I'm 27 and I've been with my girlfriend for nine years, but I cheated on her once in 2002 and got someone else pregnant with twins. Now, she's finally decided to break up with me for good because she says she can't accept the kids. I take care of the kids but I still feel miserable because I miss her so much. I just made a mistake that I can't reverse or change. Do you think she'll come back eventually? I can't eat or sleep.
- Miserable in Chicago
The reality of two five-year-olds already in her life, reminding her of your "mistake," obviously got to her. That's a shame, because those innocent children could use as much loving and stability from their father's side as possible. So start eating and sleeping, because they need you, clearly more than she does. If she doesn't come back, she's a woman who can't forgive you or accept your children so you might end up luckier than you think to be able to start fresh with someone else, in time.
My sister has always been skinny, but I've noticed lately that she's put on a lot of weight. I have my suspicions that she may be pregnant, and I 'm incredibly worried as she's only 18 and doesn't have a current boyfriend. My parents and I noticed that she hasn't been getting her period lately. We've discussed this and tried to discuss it with my sister, but she denies it. But she's always kept things hidden when she's embarrassed. As her big sister, should I confront her with my suspicions in a different way, or should I just leave it alone and hope she has the brains to go to the doctor?
- Concerned in Ontario
Unless you fear your sister will harm herself or run, you need to talk to her straight: She's either pregnant or experiencing an unusual weight gain and needs to see a doctor. Assure her of your support and caring, no matter the diagnosis. But don't wait around for her to open up. Tell her that you love her and must make sure she's healthy and caring for herself. If she's pregnant, she has a moral responsibility to make a decision about her future, and that of the baby. Hopefully, your parents can address her in the same manner, without delaying this question any longer.
I'm in a serious 10-month relationship with my boyfriend; he's 22 and I'm 18. I love him and he feels the same - I gave my virginity to him. However, I keep having thoughts and urges to have sex with someone else. Before, I'd always been strict about only giving my virginity to someone I love and loves me. But now, it seems I've become lustful and have this terrible urge. I've told him these things. Shortly before he and I became extremely good friends and inevitably began dating, he lost his virginity to a female when he was drunk. He said he had no feelings for her, didn't enjoy it at all and that it was one of the biggest mistakes of his life. Yet I still bring it up to hurt him and make him regret doing it even more. I don't understand why I want to hurt someone I love so much. He wants to marry me and says he'll never leave me no matter what, and I feel the same. So why do I want to do something that would be so destructive to our relationship?
You're experiencing both first love and first passion, and this double whammy of emotions is sometimes more than you can handle. It's normal to be so overwhelmed, because you're both young and in a first serious relationship. So go slowly, and don't rush to any extremes - neither marriage plans nor testing him through sex with others. You have these urges because you've been newly aroused; yet you lash out at him through jealousy. I strongly advise you both to settle into this dating phase for many more months; and to not react or worry over every twitch of new feeling, or minor doubt. As you relax together into a calmer pattern, you'll get to know each other better and be able to make rational plans for your future. But if you follow that "urge" to sleep around or continually punish him, the relationship won't last much longer.
Tip of the day:
When a partner can't accept your responsibility to children, you're facing a deal-breaker.