Chickens Came Home To Roost

15 Jun

Letterbalm ChickensDear LetterBalm: I’m in the middle of a huge uproar, and it’s my fault. I had a two-year affair with a younger woman. I broke it off because she became emotionally clinging and demanded I divorce my wife and marry her. My wife found out about all this when my ex-girlfriend got so furious she called her and told her of the affair and that she was pregnant, which was a lie. To make matters worse, my ex-girlfriend called my mother and told her. My wife confronted me, and I confessed everything, including the reasons why I ended the relationship. I begged her forgiveness, and we have started couples therapy. It will be a long road, but my wife and I are committed to each other and our marriage. Meanwhile, my ex-girlfriend continues to call and text, mildly threatening. My kids have answered a couple of the calls. We’ve been trying to ignore her. I told my wife, and we’re concerned for my family. How do we make her stop and just go away?

–Guilt-Ridden

You’ll probably think twice about straying again, huh? Wait … your girlfriend called your wife and your mother? Not to excuse what you did, but this was vindictive and cruel. It also could have caused pain to innocents if you and your wife decided to divorce. Would it have been better had your affair and its bitter end been maintained as a secret? That’s a moral conundrum for you alone. Now, what to do? Seeing that you ex has involved your kids and that her tone is threatening, you have leverage. Document everything. Draft a detailed diary of dates and particulars of her actions, printouts where possible. If you haven’t already, don’t delete her texts and e-mails. Take everything to an attorney to see what you can do legally. Ms. L.B. isn’t a lawyer, but you may be able to get a kind of restraining order or a cease-and-desist letter. Depending on the laws in your state, your lawyer may advise you to talk with the police. All this brings negative publicity to your ex. With guidance from your attorney – and mindful that your ex-girlfriend may become more threatening or obsessive – you might change your cell numbers and other contact information. Your lawyer might advise you to calmly say something like this the next time she calls:

Jane, I’m asking you not to contact me or my family again and I hope you won’t ignore my request. Your continuing actions will cause problems for you legally and with the police. You need to know that I’ve seen a lawyer. I’ve shown him your texts and e-mails and discussed your phone calls. You’ve become threatening and your actions have involved my children. Before you take this any further, please stop and think. Go on, live your life and put this behind you. Good-bye.

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