DEAR AMY: My ex-fiance and I were together for five years, and have been separated for over three years. We have a child. We have shared custody of our child, and although my ex is very wealthy, I have never asked for any child support or compensation because I just wanted us to focus on co-parenting our child, without the mess. My mother informed me that my ex was engaged, after she saw it on social media. He never told me. We had a great relationship until he started seeing this woman. According to him, she is very jealous of me. I see my ex at least once a week. Although I had a negative opinion when I found out about their relationship, I got over it quickly and told my ex that if she makes him happy, then I wish him the best. They got married quickly after being engaged and he still hasn't said anything to me. Now our relationship has an awkward vibe. I don't want to make him feel uncomfortable, and I've been waiting to see if he would eventually tell me about his marriage. I have been very nice to his wife. I'm not sure why he's hiding all of these important events from me. Should I say something, just to get it out of the way so it doesn't strain our relationship?
Glass Half Full
DEAR GLASS: You seem to focus entirely on your ex's life — and his feelings — when you should be focusing on your own, and your child's.
You both seem cowardly. He is too chicken to tell you he's gotten married. And you don't seem to have advocated for your child. Do you have a legal custody agreement?
Even if you can readily afford raising your child, you could advocate for help with insurance, extracurricular activities and college down the road. Helping to support a child financially is an important aspect of "co-parenting."
Your child now has a stepmother. This could be a game-changer on many fronts — for all of you.
You should receive legal counsel as soon as possible.
Find the words. Say to your ex, "So, I understand that you and Margo got married. Can you explain why you decided not to tell me this?"
DEAR AMY: I recently hosted an old college friend for lunch at my house, along with her husband and young daughter, "Lillie." I've got a medium-sized dog that gets nervous around new people, so for safety's sake I locked the dog in her kennel and kept her in a back room. My friend asked several times if she could take her daughter to the back to "see the puppy," but I said no because the dog would stay calmer if she was left alone. Well, while I was busy cooking lunch, my friend apparently snuck Lillie to the back room to see the dog. Next thing I know, Lillie is screaming/crying, and my friend is yelling at me. Apparently the dog nipped at Lillie and scared her (there was no physical contact). Now, my friend is angry with me for "allowing" my dog to scare her child. She is threatening to report me to animal control. I think she's insane. My dog was locked away in her kennel. I stated very clearly to leave the dog alone, and she ignored me. My friend says she wants an apology and for me to get rid of the dog, or she won't be visiting anymore. Who is right here?
DEAR DOGGONE: From this point forward, it would be wisest for you to refer to this person not as a friend, but a "former friend."
Taking your narrative at face value, she is an irresponsible parent who knowingly and deliberately ignored clearly stated warnings and put her child in harm's way.
I won't suggest that you counter her threat with one of your own (to report her to CPS for child endangerment), but the temptation is surely there.
You do not owe her an apology. Nor do I think you should continue to communicate with her about this.
I do think you should hold her to her promise not to visit you anymore.
DEAR AMY: Cute advice to "Frozen," to offer a young child an ice pack for a little boo-boo. But — hello — ice packs can actually "burn" young skin. I suggest you rethink your advice.
DEAR DISAPPOINTED: Parents must make sure their remedy doesn't cause other problems. I think most can manage to make their ice packs safe.