Dear Barb – Thanks for…

Dear Barb:

I was involved in a relationship for five years. We had plans to marry but things didn’t work out. We have a three-year-old daughter, who is the love of my life. My ex and I share custody, but we don’t have a legal custody agreement. I thought everything was working out great until I became involved in a new relationship. My ex began making excuses as to why I could not see my daughter. At first I thought they were valid excuses, but now I know she is trying to keep my daughter away from me. I think she is jealous because I am involved in another relationship while she is still single. I miss my daughter so much and I know she misses me. I have tried talking to my ex but she gets her back up and either hangs up the phone or won’t answer the door. I am seriously considering taking legal action, but I don’t have a lot of money. I do not feel I have any other options, what do you think? Thanks, Dave.

Hey Dave:

This is such an unfortunate situation for you and your daughter. You and your ex need to put the well-being of your daughter first and do what is best. Quite often parents become so caught up in their own pain and anger that they are blind to their children’s suffering. If you feel you have exhausted every possible avenue to see your daughter, then you have no choice but to seek legal advice. Contact the Lawyer Referral Service in your area to locate a lawyer who deals in child custody and access. Don’t allow this to go on too long, as there is a possibility that you and your daughter may lose your bond. Regrettably, since she is with her mother and has no input from you, she may adopt her mother’s view of the situation. You indicate finances may be a problem, perhaps you will qualify for Legal Aid. Legal Aid is available throughout Canada; however the requirements to qualify vary from province to province. Check it out and best of luck Dave.

Dear Barb:

A few months ago I attended my daughter’s best friend’s wedding. My husband and I have known Tina for several years and are quite close to her. We were very meticulous in choosing the perfect wedding gift. Sadly I have not received a thank you note for the gift, although Tina did thank me in person. When I asked my daughter about it, she said no one sends thank you notes anymore. In our day we spent a lot of time writing personalized thank you notes for gifts. Is my daughter right, are thank you notes becoming a lost art? Thanks Ruth.

Hi Ruth:

I have received similar comments from other readers in regards to not receiving thank you notes. Perhaps it is parents who are being remiss in not passing on this tradition. I agree a quick email or a thank you in person does not take the place of a handwritten note. Thank you notes are an important protocol to show a person that you appreciate the money and time invested in choosing a gift. Ultimately, parents must take the initiative to keep this important tradition alive! Thanks Ruth.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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