I’m a man, age 40, recently divorced and living with my girlfriend, who’s 30, in school with limited income.
I’ve been covering expenses for several months but recently discovered she’s not been forthcoming and has more income than she’s indicated.
She’s also stayed in touch with previous lovers but lies about it because she knows I dislike it.
How do I get her to come clean without her thinking I’m snooping?
I’m on the verge of bailing before going bankrupt but I think this could destroy her career plans.
I hope I can say no to paying for everything but I find it hard to say no.
- Financial Confused
Straighten your spine, and “come clean” yourself.
You discovered she can afford to pay something, and feel used. But perhaps your moving together involved too little financial discussion on your part, leaving her with assumptions that you could cover her expenses.
It’s time to discuss finances openly, and insist she does the same. If she continues to hide facts you discovered through snooping, say so.
Be prepared for her to VERY angry, so you might as well raise her lies about ex-lovers too. Fear of saying no to what really bothers you is a set-up for huge frustration and a major blow-up later.
Clear the air now and accept the consequences.
During the eight years I was with my boyfriend, we’ve separated and got back together.
Two months ago I broke up with him. He’s in a new relationship and planning to marry this new girl. But I still love him.
- Advice Needed
Either you played with fire or he was too hot to handle.
It seems that you called things off as a threat, but it turned out to be what you both needed.
His moving ahead with this new girl so quickly shows that your relationship was long on shaky ground.
I’m betting that he kept you feeling insecure about him much of the time you were together.
Start valuing yourself more, and do NOT accept another relationship that keeps you just hanging on, for years.
My husband has been caught cheating twice. Once he confessed (I forgave him) and once was found out by accident. He swears that I’m the woman he wants.
My heart says to trust that it won’t happen again, but my head says otherwise.
I’m educated, have a good job and can support myself and my children.
He’s made many promises of a better life for us; it has yet to happen.
This last time he cheated I gave him two options. 1) Leave outright 2) Stay only long enough for us to pay down our debts. He chose the latter option. But I’m finding it hard not to forgive and forget and he’s acting like nothing happened.
Should I cut ties right away even though it will put me and my children (from a previous marriage) in financial hardship?
You sent a message that your peace of mind can be bought. If you also feel truly capable of forgiving and forgetting, it’d be fine – but you can’t fake real trust.
He needs to do more than pay up. If he’s willing to tell you why he had affairs, and what he was really seeking (which may be missing in your relationship), then give him this third and last chance.
You may need to go through a process of couples’ therapy to handle these emotional conversations.
I’m 57 and my life’s a mess.
My 21-year common-law relationship went sour years ago. I’ve contemplated leaving, but fear being on my own.
For a year, a married gentleman who’s 67, and a neighbour, has flirted with me. We shared two lunches and some hot kisses. He calls me regularly.
I care too much for him - he’d never leave his wife. I should tell him to stop calling, but I haven’t had the courage as I enjoy the attention.
- A Mess
Recognizing a mess is a step toward cleaning it up. There’s more loneliness in sticking with the wrong person than in being independent, free to make new friendships with available people, and get a boost of new energy for the rest of your life.
Building fantasies about a married guy’s limited attention is no answer. Start expanding your interests, get out more, find your confidence. Change is uplifting.
Tip of the day:
The unpleasant realities you discover through snooping need to be aired, along with your own questionable behaviour.