I met him at 12, married him at 17, had five of his children and left, devastated after 30 years, in 2005. He was very controlling, and he cheated.
I went to counselling and a year later met a man who showed me how to have fun and relax.
But something never added up - he switched jobs a lot, bought new cell phones a lot, moved from apartment to apartment. I followed him.
He cheated on me with many women, his lying was equally unbearable. I stayed seven years, wanted to work things out but couldn’t.
He’d swear and call me names and my self-esteem hit rock bottom. More counselling, and three years later I met a very nice businessman.
His wife of 30 years had walked out. After a year he got me to move in with him.
Many things bothered me, but I was questioning myself (“is it me?”).
He constantly talks about his married secretary who helped him get through the last few years after his wife left, how great she is, etc.
He involves her in our family, buys her expensive gifts for Christmas and birthdays.
He takes her out for lunch, brings her coffee at the office every morning. She’s in her late 30’s, he’s 64.
If there’s a family gathering, she’s invited with her husband. She confides in him about her heavy monthly periods. If I question any of this, he gets defensive. I’ve told him how his emotional connection to her hurts me, and he says he’s known her a lot longer than he’s known me.
Is my reaction excessive because my husband and ex-boyfriend cheated on me, or is this man going overboard?
I feel hurt, not good enough and ashamed of myself for my feelings at the same time.
You are NOT helpless. A young marriage and the needs of five children were strong reasons to try to maintain first relationship, but that’s in the past.
Your second relationship was a mistake. Period. Counselling should’ve helped you get out long before seven years.
Now, you’ve had enough experience with men who do whatever they want and ignore your feelings, to stop asking, “Is it me?”
Find your self-respect. Better counselling, a support group, focusing on your self-respect and well-being, are the most important goals for your immediate life and your future.
I'm a man, late-50s, separated one year, reasonably self-confident, calm, friendly, kind.
I've seen a professional therapist, and feel that I’m ready for a new relationship.
I’ve joined a few dating sites, listing the things I enjoy doing. From the profiles of several women who piqued my interest, I’ve summoned the courage to send a "hello."
No replies, no "hello’s" back. Socially, approaches in person have been graciously rebuffed.
I’m neat, and groomed, but my looks/photos aren’t immediately attractive.
I think that others pass me by, online or otherwise, based on their first look at me.
Am I doomed in a culture where looks come first?
Dating sites are, through strangers’ photos, very reliant on first impressions through looks. Their dominance in the dating world, has made in-person meetings also more skewed toward looks (though always a factor).
Yet countless women are yearning for a decent male companion (and vice versa) whom they trust, feel comfortable with, share some interests, etc.
Look to meet women where you’re likely to have common interests... community gatherings, special interest groups, lectures, etc. Then, be your friendly, kind, self-confident self.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the "right to know" your biological parents (April 11):
“Anyone donating eggs or sperm, does so intending/knowing it’ll create a living, feeling person.
“That choice doesn’t allow the "donor" to abdicate from recognizing that it’s imperative that the rights of the child are honoured.
“The right to know who you are is paramount, no one should be able to take that away. It’s about far more than finding out, or "not wanting to have contact." More, too, than fear that the biological children will become informed. It’s theft of identity.
“This couple made a joint decision, they couldn’t predict that they’d be faced with this outcome.
“But would they want their biological children to be uninformed about family history, health, plus the deprivation of not knowing extended family?
“My hope is that this father will follow his heart and “do the right thing."
From A Donor-Conceived Child
Tip of the day:
Learn from your life experience. Two controlling, cheating partners? A third is unacceptable.