June 19, 2018
Living Latest News | Poll Questions | Fuddruckers | Opioid Sales | RCV Ballots

My daughter is a homewrecker. Cut her from the will?

Emily Yoffe
By Emily Yoffe, Slate

Dear Prudence,

I was married for over three decades, and my husband was never faithful to me. I chose to stay with him for personal reasons, but I still think poorly of those who date and pursue married people. Since his death, I have invested the money my husband left me, and I’ve nurtured it into a small fortune. I planned to leave my three children a portion of my estate, donating the rest to various charities.

But now my youngest daughter has moved in with a married man; he left his wife and his young children to be with her. I know from speaking with her that she feels no responsibility toward the destruction of his marriage; according to her, happy husbands don’t stray.

I love my youngest daughter very much, but her actions anger and disappoint me. I no longer want to leave her anything when I die. I’ve told myself that children shouldn’t live in expectation that their parents will leave them money when they die. But I recognize that I might be blinded by bitterness towards my husband. What is the right thing to do?

— Leave Mistress Daughter Out of My Will?

Dear Leave,

Like father, like daughter. I wonder if she absorbed the lesson from her father that fidelity is for chumps. Since I think personalities are born and made, she and your husband may share the trait of not taking responsibility for their actions. I can understand your dislike for people who get involved with married people, but the transgressor in your marriage was your late husband. And whatever your reasons, you decided to put up with him, instead of end it, for 30 years.

People have affairs and marriages do break up, but your daughter’s attitude is rather chilling. She is an adult, and you don’t want to and can’t dictate how she lives her life. But you can have a blunt conversation with her about how your father’s infidelity darkened yours and say to her it pains you to see her be a party to the end of a marriage. At the least, say that she must extend her sympathy to the children who are in terrible pain and who are going to be spending a lot of time in her home.

Your money is just that — yours. You don’t say you expect to depart any time soon, so you don’t have to make a decision now about how to spread your wealth. Since you have enough for lawyer’s fees, you can also alter your will as often as you see fit. Your daughter’s new relationship might not last and she might reform. It might last and she might be a loving stepmother. Let this play out before you make your last will and testament.

— Prudie

Dear Prudence,

I just finished my first year of law school and have my first legal job. So far everything is difficult — but it should be, it is part of the learning curve. The other day I was doing some filing and I found a handgun in a drawer. I’ve never been exposed to guns before, and I don’t know if it was loaded or not. I am scared of this gun because I use the filing cabinets all the time and I do not want to set it off unintentionally.

Also, tempers run very high in this office and I am afraid that somebody who knows it is there might use it for dangerous purposes. I am lucky to have this job and I need it for the pay and experience. I am hesitant to bring this up to my job-placement office because my boss will absolutely know it was me who brought this up. I am hesitant to ask my boss directly because I do not want to appear weak or difficult. What is your advice?

— Gun at Job

Dear Gun,

You may have discovered that your boss has his own plans for reducing the glut of lawyers. I wonder what kind of law your firm handles — if it’s matrimonial or bankruptcy, let’s hope some sharpshooter at the firm doesn’t have to lunge for the drawer in order to subdue a dispute.

Depending on where your firm is located, there may be laws regarding unsecured weapons. No matter where you are, a loose loaded one in a worksplace is alarming.

I think you should take this to your school administrators. Explain this disturbing discovery, say you don’t know whether the weapon is loaded or not, and frankly given the volatility of the office, you are too uncomfortable to ask your boss about it. As hard hit as the legal profession is, your law school should be concerned that a student could be hit by a flying bullet. Let’s hope they find you another placement.

— Prudie

Dear Prudence,

I’m part of a two-person department at work, and the other woman in this department is very difficult to work with. I’ve already spoken to HR about the main issue, which was how we divide up our work, and they have been supportive and pro-active in helping address this. I’d like your advice on how to handle a part of the problem that I’m not sure HR can help with.

My co-worker is emotionally needy and sometimes makes me really uncomfortable. I think she would like us to be closer than we are. One time, out of nowhere, she told me she loved me. Sometimes she’ll talk in a babyish voice and say how pretty she thinks I am, or how “lovely” I am to work with, or how I have this quality that makes people feel good. She’s straight and married, so I don’t think she’s harboring some kind of secret crush, but I still don’t like this. She is also a nonstop talker, and I’ve gotten good at excusing myself from conversations, but there are still times she talks to me this way and I want to run for the door. Do you have any advice?

— Uncomfortable in the Office

Dear Uncomfortable,

Yes, human resources is supposed to help you when your disturbed co-worker declares her love and starts telling you look “so pwetty, just wike a widdle doll.” Go back and explain the problem has escalated beyond simply work division. Say your co-worker is making you deeply uncomfortable with her inappropriate behavior and personal declarations.

If they don’t do anything but tell her to stop announcing her love, you may need to take this higher up in the company. Also start documenting her behavior. What you describe is intolerable. Given the unemployment rate, how is it that so many nuts retain their jobs?

Please send your questions for publication to prudence@slate.com. Questions may be edited.

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like