I’m female, early 30s, in love with an out-of-town guy I met two years ago. He was here visiting a friend for a couple of days; we had a powerful connection.
After he left, we talked online, even about getting married. We laughed, thinking we need more time to get to know each other.
We were both married then - I was still with my husband, but his was a business marriage, and his wife was in a relationship with another man.
I hadn’t mentioned my daughter, age nine, from a previous marriage. He learned about her later.
After two months, I visited him; he was very good to me. But he repeatedly called us “friends.” So I moved on - I bought a house, left my husband, and found myself going with the wrong guys. I studied relationship books, and learned a lot. I told this guy about all this, online. He said he’d like to visit again, as friends.
Then, one day, he said he’s coming to visit me. A week later, he changed his mind, saying he had to go elsewhere for work. But he reminded me he loves me as a friend, doesn’t want to be a family man, or play with my feelings.
We still chat online.
He still hasn’t visited and never calls.
I’m emotionally attached to him, and can no longer date others.
What should I do?
Go back to the relationship bookshelves and read, He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. This man doesn’t visit, doesn’t talk to you personally, and has made no effort to ever be together with you again. When a man has feelings for a woman, he doesn’t waste two years avoiding her and injecting his correspondence with barriers.
You’re obviously a strong, determined woman and you’ve already created a new life for yourself. It’s time to stop hiding your emotional side in this fantasy of a love affair. It’s not happening.
End the online chatting which only distracts you from the reality of learning how to recognize the good men that are out there.
We’ve been best mates since university, but since then her friendship has demanded exhausting loyalty.
Her crises are frequent and all consuming; if I see a movie on my own which I'd planned to see with her, she cries “abandonment.”
If I’ve met someone she might like, I have to promise an introduction.
I've told her that she exhausts me. While she tries to lighten up, I'm realizing it's part of her character.
I have a close partner now and I resent being so emotionally tangled in this woman's life.
Do I tell her formally that I can't be a full-time best friend anymore, or do I just steer my life away from hers?
- At the Edge
Withdraw naturally, when busy with your partner and when yet another minor “crisis” is overtaking your time. Making a formal statement would create a huge, real crisis for her – one she’d undoubtedly share with whomever else would listen.
After so many years of this woman’s friendship, there must’ve been some benefits to you, too. So it would feel very harsh to her to suddenly be dropped, and to feel that she’s no longer of use to you.
Also, you could try this: See her occasionally along with other friends. You may find that when she’s not alone with you, she’s unable to enmesh you in her dramas.
My husband and I constantly fight about our two sons, ages four and two. They’re both in daycare, act out often, and frequently get into trouble.
We cannot agree on a punishment. I feel like I'm always the bad guy.
He says, "They’re just being boys and will grow out of it."
I'm scared they’ll do really badly in public school.
- Disciplining Mom
These very young kids are getting differing messages and rules from three fronts: Good Cop, Bad Cop and the daycare staff. It’s crucial that you and your husband come to some agreements on what the kids can and cannot do, and appropriate responses.
Children need encouragement and limits, with consequences they can understand, such as a Time Out.
Consider taking a parenting course together. You’re going to be parents for a long time, and family harmony does more to calm children’s behaviour than a power struggle about punishment.
Tip of the day:
A relationship that exists only in one person’s mind, is not real.