I’ve known this married woman for three months. She told me she’s not happy with her husband and that he has a mistress, which she can’t do anything about.
Every week we went out and had fun. She said she feels comfortable with me.
After one month, we had sex in my house.
Later, she said she isn’t used to it yet. So sex was put on hold.
The second month she started to text less and seemed to pull away.
She says she needs to be with her kids for awhile, but that I’m still her boyfriend.
Recently, after a dinner together with her three-year-old daughter, we still had a goodbye kiss.
She’s been giving me a lot of mixed feelings.
Two days ago, I asked why she no longer sends me texts and calls me “dear.”
She said she cannot get too close or later there’ll be many problems.
I really don't understand what she’s saying or doing.
She doesn’t know what she wants. That’s why she’s unclear.
She saw you as her chance to have her own lover and live as freely as her husband does.
But she got uncomfortable - perhaps about how the infidelity of both parents might affect her children.
Perhaps she’s just not ready for an affair.
Don’t count on her for a reliable romance. The one thing she’s shown you very clearly is that an affair with a married person is complicated.
And not easy to count on.
My mother and I have had a good relationship, but I don't visit at her home with my child.
She has a messy home with dogs, and she and her husband smoke inside.
I'm extremely house-clean so it’s very hard for me to enjoy myself there.
Also, my daughter’s allergies seriously act up from second-hand smoke and unclean dogs.
I haven't been to her place in two years, and always insist that she come to me. Yet I feel badly about it.
I've never expressed that I feel her home is an unhealthy place; I just make excuses.
However, I feel the relationship between her and my daughter has suffered, as has ours.
I invited her to spend several days here, but she refused. I want to tell her my reasons, but I don't want to hurt her feelings.
Should I explain, or keep things amicable and accept the relationships for what they are?
I also feel that if she wants to be in our lives she has to make the effort. I won’t hear from her unless I call her. It's very one way.
Avoiding Mom’s House
You’ve already hurt her feelings because to her, it also feels like “one way” without an explanation.
Speak up and explain why you won’t visit her.
It’s simple enough: While she’s entitled to have dogs, be messy, and smoke in her own home, the dust and smoke trigger your daughter’s allergies.
Then say you’re happy to host her visits in order that you all get together. You want your daughter to know her grandmother and you miss seeing your mother.
Don’t expect her to change her household.
She’s lived this way a long time. It’d be wiser/healthier for her and her husband to quit smoking, but that requires strong determination.
Meanwhile, she either accepts your health-related reasons or misses out on the relationships.
My guess is she’ll fall in love with your daughter and visit your home when she can.
FEEDBACK Regarding “keeping secrets” and those who can’t (Dec. 13 and Nov. 17):
Reader – “I’m unable to do so. So I find specific "confidants" who can keep secrets.
“I’ll tell one confidential person who has absolutely no connection to my daughter, many of my daughter’s secrets.
“The process ends. I told. It stops there.
“I recognize my personal weakness plus the actual damage that can result from it. So I understand folks who talk too much.
“But finding the right confidant satisfies us both. That person enjoys hearing my stories.
“Works for me.
“What I say in secret to my confidant has never come back to roost. Once I tell only one person, I’m able to stop talking about it.
“It fulfills a social need to bounce it off someone.
“The secrets are only one factor in this solution. It’s the “who" that’s told that means more than whether the secret was kept.”
Tip of the day:
An affair with a married person usually has complications that make the relationship hard to count on.