While living in China I got romantically involved with a local lady; we agreed to get married and for me to start saving for us to buy our own home.
After returning to China from having to leave for a year, this lady changed her mind. I expected her to return the money for the ring and the house savings. She refused.
I told her and her family that it’s an international convention that whoever breaks off the engagement returns to the other the value of what was given since the time of the engagement.
I’m starting to feel like I was duped into parting with a considerable amount of money, by local standards.
- Bummed out in Beijing
Even if you weren’t purposefully “duped,” there’s an understandable dent in your pride, as well as your bank account.
You should know that engagements to marry are considered a contract, and some jurisdictions still allow lawsuits for “breach of promise.” You’ll need legal advice as to whether that particular province of China would hear such a claim.
Also, learn whether you were considered “common-law partners” (if you lived together long enough), and if you can sue for the money saved during that time.
The rule regarding rings is that a woman who broke the engagement should return it, but not a woman who’s been “jilted.” There’ve been lawsuits in North America wherein women have been ordered to return their rings.
It may be in your case that you’d have to rely on this girl and her family for any conscience about your losses; unfortunately, that appears to be missing.
In Ontario, British Columbia and Manitoba, you can no longer sue for breach of promise. You only have the goodwill of the girl and her family to count on.
I’ve been happily married and have great kids, but suddenly found myself sexually attracted to my husband's single friend.
Recently, we were talking more and going out with groups without my husband (he lets me go out with them). We call each other by aliases; he’d comment about my facial expressions.
He’s invited me to his place. I was so tempted to give in but declined. I’ve found a real friend to talk with, to be myself, and enjoy.
Then, he started acting distant. During a phone conversation, he said he had to be formal with me, but wouldn’t explain. I cried.
He tried to talk to me twice since, but I cut the conversation short. I cannot stop thinking about him.
Should I try to contact him again to clarify things before the group gets together? I don’t know what I feel or why he did this?
You’ve had the equivalent of a high-school crush, with its typical emotional swings, plus the secret “aliases.” But you’re NOT in high school. You’re a wife and mother, and so far haven’t slipped into a sexual affair, which could destroy your happy marriage.
I’d bet that your husband’s “friend” realized the dangers of that happening, even before you did, and did you a favour with his sudden cooling off. You don’t really need to clarify further than that.
However, this is an excellent wake-up call to start focusing on how else to “be yourself and enjoy” – perhaps through a part-time job, if you don’t already work; or through courses and activities doing things that interest you, outside your roles as Mom and spouse.
I love my husband of 16 years but there’s little sex. If I don’t initiate it, months go by.
He doesn't think there’s anything wrong, nor does he care that it bothers me.
I believe him that he’s not having an affair.
His last physical checkup was fine; he refuses to go to counselling.
I don't want to end our marriage because we have children but I can't see it lasting without sex.
I’m starting to desire other men who’ve shown attention, but I won't act on it.
He’s put up so many roadblocks that either he’s lost his sex drive (which can be revived through sex therapy), or there’s something deeper going on.
Talk to a professional counsellor yourself to probe what’s contributing – whether it is your relationship, his work, or even in his extended family (e.g. a parent’s health).
If nothing changes, counselling will help you decide your options.
Tip of the day:
While some romance breakups are expensive financially, they’re object lessons in learning to exercise character judgment even when dealing from the heart.