Question: I’m involved with a married man in a one-year, long-distance relationship. He openly revealed he’s married with a daughter, 10, who lives in Houston. I accepted this. He lives in another U.S. city for work, but goes home to Houston regularly to see his daughter.
He says his wife is herself seeing a married man and he has no interest in her, and sleeps in the guest room in Houston. But I’m dissatisfied that he’s not initiating a formal separation. He cites fear of hurting his daughter.
I’m 50, overweight, educated with a good job, and a son, 10. He’s 39, African-American, professional, and attractive — convincing me our relationship for him is “emotional.” There’s also a mental comfort level between us.
Intimate relations are okay but he has a “wandering eye” for voluptuous, younger women in their 20s-30s. We live 2,000 miles apart. Will he ever leave his wife or will I be strung along until I end it? I’ve said it’s over, but he implored me to reconsider. I’ve kept contact because I still love him.
But if I knew he’d never initiate a separation I’d end contact.
Answer: Test your own beliefs. Stop making it easy for him to have you plus whatever arrangement he has in Houston.
You’ve been providing “safe” comfort, rather than a true challenge where he’s forced to move forward. He’s got you; yet unlike those younger women he ogles, he doesn’t have to rush to marry, have babies etc.
The sooner you show you’re not to be strung along for years, the sooner you’ll know how much that matters to him. The sooner you’ll know what to do.
Question: I’m close to failing with my wife of 30 years. She’s always believed that having her brother and sister live with us is for her happiness. But when I allowed that, I never had respect in my own home.
She gave them rights to do what they want, and calls me mean and selfish whenever they’re not around.
We both worked hard to own our home, while they don’t have anything to offer anybody.
All I can think now is to give up. My wife knows I like to be alone together and have privacy. For her sake, I’d offer them gifts, money, and invite them to spend time with us. But they’d say it’s not enough, they want to live in my house.
Now they’re telling her to get rid of me so they can all live together. She said she could get a legal separation by throwing me out of my own house. I don’t know what to do.
Answer: Don’t give up — you have rights, too. Get legal advice: In many jurisdictions, you’d own at least half of your house and all your assets even if she pushes for a separation. At the very least, you can have privacy and your own space by forcing a sale, leaving her to house herself and her family in a smaller space.
But that’s a last resort. Once you know your own legal position, you can talk to her with more confidence, and without feeling you’ve failed.
Try to have a gentle conversation, just you two, about what she’s really seeking, how she sees herself living in five years, what else you two can do to recapture your marriage and still look after her family somewhat, if that’s her great need.
If all that doesn’t work, use your lawyer’s information to take care of yourself.
TIP OF THE DAY
When a situation’s too comfortable there’s no incentive to move forward.