Home Health My husband kicked me out of the house to tend to his...

My husband kicked me out of the house to tend to his ill father, and now he wants a divorce: Ask Ellie

Q: During the pandemic, I’ve been careful to avoid people outside the household. But I’ve experienced terrible consequences.

My father-in-law, late 80s, has been sick and weak but refused to see a doctor or go to hospital.

He prefers to stay home with my husband, who has been his 24-hour caregiver.

He also invited a lady from church to cook and do house chores here daily around dinner time.

I love my husband and his dad. But I expressed concern about dining with this lady because I don’t know where she goes and what she does when she’s not with us.

My father-in-law was furious and ordered my husband to kick me out of the house (the third-floor suite is our living quarters).

I have a summer cottage up north. During the pandemic, I stayed there most of the time and my husband came to visit.

He’s now brought me all my belongings, said “you can stay there” and that he wants a divorce.

Am I wrong to have been cautious about the virus? Do I deserve an ultimatum like this?

I can no longer see or talk to my husband without a valid reason. He hasn’t initiated any communications. He told me not to text unless there’s an emergency.

I’d written a nice letter to my father-in-law and sent an expensive gift basket. The response was negative and cold.

What should I do? Do I accept that my marriage ends because my husband loves his family more than anything else … no matter what it means to his wife or his legal obligations and commitment?

Forced to Leave and Divorce

A: You were not wrong to wonder whether the woman eating daily with you and your immediate family was taking COVID precautions.

However, you could have asked her.

Meanwhile, your father-in-law and husband both chose her presence over yours.

Talk to an experienced divorce lawyer or do the research online.

Normally, I’d recommend you talk first to your husband, but his harsh response to concerns for his father’s well-being is too irrational for gentle discussion at this time.

Learn what both of you need to know about a marital split — i.e. a fair division of assets (e.g. if you have no stake in the father’s house, does he have a stake in your cottage?).



Also, whether divorce will leave one of you without resources and who’s responsible.

Once informed, ask your husband to meet in a safe location (not at your cottage where you’re alone nor at your father-in-law’s house) to discuss options regarding your marriage.

If he responds in that same extreme manner, consider safety precautions wherever you are.

Feedback Regarding the woman branded as loud and has difficulty making female friends (Oct. 29):

Reader: I’m also a loud, happy, gregarious female with few female friends, but I no longer care what others think about me.

I’ve been told by acquaintances that their other friends prefer I not attend events. It used to hurt until I realized that I’m not the problem.

Some of these “lovely” people have done terribly mean things. I prefer to not associate with them.

I, too, get along better with men. They keep their claws sheathed but are still honest. I’m also in a long-term relationship.

I talk to people in stores, on my walks and am so OK with having only one truly close friend. We met when I was pushing 40.

So, don’t despair, your friend is still waiting in the wings.

Love your uniqueness, be yourself, always say hello.

Ellie’s tip of the day

Despite tense times, marital ultimatums aren’t solutions. Get informed about divorce laws.

Ellie Tesher is an advice columnist for the Star and based in Toronto. Send your relationship questions via email: [email protected].

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