Everyone who said that me moving with the kids to Swarthmore would be the end of my marriage is probably right.

And while I’m at it, all the people who told me to stay away from the farmer when we were dating — you were probably right too.

And the people who say in the comments section that I don’t know how to do intimacy. I guess you were right also. Because clearly I’m having trouble.

I keep saying this to Melissa and she keeps telling me I made good choices. She points out that my ex-husband was excellent genetic material and he is a great ex-husband. That is true. I mean, we spend a week together in the apartment each time he visits the boys in Swarthmore.

And Melissa points out that the farmer is fun, and the farm is a totally great place to raise two little boys. Well, until the kids couldn’t do anything they wanted to do on the farm.

The farmer is not going to move here. He’s decided on a once-a-month visitation schedule right now. And he told me that he has been keeping track of any money he spent on the family that is over $200 and I owe him $30K. To be clear, $30K is not that much for me. I can pay it back.

Melissa said I should send the farmer a bill for all the times I had to hire a driver to get us to Chicago so that we could do cello and still live on a farm.

I told her that’s not fair because I agreed, when I moved the boys to the farm, that the farmer would not have to pay for anything for us – he just paid utilities and taxes how he always did.

Melissa says, “That’s not an agreement you make going into a good relationship.”

I said, “Duh.”

In Swarthmore I told the boys they have to start doing their own laundry. And then I said they should do mine, too. They complained, of course. And I told them about kindness and caring and they better be nice to me because how you treat your mom is how you treat your wife and I don’t want my future daughter-in-law to think I let the boys walk all over me.

That’s true about how men treat their wives like they treat their mothers. For example, farmers have largely financial relationships with their parents, and that is largely what I had with the farmer as well. I didn’t mean for it to be that way. I don’t actually care about money and neither does he, which maybe means that was all we were willing to give to each other.

Some days I worry that my older son is not disciplined enough to make it through college. He does not read as much as I did when I was his age. And I was in special-ed English classes for reading below grade level. But then I notice he does his laundry like clockwork, even folding while it’s still all warm from the dryer.

I asked my son to do my laundry and because the last time I screamed this time he said fine. But he also said that my clothes take longer to dry than his do and he can’t wait because his biology tutor is coming. Impressed with this magnificent display of time management, I said I’d get mine out of the dryer.

Then, two days later, all my clothes were gone.

I tried to not really say anything to the kids. They know things are sort of falling apart for me: Yesterday my younger son told me, “Mom, it’s going to be hard for you to get a third husband at your age.”

I wanted to be speechless or deaf or something, but I decided a good mom would be reassuring, so I said, “Don’t worry. Dad loves us very much.”

The kids used to call the stepdad Dad and the biological dad by his first name. But recently the boys have noticed that there are huge differences between the two, so they say Dad for both and we all know which is which in context.

Of course, the boys are noticing there are huge similarities as well.

My younger son tells me my sweater smells.

My older son said, “She doesn’t have another sweater, all her laundry got stolen.”

WHAT????? How did he know?! The kids know so much more than I give them credit for knowing.

And I’m pretty sure you are that way, too.

I was thinking that I was worried that it would feel terrible to have to admit to you that I can’t keep a marriage together. But now I see that the worst thing is actually to have to answer my youngest son when he says, “Do you think that because I have two dads who don’t want to live with me that I won’t want to live with my kids either?”

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  1. Wheezy Jefferson
    Wheezy Jefferson says:

    I would love to say that everyone is wrong, and your marriage can be saved. But any man who would even consider actually giving his wife a bill is not a man any woman should be married to. What would he say if you were to charge him for all the meals you prepared, and all the contributions you made to provide him with a happy home. But I expect you already know this. Because the Farmer had a history of breaking up with you. And each time you would convince him to get back together. But this time, you aren’t talking about reconciling with him. You seem to be moving on.

    Sorry about your laundry. Take the $30,000 you “owe” the farmer and go on a shopping spree,

    • Carrie Willard
      Carrie Willard says:

      I don’t think any of us is in a position to judge the Farmer. A man who is willing to marry a woman with kids probably isn’t a horrible person. He wanted a family. And Penelope knows she’s not that easy to live with. Not being mean. Maybe the bill is his way of communicating his resentment. Men aren’t so good at communicating their true feelings.

      Penelope, I’m begging you. Grab the Farmer and jump his bones. Don’t destroy what you’ve built. For your kids. Model that normal adult relationships have ups and downs. You’ve read the research, you know that most troubled couples eventually improve their relationships, and the vast majority are glad they stayed together.

      I’m talking to you straight like I would to a friend, because that’s how your readers think of you.

      • Carrie Willard
        Carrie Willard says:

        … also, I want to say this. You’re an amazing mom. Please know that. You’re trying, I think (playing armchair psych here) to give your kids what you didn’t have. And that’s commendable and good.

        But please don’t forget that a stable marriage is a gift you give your kids too. And it’s more important than lessons and Ivy League degrees and all that. I think the monthly bill from the Farmer is just his way of hurting you because you’ve hurt him. Yes, it’s crass and rude. But we don’t always act honorably when we’re hurting.

        • Bridget McNerney
          Bridget McNerney says:

          Carrie,

          I understand you point about not making assumptions about the farmer. Couple things come to mind. One we do know some things about the farmer through Penelope’s posts. Secondly, I am not sure generalizing that a man who would marry a woman with children must be a good guy is an accurate statement. Plenty of pedofiles have married women with children. Many men marry women with children and then have zero engagement with the children. So I am not sure there is a implied or causal relationship between a man marrying a woman with children being a good guy.

      • Intriguing
        Intriguing says:

        Can you give me where you found that? I’m really curious, not being sarcastic, I’ve just always thought the opposite was true.

      • Amber
        Amber says:

        I’m going to stop you right there. A man who marries a woman with kids CAN be a horrible person. I speak from experience, so please don’t put these men on pedestals.

      • Amy
        Amy says:

        I may well be missing something here– but why would you think you know enough about these people and their history, etc., to believe you know what’s best for them?

        Maybe you’re more than a reader….maybe a personal friend of Penelope’s to whom she’s confided–but even so…this just boggles my mind with its apparent arrogance, naivete…and other things.

        Not to mention the apparent assumptions that any normal woman might not be achingly aware of the considerations you mention.

        Ouch.

        • Victoria
          Victoria says:

          I’m with you, Amy. Penelope, please know it is very strange to comment to a blogger as if you are friends with them and know what is best for them. Very, very strange. Let’s get some adult boundaries here, people. We love reading a great blog. But she’s a real person.

