I’ve been in a one-year relationship with a man who’s in the process of separating; but it’s taking a long time due to finances, his wife's serious illnesses and his guilt over leaving her.
His adult children, his wife and in-laws all know they’re separating, it just hasn't happened yet. He acknowledges his procrastination is unfair to me, but insists the separation will happen.
I’ve tried breaking up with him, but I really love him and feel lonely and unhappy without him. We talk every day and see each other several times a week.
Do you see any hope, and if not how can I get over him? We belong to the same social circle so will continue to see each other.
It’s an affair you’re in, not the “relationship” you wish. He’s married, and going to be for some time longer. Moreover, he’s going to be carrying guilt and financial problems, even if and when he eventually leaves.
That’s the reality you’ll have to live with, not just the imagined freedom of being together in love with no worries.
If you can’t handle more months, even years, of him still being unavailable, leave him to work out his burdens on his own. Then, if he finally gets a divorce you’ll either both be free for a real relationship, or you’ll have ended your frustration and moved on.
I’m a teenager with a year-long boyfriend and a father who doesn’t support my decisions. I do very well in school and at my part-time job; I don’t drink, smoke, party, or do drugs.
However, my father’s extremely controlling. He doesn’t approve of doing anything before marriage. Even though I’ve repeatedly said I’ve chosen to remain a virgin, he doesn’t trust me.
I understand he’s trying to protect me, but I have strong moral values and my boyfriend and I agree on anything before we do it. My mother trusts and supports my values. My father won’t listen to what I’m willing to do with my boyfriend.
He limits our time together and makes me feel guilty. Should I live by his morals until I’ve moved out of his house, where he’s in control of my life, even though it makes me unhappy? Any other option forces me to lie to him.
He won't allow me to see my boyfriend if I tell him the truth. It's hard for me to justify to my boyfriend and to myself to follow someone’s morals that I don't even believe in, but the stress is unbelievable. My boyfriend supports me either way.
Stop negotiating your sex life with your father and use your intelligence to make your life easier instead of more stressful. You’ve got a good boyfriend, but you’ve also got a caring father.
He knows how thin the line is between “what we agree we can do” and getting carried away with passion, especially since losing your virginity, for you, means losing your strong wish to uphold your original values.
Yes, your father’s controlling and has a right to be, so long as he’s not abusive, and you are living under his roof, and relying on his financial support.
Meanwhile, you have a full life with school and work, which are leading to your future opportunities and independence.
Tell dad you accept his values in his household, and show it. Then lighten up. There’s some “control” in you, too, in trying to make him see everything from your view.
FEEDBACK Here’s an encouraging response to the woman whose two sisters rejected her, after she divorced her abusive husband (February 17 column):
Reader – “I had one blood sister and we fought like cats and dogs. We could never connect. I was the only one who stood up to her, my parents and brothers are scared of her.
“I decided to cut all ties. In the meantime, I became friends with two ladies who I consider my sisters. They’re both wonderful, respect me as I am and are always there to support me in whatever I do.
“Unfortunately my sister died without our being able to reconcile. Her children ignore my family and me. I don't care and all I can say is that I have these two female friends whom I consider my real siblings.
“You have that friend who’s there for you. Value her friendship, don't worry about the rest.”
Tip of the day:
Someone “in the process” of separating is still married and pre-occupied for an indefinite time.