I was married for over 20 years before my husband left me for another woman (younger of course). It was never a good marriage and I stayed for all the wrong reasons. The past 10 years on my own are the happiest I’ve ever been. I have a great job, a great home, and do what I want, when I want. I am not in the least bit interested in another marriage. My contact with my ex-husband is minimal. We meet rarely at family functions. We are cordial, but no more than that. The last time we saw each other was at our younger daughter’s wedding two years ago.
Last night my younger daughter called me in tears. Her father is dying—he has cancer and is not expected to live more than six months. His wife left him once they got the diagnosis and is divorcing him. He has nobody to care for him and no money to pay for help. My daughters want me to move in with him and take care of him during his last months. I do not want to. Our marriage was not good. He cheated on me continually, treated me badly, and did all he could to smear my reputation during our divorce. I have no intention of taking care of him. This may make me a terrible human being but I don’t care. My daughters of course both adore him and never saw him as flawed in any way, so they will not take this decision well. Can you see a way I can tell them without trashing their father?
—What Do I Owe My Ex