        • Amy Alexander
          Amy Alexander says:

          You don’t get a vote.

          You are not a party to the relationships, the history…to anything.

          You have no way of knowing all the relevant information, the depth and breadth of which is enormous…almost as enormous as the chasm between what you can know, and what you’d need to know, to have a clue.

          And most of all, it is beyond presumptuous, hurtful and insulting to assume that you know more about what is right for Penelope and her family than she does.

          I know I’m repeating myself, and I’m going to do my best to zip it now, but I so admire, and feel for, Penelope…and so regret that her amazing, courageous honesty seems to be taken as permission to pick over and second guess her actions and decisions, as though her having so generously given of herself/shared her self somehow gives us that right.

          It seems to me we should just be letting her know that we appreciate her and respect her decisions, and empathize with what she is going through.

          • Ginger
            Ginger says:

            Did you read all the times Penelope told women with kids to never ever gst divorced if they could help it? All the times she admitted to being a bully in her marriage even as she was getting knocked around just a little bit? And then her responses go readers who gave insights? This is not a site where boundaries are expected between author and reader…

  2. Joe Maffit
    Joe Maffit says:

    I’ve been following you for years and years. Penelope, you have been through so much and have inspired us all with some of the deepest insight and reflection on the web. When I read what you emotionally bleed onto the page, it makes my heart weep. You are a beautiful soul and I am grateful to have had the sense to sign up for your blog. 8 only hope that you find true happiness within and that someone deserving of you has the sense to earn your trust and love. All the best.

  3. Quinton Hamp
    Quinton Hamp says:

    What a challenge.

    Can I ask how you evaluate the mental costs your children must pay for their success? I know you explain your personal costs, but I’m just curious about the thought process behind all the stress these kids have to pay to get world-class tutors and how you mitigate that or where you might deem the price as too high?

    Not judging, just curious.

    Good luck on the journey!

  4. Annie
    Annie says:

    Penelope, my dad died when I was 11. I’m 26 now and I suck with men. Never had a boyfriend. I don’t trust them, I hold them all to incredibly high standards, and I’m repulsed by most (that’s the short version). BUT I have a lot of other sterling qualities…all thanks to my mom.

    Your kids already do and will continue to sharpen their intellect, thoughtfulness, and courage – plus all other the priceless traits you’ve raised them to have.

    Your youngest’s words make me weep. But all parents fuck up their kids, whether they’re living or dead. Isn’t the point for each generation to be better than the last?

  5. MBL
    MBL says:

    There is SO much to digest there. Please know that I am rooting for you.

    I am just going to address Z’s comment. My husband had such a crappy father that he had a vasectomy when he turned 25 because he was afraid he might be an awful father. Alas, he met me and I informed him that we would be having kids, so….9 years later he had a (successful) reversal. He is an AMAZING father. There can definitely be a “learned what not to do” component to child/parent relationships.

    That is not to say that Z’s dads are “all bad” by any stretch, but I do understand his fears/logic, but also know that he can definitely find stories with different endings. Or write his own.

  6. Maria
    Maria says:

    Arrow to the heart. The pang of guilt, shame, imperfection especially in front of the 2 geniuses you are raising must be painful.

    Just be honest with them. They need to have realistic views of their mamas.

    *hugs*

    As for the farmer, his once a month visit is about the cold hard cash and is not healthy for any of you. Bill collectors do that.

    There are thrift stores I am sure in your town, you can buy sweaters for pennies on the dollar. They likely still need washing.

    Take care of yourself. Take walks and socialize to lift your spirits and eat well.

    Be kind to yourself.

    *more hugs*

  7. Mk
    Mk says:

    I don’t know the right answer to this. But would it be worth it to me to walk away from my marriage so my kids can have the best opportunities? My current answer is No. The benefits of being a happy woman and being together are not just for me — they spill over to the kids too. And even kids growing up on farms or in a small town or whatever turn out ok. But I know people make choices for the benefit of their kids…. but in 10 years when my kids are in college, where will I be? Will I be happy with my life? Or will I just live on my kids’ successes? If my kid walks away from their music or tennis or whatever talent I sacrificed myself for, would I be happy and supportive of their choices? Or would I resent them and pressure them to change their minds? Like I said, there is no right answer and this depends on your value system and on what makes YOU happy – but in the middle of taking care of your kids and of your farmer, make sure you are taking care of yourself Penelope. Hugs.

      • Amy
        Amy says:

        I was thinking the same thing…I can’t understand where we might have gotten any notion that this was a happy marriage, about to be destroyed for the sake of the children…or a cello career.

        I still can’t get over being mind-boggled by the Farmer’s financial stipulations. I do understand we are getting only one side, however fair-minded and trying-to-be-objective Penelope might be, but I just cannot come up with any situation in which that would not be a big ol’ honkin’ red flag…and maybe it’s just me, but also a great big ol’ honkin’ hurt.

      • chun
        chun says:

        I agree. I have only read this blog for a few days but seriously? Why on earth would any sane person want to stay in such a conflicted, high-stress situation? Put their kids through that, model calm bonded happy relationships to them in such a needy, abusive terrible situation? I know some people get some weird thrill from nastiness-the-sex-then-screaming….but don’t inflict that on kids. Anyhow, I thought this was a career blog; all I see is recounting UTIs and beatings and nagging and begging. I have worked in domestic abuse shelters so I understand the hypersensitivity around lying. But lack of basic human respect for a partner re: sharing intimate sexual and medical issues to the world (on an award-winning, frenetically-self-promoting career expert blog!) is just seriously weird and disturbed. I thought yo loved rules and boundaries. How is anyone going to like you if you violate their boundaries. Their business is never yours to share with the world, unless they specifically request it. As for those who seem to love this over-sharing and judge her latest ex – seriously people? Still in junior high? There are plenty of self-help groups out there people if you want to measure/feel better about yourself against prolifically over-sharing drama queens and/or shattered dysfunctional people:-( I have been a counselor for 20 years, (women’s abuse, family violence, school, disability etc) came here genuinely looking for mid-career-change advice…feel like I am stuck back in a session with a HPD/BPD patient:-( Tragic, won’t be coming back…plenty of other advice which stays on topic…

  8. Poppy
    Poppy says:

    Hi Penelope,

    I wrote you one year ago after doing your INFJ course, about my boyfriend not wanting to have children. Based on your kind answer and your articles, I gave him a few months and eventually I left him and moved to an apartment. After being apart for a while he started doing some research on his own about parenthood (he’s an INTJ so yes, he researches everything) and eventually he approached me back and told me he wanted to marry me and have kids with me. I told him I won’t move back with him until we are engaged, ad we’ve been dating for a couple of weeks now. He brings me flowers, takes me to dinner, and talks to me about how our kids will look like. We’re not there yet but it looks much more promising than one year ago, specially because I can tell he’s excited with the idea and not just following my lead.

