Q: I dated my current husband in college. After we broke up, we each married, had children, and subsequently divorced. Last year my college beau and I crossed paths again after nearly thirty years. He has five children and they are very upset about our marriage. Mine just want me to be safe and happy. My husband seems obsessed with getting his children to accept me; invites them regularly to our house and keeps pushing me to go with him on visits. They typically are at least civil to me now (at least face-to-face, though I have reason to believe they say very unkind things about me when I'm out of earshot) but it’s still tense and stressful. I've never considered myself a stupid woman but I feel naive in this situation. What is going on with his brain?
A: It would take a mind-reader to figure out his brain and no one is. One guess is that he somehow thinks that if the kids accept you, it is redemption for him. If they have "forgiven" him, everything is now hunky dory. This may be a form of "using you" to make himself feel better, and you will need to decide if you want to be "used" in that manner. Another guess is that he’s trying to boost his self-worth by getting his kids to accept his choices and behaviors. Again, their approval would condone his behaviors. Usually a dead end. Kids believe what they believe even if they are civil to you when you are with them. If he dropped dead tomorrow, they would likely not hesitate a moment in taking you to court to try to get whatever they think he brought into the marriage that now belongs to them (or half your assets if you put his name on your house, or car, or bank accounts, etc.) Unfortunately, it happens more often than one would like to believe.... I suggest you discuss this with your financial advisor and with a trusted counselor and seriously consider the advice you receive.