend, you should be included in their circle. Start going to some tournaments and events as a supportive father. That action alone might reveal more of what’s happening “between the lines.”
If the guy is a threat to your comfort in the relationship, you need to understand why she is pursuing this. You will have to decide what you want to do if she carries on with this guy yet wants to stay married to you.
Question: I’m a single father with two grown daughters, 21 and 16, both living with me. My life revolves around them. My older daughter initially aspired to be a lawyer but changed her mind recently, deciding to do something she’s truly passionate about.
She’s been working summers, and never shies from work or taking responsibilities. I worry sometimes that she’s decided not to become a lawyer because she doesn’t want to work hard. Most of my cousins’ or friends’ children have taken some profession that leads to earning reasonably good money in a short time. Yet my daughter wants to work in different fields after obtaining her Bachelor of Arts and then go back to school again if it’s needed.
Recently my younger daughter, in Grade 11, switched two of her subjects from sciences to media and dancing. She also wants to explore her options and doesn’t enjoy studying sciences. She’s a very bright student.
I’m unsure whether I’m doing the right thing by encouraging these choices. In our culture (I’m from India) people always prefer professions and don’t experiment with other stuff.
Answer: You’re clearly an involved, loving father but you are far too hard on yourself. You’re their parental nurturer and support, but not their only resource for career direction. Enlist the help of those who are trained for this: high-school guidance counsellors, university course advisers, private career counsellors, etc. Any and all of these can offer some pros and cons to your daughters about their current and future choices, the paths they lead to and other options.
TIP OF THE DAY
When the trouble alert is sounding, a silent response is unacceptable.