I ended my three and a half year relationship with my high-school sweetheart. There was no sexual attraction on my part.
He’s lazy, has no job or car/licence. I felt like I was his mother.
But I do love him because he always listens to me, supports me, and encourages me.
I haven't dated anyone else since high school, and am terrified that I’ll be hurt or used by some bad guy. I feel like I'll regret leaving my ex.
Also, he now lives with my grandmother because he was kicked out of home, so he's always around.
I think of the possibility of meeting a nice guy to whom I’m attracted, yet I don't want to hurt my ex.
I don't want to miss out on love and passion. I normally love control in my life so this confusion’s stressing me out.
Conflicted In Australia
If you want passion in your life – it’s lovely, in a healthy relationship – you have to give up trying to control the future.
You’re scared to move on, though you have good reason to do so. You’re too young to accept a long-term relationship without feeling sexual attraction.
Of course your ex supports and encourages you, since he’s leaning on your strength and energy, while indulging his own laziness.
Tell him and your grandmother that you wish him well, but you’re long past high school now and past a relationship based on needs during those years.
There are lots of decent, caring, and hard-working guys out there. You’ll develop the skills to recognize them, through dating selectively, without rushing into a relationship till you know someone well enough.
Commentary - My husband’s siblings invite his ex-wife to all their family events. It makes my husband and I uncomfortable.
His children are torn as to whom they should be paying attention to and spending time with – us, or his ex-wife and her husband.
My husband has explained his discomfort to his four siblings (with whom he’s close). He’s been divorced for over 15 years and his ex has been remarried for almost 15 years.
She wasn't initially that close to his siblings. For some unknown reason she made an effort to get closer to them after her divorce.
Three of the siblings have said they’ll stop including the couple. However, his older brother's said “suck it up” and hasn't taken my husband’s feelings into consideration.
We won’t be attending his older brother's family events.
I'm sure this is a big issue for divorced parents. I’d never insult or hurt my own brother and sister-in-law by inviting his ex-wife to a family get-together, even though I was close to her in the past.
FEEDBACK Regarding the “Nagged Daughter,” 22, with health issues whose parents are over-protective (Jan. 16):
Reader – “My sister and I have been in the same boat as this young woman, so much so that my sister still won't tell my mom too much about her health because of all the fussing.
“I've since moved far away (for love), and my mom has gotten used to her "babies" being adults who make their own choices.
“It can take time for them to get used to the idea that she’s grown up, since she still lives with them.
“I agree that she should focus on a plan to live on her own and show that she can support herself, and they'll respect her independence more.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the uncle’s plea for ways to help his drug-addicted niece and her boyfriend (January 13):
Reader – “From my experience of having overcome addiction at 25, “bottoming out” is essential.
“It’s not consequences, or different treatment programs that’ll determine their success.
“It’s how much they want it on the inside.
“My recovery was successful because of many factors including residential treatment, aftercare, change of scenery, and support meetings.
“But none would’ve worked if I weren’t completely committed.
“There’s a critical moment in every addict’s life when they’re vulnerable, and support people should be ready. When that true “bottom” hits, introduce your hard boundaries.
“No drugs or you’re kicked out, no financial support.
“Be believable, because you only get one chance. Be loving and real about concerns for their health.
“This was a driving force behind my life change. Many in rehab didn’t have this motivation or experience, and most, if not all, failed.”
Tip of the day:
You won’t find a passionate long-term relationship by hiding in a tired one that doesn’t stir you.