I hope you can give me some perspective on a very complex problem I'm facing. I was recently reunited with the only person I actually fell in love with about 20 years ago. At the time he was not ready for a committed relationship. It broke my heart. I went through a hard time trying to get over him.
Now 20 years later we found each other and it feels like we were never apart. The problem is he is now married and now that I'm a Christian it’s a violation to my faith to entertain the thought of a relationship with him. But I find myself not able to get him out of my mind and he has indicated his desire to see me and not just as friends. Upon meeting him it was instant chemistry between us and I find myself struggling with my faith and the desire to give into my feelings. Clearly I never quite got over him. He's older and much more stabilized. But unfortunately is not free. I know the logical think to do is to back off.
I myself was married and my husband a disabled vet passed away a few years ago. I single handedly raised our child who is about to go off to college. I am working in a hectic environment and have not been in a relationship for a very long time. It is no surprise to me that I came alive upon meeting up with him. It was like sunshine finally piercing the darkness of loneliness and hard work. I just can't seem to get him out of my mind.
My natural self wants to be with him as I sense he wants to be with me. We don't live in the same state but he's indicated wanting to have a relationship with me. I am very tempted. But struggle with my faith and intruding in a marriage, which according to him he's only in because of his 2 sons. Apparently he is not happy with his wife - but most men say that anyways.
My inner struggle is my faith and violating my relationship with God. But my desire to be with him seems to be stronger (which makes me feel badly). I have no one to talk this through with and hope you can help me sort this out.
Love can be overwhelming sometimes. Your feelings from 20 years ago have been revived but the situation today is much different. Twenty years ago, he wasn’t the right person because he wasn’t ready to be in a relationship. Now he’s not the right person because he’s tied to someone else. Of course, your brain can tell you all that and it might not make the slightest difference to your feelings, right?
Putting your faith aside, let’s talk about your emotional well-being. Regardless of your beliefs, the reality of this situation is that you are going to be hurt. You’ll feel conflicted and angry with yourself for going against your belief system. You’ll feel guilty and maybe ashamed because you’ll be interfering in his marriage. You may feel suspicious, jealous, abandoned and depressed. The chances that this will take a toll on your self-esteem are pretty high.
I am a romantic and I love the idea that after 20 years, you’ve reconnected with your true love. And if I let myself, I can imagine a happy ending…one where he and his wife have an amicable divorce, allowing you two to be together but also giving him a chance to be a father to his children. But human relationships are complicated and don’t fall neatly into Hollywood-style romance scripts. As much as it might hurt, resisting the desire to be with him until he is free to be with you is going to cause the least amount of pain in the long run.
I wish I had a more fairytale solution for you, but you deserve happiness, stability and love from a person who can show up for you and be 100% present in your relationship.
I am looking for impartial advice. I have been with the same woman for 17 years and love her deeply but find myself no longer trusting her. We had a 12 year old child that just passed away last year. During the course of our relationship I had to move away for work and was sending my money back home to support my family. I started to notice a change in how she was treating me and later discovered she was cheating on me. She claims she only met someone for coffee. She traveled 200 miles round trip for her coffee so I found that very hard to believe! Needless to say we got past it and got married as the relationship progressed. I forgave her and put it out of my mind. However, flash forward 8 years later and I started to see a change in her attitude again that mirrored what I experienced in the past. I had just started a job that required 100% travel and being away from home again for extended periods of time. After some searching because of the change I noticed she has two Google voice numbers and a MagicJack number with lots of activity both via voice and texting late at night when I am not home; late as in 3:30AM along with texting lingo after doing research it is lingo you would use on hookup sites. She had lots of numbers on her blocked list in her phone and claimed they were all bill collectors. After review it turned out they are not. The ones that are not bill collectors are men. A quick Google search of some of those numbers pulled up hookup sites and now I find myself very hurt moving more towards angry. I have never been one for an eye for an eye but while I have always been faithful; I am finding myself wanting to do the same to her but keep stopping myself because I do not want my life ruled by blind anger. She has denied doing anything at all. Any advice is appreciated.