    I don’t know if everything will turn out ok, of course, because there is no way to know if your choices were “correct” after much later, and even then, you still don’t know what good could result from your seemingly “bad” choices. But you do make choices. And you help women do them as well. You helped me. Without you I’d still be daydreaming with babies and crying over my period’s arrival, and he would be oblivious to all that, going out with his friends and thinking he has the perfect relationship.

    And that’s how you help yourself, Penelope, and your children, and us. You help us stop being quiet, complacent creatures who just wait and hope and pray, and encourage us to take the driving wheel of our lives. And you do the same.

    And of course that can result in poor choices or unexpected collateral damage. But it’s still better than no choice at all.
    So thanks for helping me choose.

    I wish you all the best, really :)

    • Dee
      Dee says:

      Thanks for sharing, Poppy. Your comment gives me hope! I’m also an INFJ and I harbour hopes of meeting, marrying, and having a family with an INTJ (their qualities sound like everything I find attractive in a man). I admire and respect your ability to stick to your own aims and desires regarding a future family, and it sounds like your INTJ appreciates your decisiveness as well, if he has returned armed with research and romance! I hope things work out well for you both. It’s also great that you mentioned taking Penelope’s INFJ course – I intend to sign up soon. It sounds like it’s helpful in getting INFJs to realise the full extent of their abilities and their personal power to affect change in their own lives.

      • Poppy
        Poppy says:

        Hi Dee,

        I’m glad it was useful for you. And yeah, INFJ course is fabulous. It helped me A LOT in so many ways.

        I love having an INTJ boyfriend. We understand each other really well and he is very introspective and loves learning and analysing stuff, just like me. If you are aware of your deficits as a couple (i.e. tendency to get isolated pretty quickly because none of you is too motivated to go out there and meet people) it can work amazingly well.

        If you still haven’t met your ideal INTJ, though, make sure he is committed with the idea of having kids before you start a relationship. If he has set his mind in not having them you’ll have a hard time convincing him, because they are rational and having kids isn’t, and they are very happy being alone. I couldn’t convince my boyfriend. Only by making a choice just for myself and taking action pieces fell into place, but it could have gone any other way (and it still can).

        More than my decisiveness, I think that what really changed things for him is that once I really left he contacted with his own emotions in a way that’s not very easy for INTJs. And that moved him a lot and made him reconsider. But it was a risky move and starting a relationship with someone who doesn’t want kids hoping to convince him later is risky as well so, as I said, look for an INTJ who already knows he wants to be a parent.

        Hope this helps. I’ll be following the comments in case you want to ask something else :)

        • Dee
          Dee says:

          Hi Poppy,

          Sorry for the super late response – I haven’t been following the comments thread. But I did just want to let you know that I appreciate your sound advice and you’re right. It’s really important to establish that both partners want (or don’t want) a family from the get-go, especially if one of them is a decisive, solitary type like an INTJ. It’s certainly the first and foremost thing I would want to discuss with a potential partner if there’s mutual interest in founding something long-term.

          I’m glad to hear that your INTJ was able to get more in touch with his own emotions and re-evaluate things based on that. Everything I’ve come across about the difference between our two types highlights the T-F differences and that, with the right approach, both sides can learn to work together to balance each other out and learn from one another in those areas. In many ways, I am glad that I have yet to meet my match, as it gives me time to work on myself some more and gain a proper understanding of who and what I am, and what I want for my life, going into the future. I signed up to Penelope’s INFJ course this morning, so I imagine that should help add clarity to my thoughts!

          Once again, thanks for sharing and caring. :) I hope all is going well with you and your partner.

  9. KD
    KD says:

    Penelope,

    This is not cute. Nothing about this is cute. You remind me – much too much – of a friend of mine. She did a lot of things that didn’t make any sense (like moving around impulsively, home schooling because it made her seem cool and trendy, etc.) allegedly for her kids. It was really all to feed her own perverted narcissism and her now grown children don’t speak to her.

    Your kids don’t need to do cello. They need stability. You are an abusive parent.

  10. BSO
    BSO says:

    Here’s what I wrote and posted to your last blog:
    “Melissa! Melissa! Time to take over the wheel before the car crashes. Melissa!!! Where is that girl when she’s needed? Posted by BSO on December 23, 2016 at 4:26 am”

    Here’s what I did not post as I really value your blog site and thought who am I to talk:
    “Penelope,
    I thought I’d just reflect back to you what you have been saying to us for years.
    You can’t have it all. You know that right? All these “new models of family life” are just the playing out of a failed feminist narcissistic experiment. Wasn’t home schooling supposed to be a reaction against that? You were the one that told us Ferris and Sandberg were full of…

    Incidentally why the other family analogies that people are commenting on this feed don’t apply here is the fact that the farmer is not the breadwinner. He is not working away from home to provide for his stable networked family. Chasing work in a difficult labour market. Putting himself second for his wife and children. At worst he might have guaranteed one of your start-ups. You wrote: http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2012/12/14/the-truth-about-good-listening-skills/
    So you’ll know all about http://www.personality-central.com/ISTP-ENTJ.html

    But you might not know about https://notesfromaredpillgirl.com/ If you did this looks like a monumental “shit test” car crash to me. I’m curious will four people be bankrupted? Two before their lives have really started? Remind me: What’s in this for the Farmer? Do you want to still be married in a years’ time?

    Also you are either projecting or supporting your children in chasing an expensive adolescent hobby. When the kids have amassed $50-100,000 dollars in debt in college fees and might, might, make it as a teacher or in a part time orchestra? Who will have fed this delusion? (I know they’ll probably diversify and do well, may be their dad will stump up or you? But the university fees! For a glorified hobby?)

    I should have noticed it earlier, but whose narcissism is being projected onto whom? Yours? The kids? Wasn’t he and the farm supposed to ground you? The only question is will the farm be bankrupted in the process? And, knowing the Farmer as we do, (albeit vicariously through your writing), I assume he will see where this is heading and step back at the last step.

