I’ve been with my boyfriend for three years. Throughout, I’ve cheated on him.
I told him about one of the instances recently, but I’ve hidden the others. Since my confession, we’ve decided to stay together.
He makes me happy when we’re together. He constantly tells me he loves me.
When we aren’t together, I find myself talking to other guys and getting attention elsewhere.
My boyfriend sits around at home instead of finding a better job. I think he may be depressed or unmotivated.
I've tried to end the relationship several times, but we always end up back together. We don't ever talk about it.
Do you think I like the idea of being with him more than I like him?
If he had been the one who confessed that he’d cheated, would you accept an explanation stating, “I find myself getting attention elsewhere?” Not likely.
And if you knew that he’d cheated throughout your time together, would you think you should stay together? Of course not.
This relationship isn’t working for either of you.
You crave attention, seek it sneakily. Eventually, you’ll probably get caught.
He’s depressed and hiding at home.
You don’t love him, you drift back mostly for the (false) security of having a boyfriend.
Meanwhile, he’s stuck there. Neither of you are even trying to move forward with your lives.
Do you know if he’s self-medicating his depressed state with excess drinking or drug use while alone?
If you have any real feelings for him, become his friend, not his girlfriend. Insist that he see his doctor about his depression and also get counselling for any other anxieties or addictions contributing to it.
Urge him to get pro-active about finding another job, and addressing his state of mental health and fitness.
Then, stop holding onto him as your “fall-back boyfriend.”
Last Christmas, my younger son decided to get his three siblings to chip in to replace my old, broken favourite chair.
He chose one I didn’t like and an inconvenient delivery date, so I upgraded the chair (by $400) and set a new delivery date. He was annoyed by this and hasn’t spoken to me since.
His wife graciously tried to keep me connected with their young children. We were close, and I babysat often.
Recently, there was a religious ceremony to which she invited me, but no word about an after-party.
It was an awkward time for me at the Church, so I went home after slipping her a card and cash for my grandson.
Now everyone’s angry that I didn’t go to the house. (Due to the strained situation, I didn’t assume a reception invitation.)
I’ve reached out to both and apologized. Neither has replied. Everyone is very hurt.
What can I do to make this right if they won’t reply?
You’ve made the first good move by apologizing and explaining, presumably by email or phone.
They must’ve been embarrassed by your visible absence at the house party, likely attended by friends as well as many relatives.
Send a handwritten note along with flowers.
Say that you now realize that by not showing up, which you acknowledge was a mistake, it must’ve caused gossip and speculation that shouldn’t have happened at all, especially not on that religious occasion.
Suggest that you’ll host a gathering of family to acknowledge that celebration, hoping to clear the air so you can re-connect as the loving grandmother they know you to be.
FEEDBACK Regarding the husband who’d been a heavy smoker and drinker and now has heartburn issues (May 4):
Reader - “My fiancé is also a heavy smoker and drinker who then developed a heartburn issue.
“It turned out to be esophageal cancer. Maybe he should be checked for that?”
Ellie – The husband has already been diagnosed with scleroderma, which can range from mild to life-threatening.
He’s under a physician’s care so has likely been checked for other heartburn causes. Still, yours is a thoughtful suggestion. Thanks.
Reader #2 – “I can relate to the stigma around the husband’s illness, including depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.
“I found that the partners I’ve had (and family) all thought I could help what I was going through.
“They’d make me feel bad and shameful that I wasn’t like the average person. They also thought anything I tried to improve my situation wasn’t good enough and anything they suggested should’ve cured me.”
Tip of the day:
Persistent cheating in a relationship can’t be excused as attention-seeking only. It’s also selfish betrayal of your partner.