Daddy’s Girl

I’ve been divorced a dozen years, and a decade ago my ex-husband remarried. I’ve had financial problems, and over the last year or so my ex-husband has spent thousands of dollars on things I need. He paid to carpet my house, paid for electrical work, and he helps with our grandson’s school tuition.

My daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren live with me. My son-in-law and I both work full time and contribute to household bills. Most recently my ex-husband paid $1500 to get my car fixed. In addition, I still receive alimony until he retires in three years.

I’m wondering what his motivation could be in helping us so much. He says he keeps it a secret from his wife.

~ Maggie

Maggie, an old adage advises, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. When someone is nice enough to give you a horse, don’t check the horse’s teeth to see how worn they are. Accept the gift and be happy.

Still, something seems odd. It’s a little like someone who pays twice the taxes they owe. Why? Are they grateful to live in their country? Do they want to pay down the national debt? Are they nuts?

You are a little chagrined to ask the real question. Does he still have feelings for me? But as soon as you mention that his daughter and grandchildren live with you, the light bulb goes on. You’re so close to the answer you can’t see it. You think he gives money to you, but look over your shoulder and see who the money takes care of.

His daughter and grandchildren live with you; you don’t live with them. They are the common element, and your ex-husband is like you. That’s why he does what he does. He is tied to them and thinking about his legacy.

Perhaps his new wife thinks, who are these kids to me? Some second wives would have a problem with his largesse. Or perhaps she is aware of it and simply doesn’t care.

Since his generosity could end at any time, do your best to plan for the future. And don’t leap to one conclusion when a more obvious answer is under your nose.

~ Tamara

Expiration Date

I’ve been with my boyfriend three and a half years, living together for three. We talk about marriage, and he says he wants to and brings it up more than me. But still no proposal.

We get on great and have a happy relationship, but it’s starting to hurt we aren’t engaged and planning our wedding. Everyone around us is getting married, and most have been together less time. My friends say he won’t commit because I’m just not the one.

I keep thinking a happy relationship is better than an unhappy marriage, but deep down I long to be married. I’m fed up with people asking when it’s going to happen.

He says he will someday, that we haven’t been together long. But his idea of long keeps changing. First, it was two and a half years, then three and a half years. Now he’s saying five years. I’m wounded. At what point do I give up?

~ Sheila

Sheila, your boyfriend has a woman in his bed, a woman making meals and doing housework. He is content with that. A man who loves a woman wants to take her out of circulation. A man who loves a woman won’t take a chance that another man will have her.

To paraphrase a song from South Pacific, you need to tell him you’re going to wash him right out of your hair, and send him on his way. Don’t say this as a ploy. It’s not intended to get a proposal. When you have to force, trick, cajole or leverage a man into marriage, the relationship doesn’t warrant marriage.

At this point he is wasting your time and wasting your life.

~ Wayne

Send letters to: [email protected] , or Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield MO 65801.

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