It was love at first meeting.
She’d tell everyone we were just friends. She left me and came back, we had sex for the first time, and then she left me again.
Later, when working in the same organization, and she was friends with my sister, I learned about her one-night stands with several guys, my brother included, over seven years. But whenever she’d get rejected, she’d come back and sleep with me. I’d ask her to stay and say I loved her.
In 1998, she started living with me, moved out for a week, came back, and then we married four years later. Sex has been sporadic. She said, at different times, it was because she wanted to get pregnant, her weight, her looks (she’s beautiful), and sexual abuse (her grandfather had tried to grab her breasts).
Now, I’ve learned that she had three kids whom she gave away for adoption. And her week away was with a former boyfriend.
I feel I was never good enough for her, and I can’t trust her. I love her and want to help her. Yet I’m at the end of my rope.
Why could she have sex with other guys and not me, her husband?
- End It?
Her longtime habit was to run from real love – possibly because she never believed she deserved it, due to her past.
You’ve been her rock and rescuer, but it may be a role you can’t handle anymore. Discuss this potential turning point with a professional therapist.
Your wife’s always been distant, and problematic; yet, you’ve always loved her. She may have difficulty being intimate with you, because you’re the one that matters most. These complex connections have sometimes given you what you wanted, sometimes not.
Therapy will help you be realistic about your own needs and options.
I’m 28, in a nine-year relationship with a guy, 38.
After four years, he began cheating. He said it was because I wasn’t communicating (not true). He constantly criticizes my family and I. Everything’s my fault and I’m incapable of making good decisions.
He’s verbally abusive and demands me to do things I don’t want to do. He threatens me and says that he’ll leave me.
He’s assaulted me - poured salt in my face or thrown water on me. He say’s that if I leave him I’ll end up with some loser.
At times, he’s affectionate, loveable and complimentary, until things don’t go his way.
I love him but am not in love anymore, and I want to truly move on. But I fear I can’t do better and need him.
We’re not married and have no children together.
- Need Help
You’re already with a “loser,” and have everything to gain by leaving him. You’re young, and free to find a decent guy who doesn’t need to undermine, bully, threaten, and assault you, to “get his way.” This man’s abusive behaviour is common to people who need to put someone else down in order to feel important.
Unfortunately, your reaction has also been classic among abuse victims: you believe his belittling, and let it hold you back.
I urge you to make a safe plan to leave him – including first finding a secure place to live, then figuring how you’ll manage. If you find this too daunting, get to a woman’s shelter where experienced, trained people will help you arrange accommodation and a job.
• Shelternet.ca provides shelter information, province-by-province.
My long-term boyfriend meets his female friend periodically - usually alone; when I’ve met her, it’s just small talk.
Recently, they planned a late-night club get-together, alone. I found this inappropriate. I asked him to take another friend along; he was angry that I was uncomfortable, and thought I was restrictive.
I said I trust him, but don’t know her that well. He says it doesn’t matter whether she and I get along. I feel he’s disrespecting me, he feels I’m insecure.
He IS disrespecting you; as a result, you’re insecure. It’s understandably difficult for you to trust this situation - or her, as an unknown factor - when he’s insensitive to your feelings.
You’ve not interfered with their friendship before, so he should trust that your discomfort is specific to this plan, which can be seen more like a date. If he doesn’t get it, you’ve got a bigger problem.
Tip of the day:
When being the Rescuer becomes a burden, re-think the role.