    Red Pill would suggest you are either looking for a way out or looking for him to be the man, and stand his ground. Another man’s kids makes it difficult. He will want the best for them and he doesn’t really know your world of financing, debt and creativity. But at the core is a tension between Man as provider, protector and restrainer, of your more outlandish ideas.

    Unfortunately women tell men to be exactly the opposite of what they find attracted in them in the first place.
    Sadly, this has got divorce written all over it. But you already know this right? So, the really interesting thing is, knowing that you know this, why are you creating it? And why are your readers colluding with you? Where is Melissa when you need her!

    Sorry. Someone needs to put aside the Xanax and take the red pill.”

    • Michele
      Michele says:

      BSO – everything you wrote I thought. Penelope, I am sorry your things are turning out this way. I hope your kids don’t think it is their fault, there is a lot of pressure on them. They are young men who want to be free to flourish, but they are actually having to rescue their mom in their own way. The people who shrug this off and say no big deal – you are onto the next thing, do not have empathy for your situation. A mothers guilt is real and it never goes away. Be careful. Stay calm and find joy in some low-level life: reading, cooking, being present mentally and physically for your kids. Sorry to the farmer, I know in the beginning he really wanted to make it work, but now sees his value as being very low on your priority list. – by an intj mom.

    • Aurora
      Aurora says:

      Um, Penelope’s mistake (if it was one, her boys seemed to have a great life on the farm) was getting together with a man who wanted her for her beach vollyball body and her penchant for wearing short skirts on the farm (see demo reel from 2012). You think Penelope relates to your misogynistic, right-wing, Trumpian red pill bullshit because of her blogs about the realities of women and career but she is more complex than that and any man she marries and any blogger who seems to have an affinity for what she is laying down ought to understand that.

      • Suzy
        Suzy says:

        So she didn’t see all these “signs” that you write about. I agree–she gives (mostly) rational info to all her readers, but she doesn’t live it at all.

        I believe at the beginning of the marriage she & the Farmer agreed that he would not have to pay for all her “expenses” like those ridiculous cello lessons that she needs to hire a driver for. That is not a practical decision.

        Glad you are flush with money that you can pay the Farmer his $35,000. So just pay it. That was your agreement. Pay it & divorce & try to find a way to live a stable life. Your kids need that role model & catering to them so much that you move & do everything in your life with them being your top consideration is wrong.

        Someone wrote about how the Farmer should pay you for meals you prepared! Umm–did you eat any of it? Did your kids eat any of it? Did you pay for all the groceries? Did he help prepare or clean up afterwards? Did the kids help prepare the meal (homeschooling experience) so now you owe him for 45 minutes of his “teaching” time?

        That is ridiculous to try to keep score like that. So next he owes you for every time you had sex (or not as some sort of compensation for the lack of it)? Count how many times you swept the floor as compared to him. You used water & made his bill higher so should he keep track of that & charge you for washing your hair?

        When they get out in the real world, they won’t have Melissa to call to find the key to the apartment…

        I grew up in a horrible, chaotic family–talking about serious mental illness, alcoholism, abuse, no emotional or physical nourishment at all. But after lots of therapy I made the choice to live my life without that influence crippling me.

        Stop being a victim. Maybe get more effective therapy. The best thing you can give your kids is a stable mother & a stable home (assuming divorce is inevitable).

        Maybe your ex can raise the kids for awhile so you can get some help & perspective. You speak so highly of him.

        I decided with my husband (married 43 years so maybe I have no credibility since I haven’t been divorced once, much less twice)–But decided that we will make decisions about how they impact the FAMILY as a whole. So, sure, we couldn’t afford stuff for the kids (Goodwill is great; husband riding a bike to work with a brown bag lunch), but they knew their parents were going to keep their marriage intact & loving to benefit THEM.

        You’ve been through a lot. Don’t accept this is you lot in life, please.

        You can do so much better & feel so much better.

        I don’t want to sound mean or preachy (though I have been, of course).

        Just take this stuff seriously, Please!

        • Jennifer
          Jennifer says:

          So it’s okay for him to bill her and she should just pay it, but it’s ridiculous score-keeping to think he might owe her for some things too?

        • Iceblue
          Iceblue says:

          Why are you so judgemental and cold while praising yourself just because you didnt divorce? That does not automatically enlist you as winner. Penelope is obviously suffering and you are gloating over here. What a cruel woman. Karma for you. Cannot you habe some sympathy? Or are you jealpus penelope can pay 30k bill at once in cash n can afford cello lessons. Who the f cares if penelope used farmers water? She makes $ n she seems to b able to afford to live on Her own. She wasn’t clearly dependent on the farmer financially so who are you to judge just because you shop at good will. What a bitter miserable envious woman you are suzy.

  11. Krysten
    Krysten says:

    I’m pretty sure there’s something wrong with me, because my first thought on reading this was, “well – time for Penelope to do another startup.”

  12. Chang
    Chang says:

    Stop writing about it, and grow some balls. Go to the farm and figure it out. You owe it to him. You owe it to all your readers – well, maybe some of them. And you owe it to your boys. Oh – and you too.

    • Maree
      Maree says:

      With you Chang^^^^.
      What matters Penelope?
      The boys need care, stability, examplars… You need some ROI on a huge investment (in the Farmer). He is being a bit of a man but he is alright and you all need and like each other. If boys can’t find their own way they’ll be stuffed anyhow.

  13. carol of kensington
    carol of kensington says:

    You are not an abusive parent. I had an abusive mom so I know. I’ve survived because my dad was loving and funny and we all got through it. My husband has been keeping a spreadsheet since we first started dating. Every once in a while he prints it out for me. I have been ignoring this for years. He keeps track of everything financially. The upside to that is I know we are likely to survive Armageddon. If you love your kids as strongly and whole heartedly as you can, they’ve won the lottery. All the rest is normal life.

  14. Jeff Melvin
    Jeff Melvin says:

    Thanks for telling us but we knew. Because of the silence we knew.

    As a son of a Mother that had 2 husbands and who then quit living, I can tell you that we survived. Living just for your kids isn’t sustainable in other ways though. As she slowly dies from cancer and all our friends are there to comfort us, But my brother and I have to hold back from explaining that she kind of died already and we have been carrying her since and that this is a relief. My sister carries my mother and most of the guilt, and can’t do enough. And the 3 of us carry what we carry along with whatever else life throws our way.

    Back in 1985 when husband #2 left, we didn’t know all this. We didn’t talk about it. There was silence.

