I’m 29, well educated, much travelled, and considered very attractive. My boyfriend of 18 months asked me to move with him to his California home for part of the winter. I was thrilled. He’s 41, good-looking, and successfully heads his own company, which he runs from both his homes.
I thought he’d propose here, but so far nothing other than a gift (new designer watch).
Recently, he’s had late “dinner meetings” and acted a bit distant, saying he’s distracted by an impending deal. I snooped, and he’s been seeing another woman he met online while here! She’s 25, not university-educated, and comes across as ordinary but sexy.
I’ve said nothing. I figure that it’ll pass as she’s not his type, and with his business pressures, she’s an easy distraction. I’m disappointed, but we’ve had a wonderful whirlwind romance and I’m not giving it up easily. What do you think?
Stronger and Smarter
It’s not a competition; it’s a separate category. You’re his social companion; she’s his current playmate. There’ll be others.
If you accept this one, you’re setting yourself up for years of snooping, and worrying if his affair partners appear sexier, smarter, and/or younger.
Confront him. He’s a player. If he denies it, makes no move to change (other than rote apologies), resists counselling, then run. His gifts aren’t worth it.
I admire and love my sister, however, she can be hurtful and difficult.
She admits she’s had issues with depression/anxiety. I’ve tried to be supportive through her unhappiness in her marriage.
But she lashes out at wrong moments, creating “big deals,” for me, e.g. the night before my wedding.
She asked why I was so happy and she was not.
On my wedding day morning, she and her husband had an ugly argument which left us all in tears, including my parents.
Recently, I was excited that my husband was joining our children and me after working abroad. But she chose the night before to upset me about petty things from 20 years ago.
I've suggested we take a step back in our relationship. Also, that we spend time 1:1 rather than with mutual friends, as she later complains that people weren’t as interested in her as in me.
She’s also said that she wishes she were happier and more relaxed like I am.
I feel that the root of her issues is jealousy. She’s also manipulative, and creates rifts in the family with her husband.
I want to forgive and forget, but her behaviour can really affect/hurt me.
How can I move forward at 40? After my living away, I felt she and I had become close but I now feel like being distant again.
Perhaps I should just respect that she’s a family member and try to keep things pleasant.
She’s troubled, unhappy, anxious, depressed, jealous, and manipulative. You can’t change any of that; you can only be supportive when possible, distant when you need to protect yourself.
She creates family rifts because it draws her and her husband closer. Her putdowns of you (or friends) make her feel momentarily better about herself.
Yes, she’s a sister, and you can do your best to be respectful, pleasant when possible. But withdraw when not, and make it clear you won’t tolerate verbal or emotional abuse.
She could possibly improve her outlook with counselling. But your suggesting it would likely create hostility. Hopefully, she may come to it on her own.
My husband of 20 years is a really good guy. But his mother, 80, healthy, with plenty of money, looks like a bag lady!
Her hair’s constantly messy and she wears old, patched-up hoodies with matching bottoms, and wrong bras.
Yet she brags about having nice outfits in her closet.
She always has visible dandruff and talks with her mouth full. Everyone else around her dresses nicely.
Her immediate family ignores the issue, saying, "She's always been that way."
I’m embarrassed about her.
She has the right to dress as she pleases. But clearly something’s changed, since she once owned nicer clothes and acknowledges this.
Perhaps being on her own (widowed? divorced?) caused a depression, which the family’s long ignored.
Perhaps she needs comfort, caring, someone to shop with her, compliment her, accompany her to the hairdresser. And to the doctor to check for physical or mental health issues.
Being “embarrassed” does nothing for you or her.
Tip of the day:
A serial player is easy to spot, hard to change, and harder to endure with self-respect.