This is my first relationship - three years with my boyfriend who’s kind, funny, and smart.
Over a year ago, I’d asked him to delete some private photos of me from his computer.
Months later, he hadn’t. I then asked that they be deleted in front of me. But he didn't want to open his folder while I watched. (He once denied having a folder with nudes. Lie #1).
I felt this meant there must be nudes from his ex-girlfriends. He denied it.
Recently, I snooped his retired laptop and found old sex tapes and photos of his exes (Lie #2).
And, that during our relationship, he’d watched the videos and taken screenshots of some parts.
His excuse? For the thrill of getting off with nude visuals of someone he used to know, when there are no emotions left.
I'm disappointed with the lies, also disappointed with the amount of sex we’re having. That hasn't changed since I raised it.
Do I stay with someone I know will be a good father and who’s a reasonably good guy?
Or, do I settle for a mediocre relationship where I've been disappointed?
I don't want to end something that could work because I might not find something better.
NEVER assess a relationship based on self-doubts of not finding better.
His “getting off” on sex tapes of his ex’es, while in the midst of your relationship, IS disturbing. So is ignoring your dissatisfaction with sexual frequency.
It’s possible he prefers some level of porn – sex tapes – for self-stimulation, to real intimacy with a partner.
A guy who disappoints and lies is not necessarily good father material, nor as kind and smart as you think.
Take a break. Your first relationship doesn’t have to be your last.
There’s a negative relationship between my two sons (27 and 30), and my husband of 12 years.
Recently, the tension led to screaming and nasty name-calling (my son to my husband) after a minor incident.
My husband was a bachelor when we met. His transition to our household was difficult.
He was passive/aggressive with the boys, ignoring them if unhappy with them in any way.
(They’d say "hi" and he wouldn't respond if he was angry about something they did yesterday).
My sons and I are close. They’d been coming over for dinner almost nightly. I like to see them, and to feel needed.
I have a lot of guilt about their not having a father (he left me after 15 years, and never got along with the eldest boy. He has minimal contact with both.)
Now I feel guilt that my current husband doesn't like them either.
They can be difficult sometimes, both have anger issues.
I haven't heard from them since the incident. I feel they resent my decision to be with my husband, whom I love.
It makes me feel like a failure, especially when my siblings all have great families.
Dwelling on guilt and comparisons is a waste of energy.
Instead, discuss – without blaming - how all of you can improve these relationships.
Your husband knows how much family means to you. He’s aware that your sons had abandonment issues when younger.
They’re now old enough to understand that they don’t help matters.
You need family therapy – together, and individually too.
All three men may balk. But say that it’s the only chance for everyone to finally feel supported.
If they refuse, go yourself.
My two sisters’ husbands (both now deceased) caused conflict with me.
My mother told me not to visit as they weren't nice to me. Since then, she’s excluded my family over every holiday.
She’s 83 and also never visits us, despite many invitations.
She says my sisters need her more. I’m not handling this well.
My sisters’ children are also dysfunctional and badly behaved with everyone.
Your sisters were married to difficult men. Their children clearly have some similar traits.
Your mother, unfairly, has chosen to try and help only those families. She believes your immediate family’s managing well.
Confront her, gently. Say that you miss her and your sisters, and that you’re willing to put up with their children. Add that you’re deeply hurt at having lost relatives whom you still love.
If nothing changes, the dysfunction runs too deep and could hurt you further. Put your energies and gratitude into your own household.
Tip of the day:
Lies and disappointments are signals that a relationship may need a break for re-set, or moving on.