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Ask Maura: Ex-wife ranting to friends that I was a bad partner

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Q My ex-wife has gone mad on Zoom telling her pals how terrible a husband I was. We're separated two-and-a-half years. Is it something to do with the pandemic, like she's bored and this is her entertainment? We still have a few mutual friends and they've been telling me what she has been saying, some intimate stuff as well. They're worried about her.

The thing is, when we split, there were no harsh words. I'm not sure what's brought this on but we have two children, aged 20 and 22, and I really don't want any of this toxic rant getting to them. I'm afraid to ask her to chat about this in case she gets worse.

The friends I've kept in touch with have tried to say something to her, but she's given out to them. As far as I'm concerned, we've all moved on. I used to call regularly to the house and even stayed for Sunday lunch, but not so much now with everything.

Could this have triggered her behaviour? I call to see the kids of course, but they've come over to me too, that's been our bubble. I just can't get a handle on this. I'm worried about her to be honest.

ANSWER

If you feel this is out of character for her then there's no other option but to have a conversation. Maybe having too much time to think has brought up issues and situations that she had initially moved away from after the marriage ended.

It's interesting that she's telling people, holding court as it were, like she wants to be heard. I gather you left so perhaps she feels the 'passive' of the two of you and now wants to assert herself, basically saying 'this is my side of the story'.

Aim to have a few specific things you'd like to clear up or talk through. Don't bombard her with counter attacks to things she's said. Honour what she has to say and see if that helps to dilute her anger, and maybe even begin to understand it, which is key to resolution.

 

I'm dating a total mammy's boy

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Q My boyfriend has been working from home for the last year. He moved back in with his mother and whenever I see him I think he's just becoming a little boy again. It's just the two of them and they're happy out.

His mother does everything for him. They watch TV together in the evening and any weekend I'm working he's not bothered and just gets a takeout with his mam. Sometimes I just laugh, but then I wonder will he ever move out and will he ever be a man again?

We're both 25. I've already hinted at him about leaving home sooner rather than later. But he never gives me a straight answer. He's not paying rent at home, so it's hard to compete with that. I'm giving serious thought to breaking up with him.

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ANSWER

You certainly seem to have very strong competition with his mother and you're aware of that, which is important. The key for me in your letter is the diluting of his manliness while he's living with his mam. I don't know if you're going to be able to get this image out of your mind, which you'll have to do in order to crank up the relationship again on full throttle.

So that is key for me in helping you to make up your mind as to what your next step is in this relationship.

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