I’m so sorry for the loss of your child and for the situation you find yourself in now. Long-distance relationships are hard at best and if you combine that with the trauma you and your wife have endured over the past year, I imagine things are a little bit of a mess right now. I understand your suspicion based on your previous experience, and what I generally believe is that if you go searching for something, you’re going to find it. The question is, what have you found? Is your wife lonely and seeking solace in someone else? Is she flirting with disaster because she’s having a hard time dealing with the death of your child and your long absences?
Ok, so I can tell you with 100% certainty that getting even with your wife is not going to help you feel better and it’s going to complicate an already complicated situation. I can fully understand why your trust in her is shaky, but I can also guarantee that checking out her online and phone activity is going to make it worse. Finding out that she’s calling hookup sites doesn’t help your marriage and it really doesn’t address the problem. So, I urge you to quit snooping and take a more direct approach to the problem. Have an open conversation with her and find out where’s she’s at. Ask her how she’s feeling, how she’s grieving, how she’s coping. Tell her how you’re feeling. Don’t accuse. Just talk. Try to understand how she might be feeling and how her actions might be related to that. And make sure to keep your anger in check. Yes, you have every right to be angry. But this is a woman you love deeply and my guess is that she’s struggling. Be kind and show compassion, even if it’s difficult.
Now, all that said, I would strongly suggest seeking marriage counseling. I would suggest this for either the infidelity issue or the grief issue by themselves and together, I think you guys could really use someone to help sort this out. Maybe at the end of the day, you find out that this marriage isn’t going to work. But maybe, if you work together, you’ll find some common ground and a way to rebuild the trust that you’ve lost. It’s up to you (and to her) as to how much effort you’re willing to put into this to fix it.
I really messed up with my girlfriend. I hurt her when I didn’t want to. I cheated on her and now she’s doing stuff to hurt me. Like talking to guys and stuff like that. What can I do to make her forgive me. Please I need help and I need her. I’ve been dating her for 9 months. I’m not trying to mess up. I love her too much.
You can’t make her forgive you. You can ask her to forgive you, but whether or not she can or will is really up to her. And I can tell you right now that you taking responsibility for your actions is going to be really important. In your question, you say you didn’t want to hurt her but you did cheat on her and that was a choice, your choice. It didn’t just happen to you. When you lose someone’s trust, you generally have to earn it back and part of that is taking responsibility for your behavior and understanding the impact it had on your girlfriend. Her talking to guys is a far cry from sleeping with them and while I don’t believe in “getting even,” it’s easy to understand how she might be feeling given your infidelity.
I know this sounds harsh, but I think that might be what you need, a good dose of truth. You both deserve to be in a relationship where there is trust and respect for one another. Do your best to show her that you are sorry and respect her feelings, even if right now she’s angry and hurt. Don’t tell her you didn’t mean to hurt her. Tell her you understand that you did hurt her and that you want to make it right. Then maybe she’ll be able to forgive you.
I have been with my husband for 26 years. I have never had a worry in the world of him cheating in all these years. This past year I had a neighbor and found out she gave him oral sex only once. They claim I really don't know. I forgave him. Then here we are 8 months later and I found an SD card by my couch. When I look at it I'm shocked to see that it's my friend and her husband. I confronted him, he lied and said he knew nothing but a picture of his mothers house is on the SD card as well. No one knows these people but me and him. I don't know what to do. I feel he's just going to keep doing this to me and doesn't want to talk about anything.
Here’s the thing. You’re probably not ever going to know for sure what’s been going on. I understand your frustration, though, and I think what you have to consider is what you need in order to live a happy healthy life. Obviously you want a husband who is faithful, but also one who communicates, right? And the truth is that you’re the only one who’s going to make sure you get those things. You need to set boundaries and then be willing to change your life in order to make sure those boundaries are being respected.
Talk to your husband about how his behavior is affecting you, including his unwillingness to talk about it. And then decide what you’re willing to live with. It’s really unfair and unfortunate that you’re in this situation, but you can start working on fixing it by focusing on what you need from your relationship.
