From 2003-2016 I was in a relationship with a man whom I grew to respect and love.
I thought he felt the same way.
We met at work. He did many kind things for me, always treated me like I was his girlfriend. He once said he loved me and hugged me.
However, in March 2016, I suddenly got a Facebook message from a girl saying he was her boyfriend and he only liked me as a sister.
When questioned, he said we weren't boyfriend/girlfriend because we didn’t sleep together.
But he hasn't slept with her either! They haven't even met in person because he’s very ill (he has leukemia, and is suffering from kidney failure). She lives far away.
When we met, I was 37, and he was 41. Because of his medical condition, I just figured sex wasn’t that important.
He said he never led me on, that it was all in my imagination.
I’ve accepted that it’s over. But how can I trust anyone ever again?
I know I’m not beautiful (I’m on the heavy side). Does that mean nobody will ever love me?
In Love Without Sex
You’re a generous-hearted person, with the same potential for being loved in return as anyone else.
Your friend’s cool attitude is complicated by ill health.
He wasn’t upfront that you were “only friends” until confronted.
It’s affected your trust in him, but shouldn’t be applied to every new person you meet.
However, this experience shows that if you’re interested in someone, you need to ask questions that help you know what to expect.
He genuinely liked you, but did lead you on. You won’t let that happen again.
Move on by being with people doing things you enjoy – perhaps volunteering, joining an interest group, etc.
My two daughters live on the west coast. I’ve been separated from their mother for ten years but have 50% custody/guardianship.
I’ve never missed a child support payment, Christmas, or birthday gift for them. I’ve called every week, did Face Time whenever possible, and sent numerous e-mails weekly.
Since my ex got married, I’ve had less access.
Prior to marrying she wanted me to visit the girls as much as possible, and for her and the girls to visit me in central Canada.
She also wanted me to remain single.
Now there’s no encouragement to see their father. If I push harder with legal threats, I get a lawyer responding.
This summer I insisted that she finally pay something (even air mile points) towards the flights, so they could see me, their aging grandmother, cousins, etc.
I suggested that I could afford one child visit this August and one the next. She refused, said they wouldn’t travel solo and the flights are my responsibility.
I’ve paid every flight, ticket, car, ferry, hotel, etc. for 10 years. Now married, she’s very affluent. And set to inherit a lot as an only child.
I explained to the girls that I love them and want to see them at all times, but can’t afford child support plus two plane tickets in August this year.
She makes me out as a “deadbeat dad” to the girls, but I push to remain a part of their lives. What can I do?
Not A Millionaire
Stay close to your daughters every way you can. Do not discuss disagreements between you and their mother – it disturbs them and tugs at their loyalties.
They’ve seen and know that you’re committed to them.
Show them confidence in your father-daughter relationship, not worries.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman expecting her cheating husband, who’s left, to remain married to her (Sept. 15):
Reader – “She seems dependent, overwhelmed, and stuck adjusting to the mess he created.
“He can still be a "good father" on weekends.
“However, he’s been modelling how to live a lie, disrespect a spouse, and put the family at risk by losing their one source of income through public and professional disgrace.
“His wife must be so locked into cleaning up his messes that she feels it's up to her to keep the family "intact.”
“The marriage she thought she had stopped existing when he stepped out of it.
“She needs to lawyer up and work on her own issues rather than play happy homemaker to keep the facade going.
“Fear of making it on her own shouldn’t mean remaining in this relationship. He voided his contract to her, she's no longer obligated.”
Tip of the day:
A disappointing relationship doesn’t define you. Move forward.