I married the FUN guy, seven years ago; we have three children. He's always loved checking out girls, having his guy time and demanding freedom whenever he pleases.
He's a compulsive liar and never wants me to know his whereabouts, so doesn't answer his phone.
Throughout dating I never questioned him, as he loved me.
After marriage, girls' numbers appeared in his pockets; some nights he didn't come home.
Recently, my girlfriend confided that he'd made advances towards her then-engaged sister. My friend, her husband and their family then distanced themselves from us.
I'm mortified, given all the red flags throughout our marriage.
My husband claims my friend's sister is manipulating what really happened. He's sworn on our children's lives that he's never cheated. He long ago lost my trust, but he says his actions are caused by my distrust.
I want to move forward but worry how he'll hurt me next.
Those "red flags" had alarm bells attached, but since you didn't set limits, your husband (immaturely) felt free to push harder at having none. His current excuse is the classic cop-out of trying to make it all your fault.
You'll be stuck in a standoff unless you both re-commit to this marriage. He must be responsible for his time, by answering the phone and not staying out all night; and you must not keep tabs on him, but instead, let the proof be in his actions.
If he continues to openly flirt with other women, and lie about his whereabouts, then marital counselling is your only chance. You'll need professional help to air out together why he can't grow up and recognize that his FUN is destroying his family life.
Our father has never been there for us over the years, partly due to our angry, difficult mother.
She's recently distracted, and our father has been attempting to get closer with us.
He's been providing financial support, but I don't think he's really making an effort. He's living with a woman, raising her teenage child.
It frustrates me that he's started a new family after neglecting us, yet still claims he wants to focus on our relationship. I don't approve, because even though he and our mother barely communicated, he was still legally married when he became involved. I've been the most patient of my siblings toward re-accepting my father.
So I was highly disappointed when he invited the woman and her son along while he drove my brother to camp. If he wanted to get closer with us, he wouldn't have done that.
Am I wrong to think this way? My dad said I'm not always right, like I think I am. My siblings say little since they're pleased with the financial support and freedom from our mother.
- Frustrated by Dad
You father IS making an effort, however imperfectly, so let it happen without so much judgment. You don't want to repeat your mother's style of making it too difficult for him.
While I don't know the full story, I can tell you that it's unfortunately likely that your father was blocked from contact with his children far more than you know.
It's also not unusual that he'd want to find some comfort and companionship. This woman is now part of his life, so bringing her along was his attempt to try to slowly bring his children into that life.
There's more to be gained for everyone, if you accept his intent.
I'm 22, and was living with my boyfriend, then moved back to my parents.
We used to do everything together. Now, we don't talk as much, he's always busy working. We hardly go out because he's always tired.
I like this customer from my former club job. I want to call him but haven't because I love my boyfriend. But I'm losing hope we'll ever get engaged.
Do I give this other guy a chance?
- Tired of Waiting
Loving your boyfriend means giving him the chance to know how close he is to losing you.
He's been so focused on his getting ahead - perhaps to afford a ring and make solid future plans - that he's lost sight of his original goal to be with you. Remind him of this; say you still both need time together to stay connected.
If he doesn't get it, you're free to move on.
Tip of the day:
When a spouse shows little commitment, the partner has to decide what he/she can't accept.