I married a man 11 years younger than myself. We were friends since he was 18. I went to his wedding to his 1st wife and through his divorce 4 years/ 2 kids after. We became friends with perks after that but nothing serious. He went on to have a 3rd child with a different woman with no intention of having a life with but ended up in a battle for the baby girl. During that time the lawyer told us we needed to get married if he wanted a sure win in the custody. So not even thinking we did. Now married 6 years. Myself never been married nor could have children myself thought this at the time was a great arrangement. I figure I loved him as a friend how hard would it be to move to the next level. We did for a while too but his started his old habits and started to be unfaithful and not even lying about it rather saying well you know how I am. I have grown very attached to the 3 kids. I'm not sure to either just accept this and be happy with how things are or to cut my ties. This would be easy if my love for the kids wasn't as they were my own. We look like we're the picture perfect family to everyone and everyone is happy but I feel at a loss. With my parent passed on these last couple of years I think too much on that til death do us part. I fear once the kids are out of the house so will my husband.
I’m not entirely sure where to start. Getting married for the sake of winning a custody battle is a rocky foundation for a loving marriage. Not that you didn’t have history and a relationship, but it sounds like you weren’t in total agreement about how this marriage would work. You assumed that if he married you, that he’d be a good husband…that he’d actually try. And that’s a fair assumption. But he’s clearly not on the same page. And that’s really unfair and unfortunate, both for you and for the family you share.
Let me say, quite plainly, that no, you should not accept being treated badly. I know you love those kids, but consider what they’ll be learning over the years about relationships by seeing the way he treats you. Kids are not oblivious. They’re little sponges and they know far more about what’s going on the lives of their parents that we’d like them to.
And the fact that your husband is younger is no excuse for his disrespectful behavior. He’s lucky to have you in his life and he’s repaying your kindness to him and his children with a lack of respect and compassion. Maybe he really doesn’t know how to be faithful, but writing off your concerns because “it’s the way he is” is a weak and cowardly way of shirking his responsibilities, some of which include you. You don’t have to accept it and quite frankly, given that you’ve been a parent to his children, you might just have rights to visitation even if you leave.
I know this sounds pretty harsh, and I’m sorry for that. I really do wish you well and I hope you’ll believe me when I say that you deserve a marriage where your husband shows up and gives you 100% (just like you give him). I know that the kids make this really complicated, so you might think about consulting a lawyer to see what your options are, just in case.
It’s okay for you to expect that your husband be faithful. You don’t have to let him get away with the “way that I am” excuse. And if that means having to break up, know that his behavior is really unhealthy for your whole family and there may just be more good in being apart than in being together.
I've been with wife for 12 years 3 of which we have been married, I feel like our marriage is in jeopardy because I have lost total trust in my wife, we've separated many times throughout the years and she's slept with other men, and when things got hard for her she come crying back to me, and I would fall right back not really giving myself a chance to move on because of how easy it was not going through all the trouble meeting someone else, our children being so young and we have history together. I said to myself that I would let it go, that I wouldn't let it bother me, but as of late its haunting me, I don't want to feel like this anymore it's tormenting, I want to trust her and give our marriage the chance it deserves but that little voice in my head tells me different, the thought of her being with another man kills me inside and messes things up in bed for me. What’s wrong with me?
What you’re feeling seems pretty reasonable to me. It sounds like your wife has taken for granted that you will always be there and has treated you pretty badly. You’ve let her come back so you’re angry at her, and probably at yourself, right? But wanting to make the marriage work puts you in a tricky position. You’re trying to just push those feelings away instead of dealing with them and as a result, you’re having trouble in bed. There’s nothing “wrong” with you. Your reactions, both emotional and physical, are pretty normal for your situation.
Given your history with your wife, I would suggest finding a marriage counselor. You can’t just ignore those feelings of betrayal. As you see, they tend to take on a life of their own. Marriage counseling can be really helpful if both people are fully onboard with the process. If you find that your wife is not, I’d still look into some individual counseling so you can work on how you’re feeling. If you want your marriage to last, you’re going to have to do the work so that you can really move forward without resentment. The bottom line though is that you deserve to be in a relationship where you are treated with love and respect, so make sure that, at the end of all your work, that’s what you end up with.
