I was engaged to a woman, 37, after dating for nine months.
She disappeared for a couple of weeks after a small argument then returned for two weeks, saying she wanted to work things out.
She started spending more time with my son and me, then disappeared again.
Our last conversation was while she was with a male co-worker, sounding like they'd been out drinking together after work. I haven't heard from her since, except an e-mail to return her clothing she left the night before she blew me off.
We'd been intimate and she'd said she loved me during those two weeks; it disturbed and hurt me that she could just walk away.
I just want some answer as to why she couldn't say she didn't want to be with me anymore.
I'm 43 and know how to handle a break-up, but have never been treated so cruelly.
I know she has drug and alcohol issues that she was trying to deal with, and a messed-up family.
You already know the answer: She has drug and alcohol issues and grew up in a dysfunctional family.
People can overcome heavily negative factors, but only through determined effort to give up their addictions and get counselling to form better relationship patterns.
This woman tried to have a healthy life with you, but didn't have the staying power and ran away rather than acknowledge it.
While her manner was hurtful, her leaving you and your son was likely the better result.
As a parent, you'd find her far crueler if she stayed and messed up your son with her impulsivity and substance abuse.
My husband of two decades loves me, is faithful, a good provider and we get along well.
However, he lacks security surrounding being a father to his adult children (my stepchildren). He's never been a disciplinarian - he was the every-other-weekend Dad so he was their friend.
Their mother, the partier, wasn't an active parent either.
Now a huge problem for me is his son. He's married and has a child but has remained a "player." He sells hard drugs and uses them, he's home minimally.
My husband doesn't want to know about his son's behaviour - if he messes up, that's up to him.
His son and his wife don't bother with us unless they want their adorable child babysat.
My husband will accept but leave the child for my care; I love this child but resent being used.
Over the years, the one thing my husband and I cannot talk about without arguing, is the kids.
Am I a sell-out because my husband provides well for me?
- Clearing Confusion
There's no "sell-out" in staying with a man for 20 years, despite problems with your step-children.
And it's no surprise that it's tough to bear irresponsible, unlikable adult children.
However, you have an important role to play with the child you love, and who can benefit from your influence.
Your husband knows your value to this child; take it as a compliment, and not about being "used."
There's no point in arguing with your husband about his son, whose reckless lifestyle will likely become apparent to all.
Meanwhile, you have every right to enjoy the good parts of your marriage, as you've helped sustain your husband in a better life.
I'm 43, married for 11 years; my husband had an affair and conceived a child eight years ago.
I don't feel the same since the child - I'm no longer in love with him.
He still loves me and wants us to work out our differences. He thinks he's done nothing wrong.
I want out - I don't want him to touch me, I don't like being in the same room.
I love the child dearly but don't want anything to do with her, yet I know feeling this way is wrong.
All I want is to be happy once again in my life.
I urge you to see a therapist; it'd be best if your husband would go along, but even if he refuses, you need to talk out your options.
The initial sense of rejection has overwhelmed all your other emotions regarding your husband, and is extending to his innocent child.
It's normal to need professional guidance over a process of sessions, to get past this hurt and help plan the best way to move forward.
Tip of the day:
It's an unfortunate reality that addictions often play havoc with relationships.