For the children?

Joey Garcia

My husband is leaving me for a woman 20 years his junior. I told him she was a threat years ago. He even participated in couples counseling with me while secretly having this affair.

I will be true to my spiritual path and make this transition as loving as possible. I suggested that he live with me and our children, while seeing her, so we can ease the transition for the children and determine if his new relationship will last. His girlfriend wants to rush into living with my husband. I feel it’s much saner to let him process this transition before moving in with her, perhaps taking a year or longer before moving out of our home.

She is afraid of me. She knows that I am a powerful grown woman and that she’s outmatched. I plan on remaining aware during this process, but I feel anxiety around her reactions. What tools can I use to bring her along? My scenario is best for everyone, and I want them to agree to it. We have a therapy session scheduled, to which I have invited her.

If remaining true to your spiritual path means you will persist in mothering your husband, competing with his girlfriend, clinging to a marriage that is over and clinging to a man who finds it easy to betray you, all under the false pretense that it benefits your children, my suggestion is to get a real spiritual path. Your husband wants a new life without you. If he was a man of integrity, and if he respected you, he would have ended the marriage when he realized this. Instead, he chose to murder his marriage (adultery).

By devising scenarios to manipulate him into staying with you and concocting ways to emotionally threaten his mistress, you appear toxic and controlling. Consider this: Your husband succumbs to your guilt about the children and remains in the house for another year under your scrutiny and rules, while wishing he were elsewhere. What do your children learn? The greatest gift a couple can give their children is a healthy marriage. At the end of an unhealthy marriage, the best gift you can give is to model how to let go. The genuine spiritual path here is acceptance.

My girlfriend’s 19-year-old son won’t move out and get a life. He won’t work or do chores unless you rag on him for a week. My girlfriend won’t kick him out because she has no spine. I am moving out, and she is invited to move with me, but he is not. She won’t move unless I propose marriage. I told her I am moving and that she can stay with her son the bum. Now we are breaking up. I’ll be free of both! What do you think of this?

I think that you are resentful and hurt that your girlfriend is choosing to live with her son, instead of moving in with you. As long as you are angry, you are not free. If your girlfriend refuses to move in with you without a marriage proposal, she has a spine. It just doesn’t bend according to your expectations. It’s normal for single parents to choose their children over their lovers, and it’s natural for you to want to be first in her heart.

If your girlfriend’s son is unemployed and unmotivated to get a job, if he refuses to further his education, if he parties all night and sleeps all day, if he fails to follow through on his household responsibilities and doesn’t pay rent, he needs a 30-day notice to move out. Without it, he may never develop the integrity, maturity and kindness needed to become a contributing member of our planet.

Meditation of the week
In her recent Sacramento appearance, poet Jane Hirshfield recited the seven most important words, as explained to her by a Buddhist teacher: “Everything changes. Everything is connected. Pay attention.” Of the seven, Hirshfield claims the two most important words are “Pay attention.” How do you live your life?

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