I've been having an online affair with a younger married man from another state. I cannot sleep because of the guilt. I'm feeling so badly about myself. I know I must end it, but I can't seem to find the courage to do the right thing. I am also in a long-term relationship. He is very sweet & loving. It started as friendship but we had fun chats & it got hot from there. I need advice on how to do it, gently.
Dear Ending It,
The best thing I can do, I think, is to offer you some truth with a dose of perspective. The truth is that the path you’re headed down is one filled with heartache for a lot of people. You’re having an affair with a married man so both he and his family will be affected by it. You are in a long-term relationship so both you and your partner will be affected by it. That’s a lot of collateral damage. And the fact that you’re physically feeling the effects of the guilt means it’s not only emotionally unhealthy but also physically unhealthy for you to continue.
So, what is keeping you from ending it? Is it that you don’t want to hurt him? Because, in all reality he’s going to get hurt one way or another. Is it that you’re not happy with the relationship you’re in? Adding another person to the mix only makes it more complicated. I would suggest thinking carefully about the things that might have motivated you to get into this affair in the first place and address those issues. If you’re lonely or your needs aren’t being met in some way, there’s probably a more healthy way to get what you need.
I’m not sure ending it gently is possible. You might have to go cold turkey on this one. You don’t have to be cruel, but affairs have a way of dragging on and on until the world implodes for one or both people. Be brave. It will hurt but dealing with it now will be a lot less painful than the fallout that will come later.
I've been with my boyfriend 12 yrs and have 3 kids. He s cheated sooo many times in 12 yrs but last one I found out hurt worst they were 20 mins from me and my kids. He drove and drives her van and in October I found they had been living together for last two years while I begged every night and day for him to stay with us. He wants to be together with me and for me to forget the past but we don't live together nor does he want me to know where he lives. I have the kids but living with family so he isn't allowed there due to their anger for my hurt from him. Other then a little bit of support, I’ve had to provide for me and the kids with very little help. He gave me his phone code to unlock it but gets mad if I look every once in awhile. Gave me his email passwords not Facebook password. He has female friends I don't know he's known and last 1 year or so. I tried to be friends with them but she ran and tell him everything we talked about. He talks to her everyday call or text but she has a boyfriend and her and my boyfriend work out once a week or so. Hard because I've wanted so long for us to bond and workout together but after 3 years of being a personal trainer he got me 7 day pass after 3rd day he never took me back using excuses. He takes me to school and brings me home spending more time with us. Says wants to take care of us but won't get a job that pays enough to do that. Nor wants to watch kids so I can get a job to help. Pays cheaper stuff but refuses to help with car payment and insurance. Talks about loves me and wants us together. I get jealous because he can do what he wants go where he wants hang out with whoever and I have kids every night and day. I’m not free. Love my kids and he argues he's not free he's home yet I do see his text talking about going here and there he doesn't tell me. Is this worth trying or just walk away even with kids? Please help so tired.
I’m going to lay down some hard truth here. Your boyfriend doesn’t understand what being in a relationship with you and what being a father to his kids really means. And I’m afraid you’re letting him get away with some pretty bad behavior. I can understand that you love him and want him to be a part of your lives, but you have three children who need more from him (and from you). They need a father who takes responsibility for them. That means paying child support and helping with the kids. These are really not options. The minute he fathered those children he became obligated to care for them. If he can’t understand that on his own, you may need to make things more formal through the courts or through counseling at the least.
But they need more from you too. They need you to advocate for them, to make sure that they are being taken care of because as they grow up, they’re going to feel the emotional effects of having a father who isn’t there for them. When you say that you’re stuck at home but he’s free, that’s partly because you’re letting him be free by not holding his accountable. I promise you no Judge is going to accept the “when its convenient” form of fathering going on here. But it’s going to continue until you put a stop to it.
