Two years ago, I met a friend who was charming, intense, with offbeat humor. I came to respect and admire him. However, some of his small comments would often throw me, but they were subtle.
He became one of my closest friends. I ignored the comments.
He soon started dating my long-time girlfriend, and then broke up with her months ago, though they’d recently talked about getting engaged.
He and I graduated from the same university, and he wrote in my yearbook how he’d never had the courage to tell me he loved me.
I soon realized with growing panic how much I cared about him, but had to stop trusting him because of this, and his hurting my girlfriend.
I’ve started dating someone I can see myself being with long-term. I’ve attempted to subtly cut off my friendship with that guy and have been honest with my boyfriend about him.
Yet I sometimes miss him. I’ve tried to forget how mad I am at him for lying to my best girl friend and me. Then I remember how he broke her heart.
How do I stop myself from putting up a wall of mistrust between my boyfriend and me, worrying that he’ll be just like that once-close male friend?
Fed up in L.A.
Not all men are alike and this “worry” is unnecessary added drama IF your boyfriend has given you no sign of duplicity or double-dealing.
You’d hate to have a boyfriend compare you to some woman in his past whom you never met.
You’re over-thinking. Let the story go: This once-close guy dated your girlfriend, while holding a crush on you, and then broke up with her.
It’s not a particularly shocking saga for people in their early 20s, with still-limited experience in the world of dating vs. committed love.
Focus on who your boyfriend is and what he actually does, not what you imagine. Unless you have strong instincts that something’s false… then, say so.
My husband was faithful as far as I know for our first nine years together; then I started getting suspicious, there was less sex, and he was working “late.”
I found out through snooping that there were TWO women in his company, one in the same office, and one in another city where he travels.
They were younger than me, one was living with a man, the other was single, but both had no problem sleeping with a married man. Their attitude was “open season” on any man out there.
Our marriage had been fine, normal ups and downs, but he’s lost that commitment. He won’t change jobs, though he says he’s dropped those women. But I believe there’ll be others.
Think about what else you believe, e.g. whether you can stay around as No. 3 or further down the list of his priorities.
The fact that he won’t change jobs, when he knows this must keep you suspicious and feeling undermined in the marriage, offers little hope for your relationship to improve in the wake of these blatant affairs.
And the office gossip about him with those two colleagues will undoubtedly continue, as may his infidelities, despite any lying promises otherwise.
Valentine’s and flowers aren’t enough for you today. See a lawyer so you at least know your rights and can tell him what he stands to lose. You’ve already been betrayed, so you’ve got far less to miss if you move on without him.
FEEDBACK Regarding the traveler who witnessed older men hitting on young female resort staff (Jan. 21):
Reader – “Myself and another woman recently travelled to a sun destination together. Most nights, coming out of the restaurant, there’d be male resort staff there to ask us where our husbands were.
“We lied because we didn't want the hassle and said they were at home. This happened at least four nights in a row, till they got the message we weren't interested.
“We had to justify ourselves by creating absent husbands, or else be pestered by these male staff members. Their message was clear: Where are your husbands, and why are you here without them?”
The message from your experience is this: Be aware and alert when you travel, for your own safety. Women have every right to travel without men, or alone, but different cultures have different perceptions which you need to recognize…. as you two did.
Tip of the day:
On this Valentine’s Day, be grateful for love you can trust, avoid false claims, and be sure to love yourself.