I’m in the military and met a woman last fall while I mobilized in Virginia before my return to Chicago.
Since then, we’ve gotten together for one weekend every month. She expects me to call her every night. She’ll also call during the day just to say, hi, though I told her the night before that I’d be in training or meetings.
During her last visit here in Chicago, I couldn’t turn around without her wanting a kiss. In the Art Institute, she insisted on holding hands. I feel it’s her way of marking her territory when we’re out. When I receive phone calls, she listens in to see who’s calling.
I feel she’s controlling, suffocating, and constantly checking up on me. I have an art photograph in my bedroom of a nude woman, artistically posed, with her arms covering her chest. She wants me to replace it with a picture of her in her uniform, saluting – as more appropriate for me to wake up to.
Am I overly critical or is she being jealous and controlling?
She’s on her way IN, emotionally, while you’re mentally on your way OUT.
You don’t mention the “L” word, so it sounds like you just wanted a monthly, sometime-girlfriend. Not many women would salute that arrangement long-term. So be honest with yourself and her. If you want the relationship to continue – and grow - consider holding hands in public as simply affectionate. And nude art photos of strangers are fine, so long as your sweetie’s photo is front and center.
When you stop appearing so ambivalent about the relationship, she’ll hopefully relax with it. If not, you’ll have to discuss important boundaries, such as NOT calling military men during training.
I’m 28, with three children; my so-called relationship with a man, 31, is nothing but problems. He doesn't want to get a job or help support his kids. I don't love him or want to be with him anymore. I feel he's a free-loader. But he won't leave because he has nowhere else to go.
My daughter who is his child doesn't want him there either. My older daughter from another man can't stand him, neither can my family.
He owes child support, and has damaged my vehicle several times. I want to call the police and get him removed from my property. Then I want to take him to court and sue him.
- Fed Up
Time to stop the cycle of complaining and giving in… he’s still there! Do what you threaten, and find a legal means to get him out of your house. Talk to the police to see whether they’ll act in this case, and visit a legal clinic to be clear about his rights to visit his children.
You can’t get money from a guy who’s broke, but you can refuse to let him use your car or eat your food. For your kids’ sake and yours, make better choices in future.
I’ve been married for 30 years, to a man 10 years my senior. He retired after 40-plus years, working part-time in the spring-summer, and full-time in the winter.
However, this past winter, he’s done nothing! He doesn’t help around the house, and just vegetates in bed, or sometimes reads.
I’m very active in the community and with my children and grandchild.
He had a history of depression and alcohol in the past, overcame that, but it nearly finished me off emotionally and physically. He takes anti-depressants, but thinks it’s okay to do nothing. I’m not talking about his taking a job, just an activity.
He married in his 30's, and his mother catered to him. I need to get angry for him to respond.
- Living my life alone
Your husband is in his mid-70s, and depressed; I appreciate that you’ve been through tough times before, but this is now, when retirement and aging present new challenges. He needs a medical check for his health, and encouragement to do gentle exercise (walking) to boost his energy and get out of bed.
Instead of finding tasks for him, try to engage him in some activities that might catch his interest – go to a spring flower show together, and to movies, and consider something different like joining a book club.
If you back off pushing him toward work, chores and routines, he may just find the recreation that suits him.
Tip of the day:
When one partner holds back, the other often pushes harder for a commitment.