It was my boyfriend who originally asked that we become a couple.
Yet he’s been cheating on me for seven years with a much-older woman. She tells everyone that I’m trash, and that my whole family and me should die.
When proof is shown to him and me that she lies, she says I’m causing trouble.
I told him to go be with her. There’s no hope for us with her around.
He says I can't talk to friends or family about "our business."
Yet he tells her everything about us and has lied to both of us. He’s manipulated this situation. Meanwhile, she refuses to talk to me so we can get to the bottom of this.
Over three days’ time he snuck out to see her, and they texted over 40 times.
I want out, but he won’t leave! I’m still young at 51, he’s 56, and she’s 65.
Done but Stuck
Get unstuck. Change the locks, see a lawyer (or go to legal aid or family court), and say you want him “out.”
There’ll be financial matters to settle, depending on whose place it is, who earns more money, and who needs support.
Those details can be figured out. But the stress on you from this three-way relationship is more damaging emotionally.
Stop the drama by stepping out of it. You don’t need to “prove” anything to him about what you know, and you don’t need to talk to her.
I have to decide between a huge city school, and a tiny college in rural Ohio.
I withdrew from the tiny college at the end of my freshman year for financial and personal reasons.
My family experienced a drastic drop in income. Also, I didn’t get along with my roommate, and my classes were mostly disappointing.
The social scene was all partying, as there wasn't much else to do. Since I wasn't into that, and didn't get into any clubs I wanted, I didn't make many friends.
I took a year off and applied to transfer to the huge city school. I was accepted, but the financial offer was all loans, the biggest being a “parent plus” loan.
Also, transfer students sign up late for courses. I'm not certain the ones I’d get are quality classes and worth the money.
However, the tiny college admitted me with a huge grant. I'm not sure how I'd solve the social scene there, but the courses look much more promising and desirable.
My family and friends keep telling me to discount money and go to the school I want. But I don't know how I could give my parents such a huge loan.
Confused and Concerned
It’d still be a waste of time and money if you choose the better-funded school but dislike being there enough to drop out again.
Most of your discomfort there was social, so decide what you can handle. Think through whether there are things you can do differently, now that you’re older and wiser.
Perhaps the partying was mostly a freshman scene. Maybe there are clubs for interests that you might now pursue. The roommate situation is a toss-up anywhere, but hopefully you now know better ways to deal with it, or how to get it changed.
Also, if you do well, perhaps you can attract a grant from the larger school next year.
For now, it’d have to be a lot more appealing to you in order to feel comfortable about the loans, and about lesser-quality classes.
My son, 45, takes his medication for schizophrenia but his “voices” still torment him. He believes there’s nothing more he can do.
I think he needs a change of medications but I don't know how to get him to another doctor who’s knowledgeable.
Very Worried Mother
If your son hasn’t been seeing a specialist in schizophrenia, he (and you, if he allows you to be present) need to ask a family doctor to refer you to one.
However, if he’s already seeing a specialist, go with your son to ask what other medications and treatments are available.
If you still have doubts, tell the doctor you’d like to pursue a second opinion.
Also, seek out a local support group for patients with schizophrenia and their families, where you’ll get more suggestions.
One reader’s recommended book for understanding mental illness is When Madness Comes Home by Victoria Secunda, with chapters for partners, parents, and siblings.
Tip of the day:
If a relationship becomes others’ hurtful game, refuse to play.