I’ve been in a four-year relationship. I’m 37, she’s 30, both never married and no kids.
Two years ago, I ended it for two-and-a half months because I didn’t like how the relationship was going.
My girlfriend was incredibly saddened. She sent me numerous messages, cards, gifts, expressing how she wanted me back and I was the only one for her.
Unbeknownst to me, she was on an online dating site seeking other men during the entire break up.
Despite my anger, we did reconcile and I told her I’d found out what she was doing.
She apologized, saying she really wanted me; she was on the sites in case we didn’t get back together.
Our relationship has since progressed well. We’ve been making plans to move in together in September and start to plan a family.
During the last couple of months, she’s been acting somewhat unusual; when I mentioned this, she’d reassure me that she loves me, wants to get married, and start a family.
Recently, I discovered she’s on three different dating sites. She denied it, and then admitted to it, saying she was bored and it didn’t mean anything.
She also said she was worried if it didn’t work out with us she could have another option.
She said she never cheated or went on any dates, and doesn’t want this relationship to end.
I’ve always had a trust issue in my gut about her. Should I move on?
She likes to have a backup plan. The first time, it was understandable since you were apart.
This second time, it’s as if she has her purse ready at the door to leave.
She’s either very insecure about a full commitment to a future together, or not really ready for moving together and starting a family.
Your gut instinct is fairly accurate.
Delay the move. If you still feel love for her, get counselling together.
In front of the professional, ask her why she’d be “bored” and looking for other choices just weeks before moving together.
Trust is essential at this point. If the counselling experience doesn’t help you feel it, move on.
FEEDBACK Regarding "Lost," the spouse of a controlling, abusive husband (July 27):
Reader – “After having once successfully escaped him through a drastic life change, she got emotionally manipulated to return to him within 18 months.
“This is part of the ongoing cycle of violence which can be reactivated at any time of an abuser's choosing.
“She’s still vulnerable and dependent on him again for social interaction and validation.
“The typical abuser tricks of using threats of isolation and cutting off the victim's support network are transparent here.
“The outcomes in these cases are predictable.
“Studies show that it takes several tries for a victim to leave their abuser for good, and that the most dangerous time is when the victim has left.
“Some domestic violence occurs months or years later, because controlling abusers see their victims as belonging to them.
“Can "Lost" see the danger she’s in by showing her abuser it's okay to control and hurt her?
“Loneliness is nothing compared to having one's life at risk, one's autonomy stolen, one's value as a person demeaned, and self-esteem in tatters.
“Also, showing lack of self-respect by taking a scam-artist back, is often used to show added contempt to a victim by justifying other partners.
"Lost" needs to file for divorce, and stop all contact (if the child isn't his).”
My father passed away four months ago. I was devastated. My mother died three years ago. I feel so lonely without my parents.
My spouse hasn’t been supportive of me. He doesn’t understand, as both his parents are alive and healthy.
He’s now pressuring me to sell our house and move, but I’m feeling too stressed to handle a move now.
He doesn't want to discuss how I feel.
If some inheritance resulted from your father’s will, your spouse may feel that it’s a good time financially and/or real-estate-wise for you to move.
But it’s well documented that making major changes too soon after a personal loss is very difficult emotionally.
It could result in a major divide between you two.
Tell him so. Say that you must take time to grieve, and then you can consider a move with equal commitment to it.
Money can wait, and so can he. Otherwise, he’s risking your relationship.
Tip of the day:
With repeated trust issues, if counselling doesn’t end the uncertainty, it’s time to move on.