  15. Jean
    Jean says:

    Life is not supposed to look like a peachy sitcom. If you and the farmer still want this to work out, it can work out.
    But it takes two, and the decision should happen fairly quickly. Once a month visits are not terrible and can also change with just a decision. But big changes make everyone freak out, the difference is that you post about it while the rest of us preach like our lives are somehow perfect and our reactions always reasonable or something.

    As for your youngest, yeah what he said really sucks. For you AND for him. But he’ll be fine because the truth is, he has 2 dads that love him and are present in his life. That’s huge and not something to be overlooked.

    Chin up sunshine. You’re doing alright for yourself.

  16. Rebecca
    Rebecca says:

    I’m so with you on this, doll. It’s me, and where I’m at, to a T. I sometimes feel utterly defeated by my own uselessness with the whole (not) intimate relationship / children / ex-husband stuff. Don’t know what the answer is, except to wait it out and try to be a bit self-forgiving. As if we ever do that. Ha! And have another wine. And press on.

  17. Bob
    Bob says:

    Given P’s financial history, the Farmer obviously knows he will probably never see dime one of that 30K. The bill may be just his way of telling her that, when the next inevitable money crisis hits, she’s on her own.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:

      With you on this, Bob.

      About the money . . . Penelope thought it made sense to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on a really expensive stove and a piano. That is not the way The Farmer would have spent those thousands of dollars.

      What other very expensive items is he stuck with, now that she is not there using them?

      I know someone whose husband had more than a million dollars, from cashing out company stock at retirement. Two-three years later, she (or they) said, “Well, I guess it really is possible to spend *all* the money . . . ”

      Penelope can spend all the money. In a New York minute. And that’s what the “bill” is all about. In reality it probably doesn’t even begin to cover the very interesting expensive stuff.

      • Amy
        Amy says:

        I’m beginning to think I must have missed or forgotten something about the financial arrangments– why it it that you’re saying Penelope chose to make those expensive purchases…did they not confer and make joint financial decisions?

        If it’s not too much of a hassle, could someone remind me what the financial situation/agreements were?

        Thank you in advance for the help.

      • Me Too
        Me Too says:

        Remember how she wrote about flying to L.A. to get her “eyebrows done”?

        Her financial decision making is very skewed.

  18. Kirk
    Kirk says:

    You can just pay somebody $30,000 without a problem? Most people would kill to have the financial stability to do that, so you have a great advantage.

    You (and your kids) need to be working with mental health professionals regularly starting as soon as possible. If you are already you need to be discussing this with them, not the world on your blog.

    Pouring your stuff out in a blog will NOT help your mental health; it feels good and gets the stuff out and is entertaining in your soap opera, but it is not going to help you in the long run.

    Use the resources you have to get help, and quit moving around to do things for your kids–it’s not helping you or them.

  19. Debbie
    Debbie says:

    For the love of all things holy, please learn this (and display if for your boys): You don’t need a husband, or a spouse for that matter, to be happy in life.

    Just take care of yourself and your kids from here on out. No more dads/step-dads. It’s not fair to anyone.

  20. Patricia
    Patricia says:

    Hi Penelope. I’m Patricia, I’m Brazilian. I feel so fortunate that I’ve found your blog. When I found it, by chance, I just read the whole thing. Every post you wrote. You are an extraordinary person, utterly authentic and unafraid. And now there are two things I want to tell you. First: when I read this post today, I had a clear vision of your kids in old age, telling their grandchildren about their memorable mother. Because you will be talked about, with awe and maybe sometimes with a little exasperation, you know. I am sure of it. That is what happens with people like you. And the second thing is this: you don’t have to worry about your boys. The very fact he asks this question is a sign of intelligence, sensitivity and, more importantly, how open and honest you are around each other. The way you live your life, with such a strong sense of identity, always seeking what matters to you, boldly – that is the most important thing that you can give to them, not whether those things you pursue are ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, not the ability to keep a marriage together.

  21. Lauren Teller
    Lauren Teller says:

    we all treat each other what we learn, and save the harsh stuff to destroy ourselves in bloody failure. It’s about money because it’s easier to talk about money than to talk about love.. You have given each other more..because you give, and he does too. you are lovable, you give love, you receive love, people love you, i love you. what do you want? and what does the farmer want? keep talking, get help.
    Can your sons pack for themselves? if they do laundry, next step is they pack for themselves. completely. They can ask you questions but not too many. self -packing is far reaching.
    it is not ok to leave the other person’s laundry. you go home with the one you came with….everyone can pitch in to help yo replace those clothes.
    snow
    today
    yea
    xo

  22. Joncee Osgood
    Joncee Osgood says:

    Have never posted a comment before. Typically anytime your blog post shows up in my mailbox I am thrilled; your quirkiness, out of the box point of view and candidness makes me laugh, think and reflect on my own life (narcisstic of me to say? 😬🙈) hope not, meant it as a compliment towards you, your work and your endeavors. Anyways, read your blog this morning and wanted to send support and to thank you for your work, all of the insight and perspective you have given myself and others in the past that I have never thanked you for. So, thank you Penelope for being a candid, intelligent, enduring and humorous role model for anyone out there. Adore you. Hope you have a better day today.

  23. Lauren Teller
    Lauren Teller says:

    did you see the movie Captain Fantastic with Viggo Mortensen?
    I know you didnt. He and the kids live in the wilderness, the mom is dead, and he eventually moves to the suburbs for the kids..
    you and the farmer could watch that together…..you are both alive.

  24. Jim Grey
    Jim Grey says:

    I’m glad you’re posting again. I miss your voice when it’s gone.

    I’m sorry this is how it’s turning out. That’s all, I’m just sorry.

  25. BN
    BN says:

    Wow. It is with an endless source of fascination/horror that I read your posts. You are a wingnut. Your thoughts and life are all over the board. Based on your needs and your selfishness. All hidden under the ‘I’m doing it for my kids’. Those kids are an excuse for you running all over the country so you can hide. So you don’t have to deal with anything. Those children need a stable home. They don’t have that or a stable Mom.

  26. Tracy
    Tracy says:

    That’s the couch in the pigsty you used to make out on, right?
    Sigh, sounds like you pushed the Farmer too hard too fast and he broke.

