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Dear Ms. Price,
After my father passed away last year, my mother became fixated with her next-door neighbors. It started off with stories of them “stealing” her internet and her newspaper, and knocking on her door and running away. I believed her for some time, but when I came for a visit last month, I was shocked to find that the house next door was vacant. Her neighbors moved away months ago.
She insists these acts are still happening, but I didn’t witness anything suspicious. My husband says to let it go and chalk it up to her age. What do you think?
–Gaslighting in Pass-a-grille
Your husband is probably correct and age might be one factor. However, I don’t agree to, “let it go.” Your mother needs to see her doctor immediately for a neurological examination. You may need to make arrangements to speak with her doctor before the appointment to privately fill them in on your observations. Great care should be taken to handle this situation with discretion and kindness.
Good luck to you.
P.S. I love Pass-a-Grille!
Dear Ms. Price,
For the last 10 years, my wife and I have been saving money for a down payment on a house. We’ve given up vacations and sacrificed for our dream of owning a home and starting a family. We both make about the same amount of money, so I’d say the contributions were about half and half.
A month ago, the perfect home went on the market. When I sat down to discuss it with my wife, I found out that she has been lying to me and that she used our savings for the business (a deli) that she co-owns with her sister. She broke down crying, and admitted that because of the COVID-19 shut down, using our money was her last resort. Now, the deli is closed permanently and she has no way to pay back the money.
It’s not just the savings and the loss of the house, it’s the fact that she lied to me about it for so long. She stole our future. I don’t know if I can ever trust her again.
The foundation of any partnership, especially marriage, is trust. When that trust is destroyed, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to rebuild.
My advice is to immediately go to a marriage therapist if you want to save your marriage. Don’t “white knuckle” the situation and try to make it work without professional help. And if you do decide that your marriage can be saved, do make sure to have separate accounts and finances in the future.
Best wishes to you both.