This isn’t really just a matter of walking away. Whether the two of you are romantically involved or not is really just a secondary concern. First, get the situation with the kids worked out and that’ll give you a better idea of where you and he stand. Write down your expectations. Be reasonable and do what is in the best interest of your children. Create ways to hold their father accountable for taking care of them too. You’re going to have a relationship with this man forever, regardless of what it looks like so now’s a good time to start making it more functional and healthy for everyone.
And on a personal note, there’s never a good reason to have access to your partner’s email or Facebook account. If you feel you need access, then something is very wrong. And from what you’ve described here, I’d say he’s given you more than enough reasons not to trust him so whatever you’re looking for you’re likely to find. Don’t put yourself through it.
I know this is hard and I can really understand how exhausting this must be but the truth is that you’re going to have to be strong and insist that he respect you, if not as his girlfriend, at least as the mother of his children. What he’s showing you now is not respect and it is not love. You deserve better and only you can make sure that you get better.
If a guy cheats on you and doesn’t try to fix it or call you ever, does he care about you?
He may very well care about you. But his behavior suggests that he’s more with his own comfort/feelings than with yours. And while I’m all for making sure one’s own needs are met (a little selfishness is actually a good thing), being careless with other people’s feelings is a big NO in my book. I hope you’ll take this opportunity to look out for yourself and put this guy behind you.
I have been dating a guy from Pakistan for about 4months. We are both head over heels crazy for each other. He always avoided having me around his family, though. I had asked about it before, but last night I finally confronted him and asked if he's ashamed of me or if it's a cultural thing. He admitted he is MARRIED! He says it was an arranged marriage, has only been about a year, and that he wants a divorce. The thing is, I am also married but separated and was open with him from the beginning. I'm hurt because he lied. I told him that I can't talk to him until/if he gets the divorce. He said that he really does want one, that he hates his culture, and that he will talk to me soon. He says he has never connected with anyone like he does with me and that he will never forgive himself for lying. I know I'm doing the right thing, but I was wondering if you have any advice on where to go from here? My gut says that he won't get a divorce but I'm worried that I will be waiting anyway. I didn't want to jump in to anything serious, but I think I did already and now I'm hurting.
The cultural aspects of this situation make it especially complicated. Despite his feelings about his culture, the fact that he went through with the arranged marriage tells me that it is important to him on some level, even if he disagrees. But culture isn’t the only issue here. The fact that you admitted you are separated and he didn’t tell you from the start that he was married is more an honesty issue than anything else. Whether he gets a divorce or not, I think you’ve done the right thing for yourself by drawing a line in the sand.
But that doesn’t make it hurt any less, I know. As good as our intentions may be to keep things casual, hearts don’t always play the game by the rules. You’re falling in love or you’ve fallen in love and that complicates the situation. So, without knowing anything about him or his background other than what you’ve shared, I would suggest giving yourself (and him) a little time before moving on or moving away. Maybe this is just another typical case of infidelity and he’s not going to divorce his wife. Of maybe, its possible that what he’s told you is true…he married her, going along with things that were arranged by others, but after meeting you realized that things could be different. He could choose love.
I’m a romantic and I believe in personal freedom so I hope, for his sake, that he chooses what will make him feel happy and content in his life. But I’ll try to ground this with a little realism. Don’t wait forever. It’s ok to feel hurt by his lying to you because that was not acceptable. And you’ve had to do something very hard by breaking things off until he makes a decision, so let yourself hurt so you can heal. But maybe wait a bit and see what happens. Culture is a very strong influencing factor and it may be that he sticks with his marriage because he isn’t really prepared to turn away from tradition. But he may also choose a different path.
In the meantime, it sounds like you’ve got your own relationship to make decisions about so I suggest using this time to think about what you really want to do…how you want to move forward. If you give yourself the time and space to think honestly about your own life and how you want it to play out, you’ll be able to make decisions about what comes next with more information and with more confidence.
Spend some time on doing things that make you feel good and healthy.
Don't be shy! Say what's on your mind and get a good dose of perspective in return.