    I know it’s no consolation but:
    I love the part of you we get to have
    I will never leave you
    I will also never lend you money
    Now let’s see this through

  27. Amy
    Amy says:

    I’ve been concerned about you and your situation for a while. None of what you’ve been doing/going through this past year has felt right in my gut, but I’m not you, and I’m not living your life. I’ve been married to my husband for 25 years, with him for 33. We have 2 daughters. It never resonated with me when you (seemingly) put your kids’ needs above everything else. Of course our children are important, but it often felt to me like they came before The Farmer, and I think that’s a problem if you want a marriage to work. I think for children to be truly happy and stable, their parents need to put each other first. You have to nurture your relationship with your husband in order for the home to be happy and healthy. Moving to another state so your child can take cello lessons–even if the teacher is over-the-moon fabulous–doesn’t make sense to me, unless both parents are willing to make the sacrifice and move their entire lives to keep the family together, as a unit. It felt like you wanted what you wanted in that instance, and you were going to get it, no matter what. But then…things were going downhill in the marriage before that, b/c otherwise, I don’t think you would have left. Maybe you would. You’re very different than I am, one of the reasons I continue to read your blog. I will say, though, I applaud you for teaching your boys about treating their mother well. I tell my girls this all the time when they date boys: “Pay attention to how they treat their mother.” My husband treats his mother very well, as he does me. And I taught my girls to do their own laundry when they were each 10. Nothing wrong with that. Good luck. I’ll keep you in my prayers, and I’ll keep checking back.

  28. harris497
    harris497 says:

    It’s always messy but stay in the fight. As you told us, it is ofter better to work things out in a tough marriage (once there is no abuse) than it will be to cut your losses and start over. The cycle seems to spiral…
    My2centsworth

  29. Steve
    Steve says:

    You are in my thoughts. This is a very challenging situation, one I have never endured. But in my humble opinion, At some point you have to decide what is more important for your children and their character development. Your sons will grow up one day to be men. They will instinctively model your behavior as young adults. Is it more important for them to have access to world class opportunities, or to witness you making decisions that prioritize family and togetherness. It took me a while as a young adult to realize that much of my relationship decisions were a reflection of what I had internalized from my parents.

    Your children are not your legacy. You simply shape how their story begins. Raising children who become word class [fill in the blank] will never erase your personal legacy of complicated and challenging marital relationships. And it won’t resolve your personal frustrations with your current relationship. You have to prioritize your own health and wellness as well.

    I think you should consider trying to work it out with your husband, not just for your children, but for you.

  30. Dana
    Dana says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your marriage, too. Why don’t you remain single? It seems like your desire for a companion is for the sake of your boys. You don’t seem like you need a constant male companion in your life (outside of one who would provide a sense of stability to your sometimes shaky life or frankly, just to have a live in best-friend b/c again, human beings are not made to be alone). Your ex seems like he fits that role, nicely to some degree.
    Also, I know Melissa is your bestie but she’s probably not the best to be getting relationship advice from (hell, and maybe not even me – some random chick who follows your blog) because it’s like the blind leading the blind, but I digress.
    Anywho, I’m sorry for you and the boys and I wish you guys nothing but the best.

    PS. your INFP editor would probably be the best person to talk to right about now.

  31. The Study of Humans
    The Study of Humans says:

    I would reframe your son’s thoughts and remind him his dads don’t want to live Swarthmore. It’s not that they don’t want to live with him (or you). Kids make everything about them, but this has more to do with the Farmer’s need to stay on the farm than it does with his love for you and and the boys.

  32. Sarah M
    Sarah M says:

    I am so sorry, Penelope. I had been thinking about you on and off since it’s been some time since your last post and that usually means something is off for you. You must feel like something (marriage, kids’ advancement, sanity) must snap, it’s all too heavy. I’m struggling to write what I think best because I don’t know you in person, but I agree with a lot of the sentiments shared all over the comment section:

    You’re a good mom who cares about her kids. Period.

    Degrees and careers ultimately mean less than relationships…just think of the data about those on their deathbed. All their regrets are about people, not things or ‘trophies’.

    If it’s not that much money, give the Farmer back his 30K, and tell him it’s a peace offering. Try to work it out.

  33. Virginia
    Virginia says:

    This is a tough situation, but you will get through it. I think there have been problems in your marriage for a while, so I don’t think the fact that you moved is the only thing that is ending this marriage.

    You always seem to have great insight into everyone else’s lives, but you miss things in your own. I hope one day you can turn that insight towards yourself.

    We are not all destined to turn out like our parents. Yes, divorce is hard on kids, but they CAN get through it. I think you are a great mom, and it is amazing that you do so much for your kids even though you come from a broken home. Hang in there. We all make mistakes but your kids are loved. That’s what really matters.

  34. Peter Huston
    Peter Huston says:

    I’ve been following your various stages of life and moves. Your opening line today struck a chord with me.

    I got married for all the wrong reasons – we had a decent relationship, but it was more out of routine and obligation as time wore on – we dated for 4 years before I got the ultimatum. That should have been the sign for me to leave. If I needed an ultimatum, she wasn’t right for me to marry. Lots of reasons in retrospect I agreed, almost all social pressure, mostly from my mother, who worked on my subconsciously in a very subtle way.

    After I got separated four years later, almost every single one of my friends said “I had no idea what you were doing with her, or why you got married. I knew it was a mistake”

    To which I would reply – “I wish you would have said something”, and I vowed to say something to close friends who were embarking down a relationship path that I could see as not being healthy.

    And to be clear, I’m not talking about casual, kinda sorta friends. I’m talking about friends who are closer to you than sometimes you are yourself. People who would understand the deep context, not only the shallow surface.

    When saying “everyone was right” – when they made the comments to you they did about the path you were going down, did they have the full context of your life in mind?

    Were you doing something that you told them you would never do?

    Were they just being the mirror that you needed, reflecting back to you your standards you once told them you had, or, were they imposing their own standards on you and thinking they knew best for you?

    I have recently lost a life long female friend who told me that when I got divorced they knew before I got married that I she wasn’t right for me. I told her then if she ever saw me making the same mistake, to say something.

    When I found myself in another relationship, she did say she thought the new woman was wrong for me – but – I rejected her advice, because this time she didn’t have the full context, and was imposing her views on what I should, or shouldn’t have.

    So…was everyone really right? Did they understand your full context at the time?

    As for your last line about your son – that made me wince, hard. I have to think about that sort of thing with my three kids all the time – they are 14, and twins 12. It may come to pass that I have to leave town, and I’m wracked with guilt over it.

    Thanks again for being you.

  35. elizabeth
    elizabeth says:

    Penelope, I don’t generally post. But I wanted to send you virtual hugs and kind words of support.

