I’ve been living with a man for six years. I’ve supported him with his endeavours - though some were not to my liking. But I encouraged him to do what he saw was best.
We’ve had occasional but positive discussions about marriage.
But recently, he stated that he doubts that he’ll ever get married again.
I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s fallen victim of social convictions – i.e. that society has deemed it acceptable for people to cheat.
Or, they believe the old cliché, "its not cheating if you aren't married."
Whatever happened to monogamy? What happened to people respecting the relationship of others?
You’re trying to intellectualize an emotion-based question that’s now relevant to your life:
Why do people cheat?
One common but cynical answer may apply here: “Because they can.”
It seems you did a lot more of the “supporting” in this relationship. You say nothing of how he treated you, or of a great and enduring love between you two.
His part in your discussions of marriage sounds like he nodded his response occasionally so you’d carry on the relationship with hope, and continue helping him.
There was clearly no timeline considered for marriage, no concrete plans made.
Bring your feelings home. This isn’t about “society.” It’s about you finding out or suspecting that he’s been with someone else (or several others).
Let him know what you think of him now.
Monogamy still exists between people who are committed to making a relationship work.
Those who aren’t, delay commitment with excuses and distractions.
Get legal advice about any financial obligations between you, if you’re legally considered a “common-law” couple.
Then, move on.
I’m a high-school senior who, a few months ago, got out of a yearlong relationship. The break-up was horrible.
Shortly after, I became good friends with a boy without any intentions other than friendship. I let him know this.
Six months later we’re still talking and spending time together.
I still don't feel ready for another relationship and don't have time for it.
But he’s been treating us as a relationship and everyone sees us as that.
Anytime we discuss our not dating, he says he’ll have to leave instead of waiting around.
I don't want him to waste his time waiting for me but I don't want to never talk or see him again either.
I don’t know how this will affect both of us. He's very interested in me and because of it I've gotten close to his friends and he to mine.
You are sure, and for good reasons.
You know from experience the emotional pain/drama of breaking up, and you’re not an insecure person who fears being on your own.
Most important, you know this year is time-demanding regarding school and your future choices.
Tell him all this. If he’s a true friend, he should understand even if it’s not what he’d prefer.
If he stops talking to you or seeing you at all, then he’s too hurt or disappointed, which you have to accept.
You’re too smart to give in to a dating relationship which you don’t want, to please someone else or stay in a particular crowd.
Be kind but firm when you state your position. Say that if he ends up dating someone else, you’ll understand, but you still hope you’ll stay in contact and get together sometimes.
His pals may close ranks initially but that’s natural and some friendships may later be renewed.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose “boyfriend” makes her leave when his parents come over, to keep their relationship secret (December 1).
Reader – “Sorry, but he’ll never marry you, never stand up for you, and you’ll never be important enough in his life to warrant a real relationship.
“Why would you allow someone to kick you out of your own home?
“If your name is on that lease, he has no legal right to kick you out of that apartment.
“I'd suggest that you see a therapist. You obviously don’t value yourself enough to insist that you’re in a real relationship.
“Also, he's already lying ABOUT you, so what's stopping him from lying TO you?
“He may have another girlfriend on the side who is his "show" partner. That may be another reason why you're kicked out of your own home!
“Please, find your self-esteem or find a therapist who will help you get it back!”
Tip of the day:
People who cheat, choose to do so. They’re rarely “victims of society convictions” that it’s okay.