My girlfriend's father had an affair. It devastated her and her mother. Her father moved out while he and his wife have remained "separated." I feel terrible for my girlfriend and her mom and try to help out and be supportive.
Since the affair came to light six months ago, my girlfriend hasn't spoken to her father. (She insists she'll call him, eventually.) He's repeatedly tried contacting her but she refuses to respond.
It's very difficult to stick up for this man, because I see the pain he has inflicted on this wonderful family, but I don't want her to lose her father, so occasionally I'll suggest calling him. We have a great communication policy, which allows us to speak our minds and talk out any problems we encounter. I wish she would practice this with her father.
I want to reach out to him but also feel I should step back and let the family work through this themselves.
Your intentions are good, but your instincts are better. Step back. No matter how close you are to your girlfriend, this is her family, her deep personal hurt to handle.
A "great communication policy" allows for discussing issues, but doesn't mean it's always okay to vent your feelings about the other person's problem. You can express your belief that she still needs to have her father in her life, but she's already acknowledged that, and isn't ready yet to re-connect.
Do NOT reach out to the man on your own, and do not meet with him. It's not your place and may be terribly resented. If he contacts you, say you hope he and his daughter work things out, but you cannot carry messages or stand in for her.
I've been with my boyfriend for two years and even moved to be nearer to him. We've discussed marriage extensively and he's hinted about proposing in the future.
He's building his first house and we both know we'll wait to marry until it's finished (sometime next year). Is it wrong for me to be feeling impatient about the proposal?
That grand gesture would mean so much to me. I'm longing for the formal commitment of an engagement. How long does a girl have to wait these days?
Trying to be Patient
Building a home, which you both know is for the two of you, is his grand gesture. It's also very expensive and distracting, with all the decisions and overseeing that's required. Moreover, marriage talk has already been on the table.
Your move was to please you both, not to win the prize engagement ring. And two years is NOT a long wait to build a relationship as well as such strong plans.
Your guy is committed, don't push him on this. It'll be more appreciated on both sides if it comes naturally. (Okay, if you move in, furnish the place and still hear nothing, insist that he commit to a dateline for the wedding).
I found my boyfriend's picture with another woman on Facebook. He said he didn't keep contact with her. I didn't tell him I already knew he had a child with her. The comments stated that she was his wife. I said I wouldn't tolerate secrets. The next day, he changed his Facebook picture.
I believe in allowing the person to explain. If they come clean, you have to stop snooping.
Get more explanation, and take time to feel sure of it.
My relationship with my boyfriend has become extremely rocky lately, as we argue several times a week - often ridiculous issues that we can solve.
But he tells my family everything about an argument, which results in them picking sides, usually against me. I feel it makes matters worse, and I'm left with re-establishing a relationship with them afterward. His reasoning is he needs advice, and that I'll get along with my family again eventually. Is it unreasonable to ask him to keep issues between us?
Your boyfriend's behaviour is immature and divisive. He's not just seeking advice; he's bolstering his camp using your troops. Tell him to stop it, and find his own supports.
More important, you should take a harder look at these "ridiculous" issues to see why they keep cropping up. More immaturity and an excuse for more attention getting, by him? If so, maybe he's the wrong guy.
Tip of the day:
Supporting a loved one doesn't mean taking on their personal traumas yourself.