When we first started talking, she had just come out of an abusive relationship. After texting for a few weeks, I asked her out.
She said she had trust issues after a bad relationship, and that before she could even consider dating someone new, she’d have to be friends with him for at least a year.
That's what we agreed to do. A year later, we're finally starting to go on dates and she's finally starting to trust me.
But last week, we got into a huge argument where I was way too aggressive with her. I said some really nasty things and really regret the whole thing. I tried apologizing, but she’s completely shut down.
I feel like one moment of stupidity has tainted everything we’ve tried so hard to build. I'm afraid she no longer sees me the same way.
How do I convince her that I adore her, would never knowingly harm her, and that the whole thing was a huge mistake?
This was the worst response, to what was apparently the first major argument. Calling it “stupidity” and a “mistake” doesn’t erase the fact that you’ve shown yourself very capable of hurting her.
The work you did was as a friend hoping for more. Now you have to prove – and it’ll take time again – that you’re willing to do the work to be a partner.
Tell her you’ll go to counselling – on your own - to learn what your own triggers are for over-reaction and aggression.
Tell her that after you’ve gained some personal insight, you’d then like to get counselling together, so you can both have some guidance learning how to fight fair, since all couples will argue from time to time.
I’m 50, married for 17 years with three children. Last year, my teenaged daughter discovered intimate text messages between my husband and a local woman.
My daughter disclosed these to me. When I confronted him, my husband denied everything. I threatened to contact the woman, and he finally admitted to it. This is not his first affair.
I’d experienced severe depression following the previous one and fear I’m slipping again.
We sought counselling and have been working on the relationship, but I feel that I do all the “work” – setting up counselling sessions, initiating conversations, and date nights, etc.
He’s usually very kind and considerate, though not very communicative. I have to ask for everything. He often says yes – but doesn't really deliver.
He’s recently returned to school and spends long days and evenings away. I do most housework, coordination and support for our children, and work full-time.
I don't like ultimatums, but I’m tired and feel insecure. I’d like to be happy. Any suggestions on next moves?
Fed Up Wife
Doing the heavy lifting both emotionally and physically is creating resentment and distance.
Instead, decide what you really want – to stay with this man because you still love him? Or to be happier, whatever that takes.
Start with getting cleaning help and get him to share the cost with you. Working full time, raising teenagers, and dealing with the aftermath of an affair are enough “chores.”
Go to counselling still, but make sure you’re both airing what was missing in the marriage that caused you to take on most of the responsibilities and him to stray.
If he stays mum, don’t do the same. Speak up. If necessary, go alone. You’ll start to have more certainty about what are your next moves.
My parents divorced when I was three, my father lived in another city since, but was always in my life.
I love him and don't want to hurt him.
I’d like my mother and my half-sister (different fathers) to walk me down the aisle at my coming wedding. They’re my family.
My parents don’t get along AT ALL, and I don't want to be focusing on their tension.
Should I have both parents walk with me to avoid hurting my dad's feelings? Or is there another important role he could play?
In such sensitive situations, the best solutions work through compromises.
Your father could walk first, then step aside, your mother next with you and your half-sister, till you join your groom.
Or, have each parent walk in turn, then your sister as Maid of Honour and you, as Bride walking independently to join your life partner.
Tip of the day:
Professional counselling boosts self-understanding, which is necessary for making crucial relationship decisions.