    Relationships, as you know, are incredibly difficult. Even those of us who are super-skilled at them have a difficult time keeping a relationship together. Because they are complex things. They involve multiple people and many-different variables that change over time. And it’s a given that things change over time.

    Please don’t beat yourself up over the current situation. Please be kind to yourself. And please be kind to all the males in your life. Everyone is doing the best they can.

    Thinking of you and sending you positive energy, kindness, and support…

  36. Sandy
    Sandy says:

    Well, first I’m really sorry to hear this. But you and the kids have survived upheavals before and gone on to be happy. You’ll do it again. I don’t understand the $30k thing, though. It sounds like something he said out of anger. I can’t remember – are the two of you legally married with a license and all? I seem to remember some issue with the Ex but I could be wrong. And did the farmer legally adopt the boys? If the answers are “Yes” to both and you didn’t sign anything saying you’d pay him back money he spent on the family over $200, you don’t owe him a dime. That’s what a father does for his family – help to support it. Do you get to charge him for meal prep, help around the farm by you and the boys etc etc ? $30k would go a long way to support you and the boys moving forward. Good luck. I’m pulling for you. Oh and I agree that Melissa is definitely not a good source of relationship advice.

  37. me
    me says:

    Please ignore anyone who says “I was right/I told you so.”

    Only you can make your decisions in life: no one else gets to judge another’s chosen path. We all make the choices we believe are the best at any given point in time. Once a decision is made, only we can identify the way forward.

    Stay strong, sis.

  38. Sarah Faulkner
    Sarah Faulkner says:

    when my boys ask me hard questions I try to use it as a lesson. for Zahavi saying “what if I don’t want to live with my kids?” I would say something like, “it’s not you, they don’t want to live with. it’s me. this is why it’s important to marry someone you like.”

    I worry they will marry someone *I* hate so we talk about what you good wife looks like. :) Passive aggressive, I know.

    I seriously was so proud of you with that post. You are amazing. :)

  39. Evy MacPhee
    Evy MacPhee says:

    As someone who has had 30 years of therapy, my heart goes out to you.

    My abuse didn’t stop until my father’s death when I was 19. Those of us who were abused for a long time as children seem to have trouble with marriage/intimacy/relationships.

    I think you and the boys would benefit from continuing therapy.

    You value certain things. Your boys may or may not value the same or similar things as adults.

    Good luck to you.

  40. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    Wow. I was diagnosed with high functioning autism at the age of 34. I am now 45. But I am also an INFP with a psychology degree. I am paradoxically a person with autism who understands people. I say these things because in reading the comments here, people I think have been harsh not really seeing how autism plays a big part of how you make decisions and try to move forward in the world.

    The decision to move for cello lessons was frankly wrong. But I understand how you got to that place and why that choice was made. But from here on out, you may need to concede that autism and how it affects intimacy, is a factor that should be acknowledged. It is hard to shift your focus from self to others but is entirely possible. I believe you have both the mental acuity and courage to do it.

    I also agree that Melissa is probably not the best confidante regarding matters of the heart. If you want to learn about how to have a good marriage you need to surround yourself with people who have healthy marriages.

    You do that regarding anything you want to learn. You find those who have been successful in what you wish to accomplish, and you emulate them.

    Best wishes.

    Kelly

    • Mark
      Mark says:

      Wow. Amen, sister Kelly.

      A common theme with PT’s neurotypical readership is the lack of understanding of high-functioning autism, and a subsequent unloading on her for behaviors that they do not understand.

      She can take the “abuse” because at her core she doesn’t really care what they think. But, as Penelope’s words show; she is logical enough to recognize that many outside observers have in general, been correct with their judgments. Readers compliment P on her honesty but if you understand this variant of autism then you know that it would be more appropriate to respect a show of restraint of honesty. Lack of inhibition is at the core of this brain type and the sometimes poor decisions that stem from the way our brains naturally work.

      I received a spectrum diagnosis at nearly 48 YO, and I think your advice to emulate success is especially valuable for someone on the spectrum. Normal people instinctively know to conform and bend to socially accepted norms and they do it without effort, but for people on the spectrum who tend to be anarchistic free spirits this can be valuable advice. Penelope should get your phone number and pay you for a few hours of friendly advice.

      The farmer was never going to leave the land. She knew that.

      • Kelly N.
        Kelly N. says:

        First, thank you, Mark. Second in regard to everything you said–100% agreed. Well, perhaps I do think there is a small part of P (sorry to talk right in front of you as if you aren’t monitoring your own blog comments!) that is concerned about the opinions of others–I always was, and my feelings get easily hurt unfortunately.

        It does sadden me that some here, in attempt to mirror her honesty, do let too loose on P. They don’t get it. Her thought processes have to be expressed as they are. Which is beautiful. But that is her way, and others would do well not to imitate it.

        My first job as a teen was on a dairy farm. It’s still owned by the same family nearly 30 years later. Farmers are almost called to their land. They, as you said, never leave it. It is their lifeblood.

        Sounds like you got a good head on your shoulders, Mark. I spend very little time thinking about autism anymore but when I do it’s to encourage others. Autism is a challenge but for many it is possible to live with it and still have a complete and beautiful life!

        • Giovanni
          Giovanni says:

          Kelly I think you hit on something important that I was thinking about when she first moved off the farm; farmers are tied to their land in a way most people don’t/can’t understand; the ones I’ve known are like trees with their roots very deep in the soil. I was surprised that the Farmer was willing to try anything that involved him moving off the farm even temporarily. I took it as a sign of his deep commitment to both P and the boys. The 30k was just the sound of his heart breaking. I don’t know when or how expecting a zebra to change his stripes crept into things but it wasn’t a good thing.

          • Kelly
            Kelly says:

            Thanks. You are the one here hitting the nail on the head. Bingo for all that you said. With my father being in the minority (he was a businessman) our community consisted of almost nothing but farmers. Owned by our neighbor, the 244 acres behind our house is where I played and called my backyard. Land stays in the family for generations. In fact that field was granted to my neighbor’s ancestors by the King of Great Britain just before the Revolutionary War and is still owned by that same family.

          • Bostonian
            Bostonian says:

            You’re both right. You can’t ask a farmer to leave his land, especially not for a woman who just walked out on him. She could just leave him again, and then where would he be? Farming is a generational thing, not a temporary lifestyle choice – for him, anyway.

            Demanding a farmer leave his land is a way to abandon him, and then blame it on him. It’s just not going to happen. PT will have to decide what she does with that fact.

