This year, I lost a good friend, my grandmother and my mother.
And the love of my life left me. After 10 years married (I’m 32), I want a child, she doesn’t.
I filed for the big “D” as she requested.
I’ve been in marriage counselling by myself, as she thought it was a waste of time and money.
You learn a lot about yourself and what kind of person you want to be.
I’m a new man now; yet feel like an old shoe.
- Old Shoe
The “new” you will better deal with loss and disappointment, now that you’re learning and defining your needs for the future.
But don’t devalue that “old shoe” part of you which is about memory, and familiar comforts. You and your ex reached a crossroads; counselling is helping you understand what your own direction has to be.
Remember that you’re still in a grieving period, so sadness is natural too. Taking time for reflection on what was good about the past (including your past love) will bolster your determination to find happiness anew, through clearer goals from the start.
I recently discovered that my live-in boyfriend was contacting couples via email, to meet for sexual rendezvous.
He confessed that he’s bi-sexual. He’s long wanted to “be free” sexually by exploring with other couples, including men, and including them in our lovemaking and fantasies.
I still love him.
He doesn’t want to speak to a therapist.
I don’t know how our relationship can work if he wants to have sexual encounters with other people, including men.
Love him best by breaking up and leaving him free to do his sexual exploring (and self-searching) on his own. Since he’s planned encounters to include your participation (without asking you), and since this hasn’t been an expressed desire of yours, it’s inevitable that your relationship will dissolve into fighting, hurts and bitterness. End it amicably, beforehand.
I’m in a wonderful two-year relationship with a man nine years younger than me. We get along great, have lots in common, see eye-to-eye, etc.
However, he wants to start the typical route - buy a house, have kids, etc. while I, with two kids from a previous marriage (ages 13 and 9) don’t want to tread this path again.
My kids are going to be adults not too long off and my plans are to then pick up and drive across the country and settle somewhere without constraints. The thought of starting off with new little ones and putting off this time is tearing me up.
I want to stay with him but I know he really wants these things and so the inevitable is a break-up, which will break both our hearts. It makes me so sad that I have to have this talk with him and I keep putting it off.
How should I approach this?
- Torn Up
Approach fast, and honestly. You’ve been fooling yourselves, because what you do NOT have in common is your basic hopes and values. You’d give up love for the dream of a carefree lifestyle (by the way, it’s at least 10 years away); he hasn’t really known you at all, if he couldn’t see your disinterest in having his child. You may have had a great romance, but you’re not a fit for the future unless you can both find some middle ground.
My husband of five years is unemotional when I want to discuss problems I may have outside our relationship. I need emotional support and reassurance, but he doesn’t give it. He says this is just the way he is.
I end up handling those problems on my own, and though it’s made me self-reliant, I feel lonely.
I love him but I’m not sure that I can live with this forever.
- Alone and adrift
One person can’t always provide for your every need, but having a bond of love between you is more important than some of what’s missing. So long as he’s able to discuss and care about any issues that come up affecting you two directly, he’s giving you emotional support and understanding where it counts most. Consider exploring some of your outside problems and possible solutions with a trusted friend, and, at work, seek a wise mentor.
Tip of the day:
Personal growth sometimes comes after losses; the process is tough but the end result often leads to greater self-knowledge and peace.