          • Mark
            Mark says:

            A pretty famous Wisconsin author, Ben Logan, lived about 50 crow miles from where the Farmer lives. Logan’s “The Land Remembers, the story of a farm and its people” is a must read for anyone who wants to get inside the strong emotion of a farm-tied family and maybe doing a little crying along the way.

            True on the comments that we shouldn’t talk about P as if she were not here. I also want to apologize or clear up my statement on her “lack of emotion” because I know that probably isn’t true. So many writers and actors who are on the spectrum are good at what they do because of a deep sensitivity and the same is no doubt true about Ms. Trunk.

            A couple of Hans Asperger quotes – “They are strangely impenetrable and difficult to fathom” and “Many of those who do marry show tensions and problems in their marriage.” Read – all of this is normal. It’s sad but true. For things to work we really need a much better half in the relationship, and if the Farmer is a complicated and complex figure himself then it is just too much to handle probably. I can ‘t imagine the effort she has to make to keep the kids lives mostly in order. It is at least 50X of normal parents in my opinion.

            Just some sad but common realities crashing down on a handful of lives here. I’ve settled myself to the reality that you just have to struggle until the end. The skills and strategies that we have to learn just to get by (even if above normal in intelligence) is totally unknown to most people. I’m sure Penelope deserves a gold medal for effort, but unfortunately that is not enough in the real world. In a way, she is a victim of an invisible epidemic.

            Who knows? Maybe they can salvage part of the relationship as she has done with the other X. Maybe they can find a way where they can all meet at the farm every so often. I think the farmer needs to stay where he was planted.

          • Giovanni
            Giovanni says:

            Penelope I hope you are taking some strength from all the love and support here. I love you and deeply appreciate everything you’ve shared and taught us. You have given me confidence to begin my own journey to becoming the person I truly am and thank you so much for that.

            I can offer no insight, no judgement, and no absolution either. Only my thought that asking a farmer to leave his land was a step too far and that his willingness to even try it was proof of how deeply he loved you and your boys.

            I don’t how and where you go on from here, only that I’ve been the Farmer before and the only thing I can offer is that the whole $30k thing was the sound of his heart breaking.

            Kelly, what a great place to grow up! As a kid I experienced the freedom to wander the land and feel at home in it a few times and it was almost always magical. That the history of the land you grew up on goes back so far captures a bit of why farmers are so attached to their land. Reading your story made me think of the trees in Lord of the Rings and what it took to get them to move.

            Bostonian you’ve hit the essential truth, the Farmer is tied to his land and the decision is in P’s hands.

            Mark thank you for your insights, although untested I likely am ‘on the spectrum’ and find that terrifying given the hard choices P is facing… and by extension all of us who are there with her.

            Victoria you expressed your support for Penelope in a way I was struggling to find and appreciate it very much.

          • Zellie
            Zellie says:

            I appreciate very much these expressions of the Farmer’s position. It’s important to see what it might be from his point of view. Continuing to live on the family farm does not seem like abandonment to me. It seems a hopeless situation as it is.

            Families send off their children to special schools in hopes for their futures, and I couldn’t guess how much a child would gain and how much he would be hurt. In this case it isn’t just the child but the whole family. Or rather it seems like it’s not a family after all, but a mom & her kids and their traveling ways.

        • Victoria
          Victoria says:

          Hi Kelly. I just want to say that I totally agree that others here from time to time are trying to mirror Penelope’s honesty, often with poor results. I trust she is intelligent enough to see when someone has taken the Harsh Honesty Kool-Aid and run with it in a harmful or merely ridiculous way.

  41. y
    y says:

    Wow. When I first found your blog, it felt like the writing was my own voice, in another life. Obviously it’s not, because really I don’t know you and you don’t know me, and we are different people (for one, from what I’ve read -which is only a slice of our life- you have had more challenges and are more successful by society measures than me..yet). Anyway, I can’t stop reading. Your writing is the tops. Also, you have more courage than me in sharing real parts of you in writing, and I’m still grappling with that.

    But really, I wanted to post to say I hope if you have time to read all these comments that you’re able to look past all the comments that tear down (and may also be people projecting), and draw strength from the warm and positive parts (maybe also projecting, but useful -me included).

    Formerly a cynical optimist, and rooting for you,
    y

    P.S. Screw people who feel finances must be one way or another in all relationships. Each relationship is different and people figure out whatever works for them. I had a google spreadsheet of shares cost for 6 years of a 15 year relationship and it worked fine. Financial independence is a valuable thing for some.

  42. Bostonian
    Bostonian says:

    I’ve never understood how people could destroy a family just for convenience. I hope that’s not what’s happening here.

    Life is long; kids are short. PT’s kids are almost old enough for a little separation. College for the older one is how many years away? I’m sure he’d rather have a home to come back to between terms, not just a transient apartment and a bunch of painful memories.

    Z might enjoy getting out a little earlier, to a boarding high school of the arts. There are three in the country: Idyllwild, Interlochen, and Walnut Hill, in CA, MI, and MA respectively. That would be good preparation for conservatory, and a good way to meet other kids with similar interests.

    Putting a theoretical end to the separation might make it easier to bridge and help rescue some stability for the kids.

    Best of luck.

    • jessica
      jessica says:

      ‘PT’s kids are almost old enough for a little separation. ‘

      P, are you actually having a tough time now that the kids are becoming more independent? It could be as simple of that, but a fear of abandonment is causing this whole baby/bathwater scenario.

      As for the kids, kids pick up on drama so by saying these ‘dad quotes’ they know you’ll listen. Just reassure them.

      Farmer, you may need to be more supportive/nicer to her at this time. Possibly visit more, not less. Stop being passive aggressive. Huge changes going on and the kids still need to be put first.

      Don’t wreck your family life when you don’t really need to at this time.

  43. Tim
    Tim says:

    You’ve gotten through every disaster in your life to get to this one. You’ll get through this one to get to the next.

  44. JR
    JR says:

    All we need to say is the simple truth. Your life. Your decisions.

    Thank you for sharing your intimacy on decision making with us. We learn from you. It’s like we are part of your head, heart and soul. It’s gracious that you share that with us.

    Whatever you decide, we are all still fans. Seriously. Nothing changes that. Period. I am sending love and peace your way from Springfield, Illinois.

    • Verónica
      Verónica says:

      Well said JR, the same here.
      Thank you for sharing Penelope, Thank you for being a human being like the rest of us.

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