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Everything posted by redswim30

  1. Live with your mom and learn to care less about material things. Pretty clear cut.
  2. [quote=lifetime;7224802 That she settled for me at a young age because she wanted to get married so badly and not be alone. She doesn't want to divorce, she wants us to just separate I guess and see what's out there. She told me to my face she thinks she settled for me and that we aren't on the same page. She wants to test the field pushing 40yo. Every time a guy gives her a little attention she suddenly is not happy with the marriage.Then she will be the normal girl I married again and content for the most part. I feel like deep down I still love her and that she just has a split personality. Or am I being a fool for even thinking of staying with her? She KEEPS telling you who she really is and how she feels about you. The real question is- WHY don't you believe her? Nothing YOU can do is going to make HER content. Please understand that. You aren't a fool to stay with her- but you are incredibly naive if you think this behavior is ever going to change. I don't subscribe necessarily to the "once a cheater, always a cheater"- But MULTIPLE times a cheater, speaks to larger issues. It's unfair to hold you hostage while she goes out and looks for something "better". She wants to have the security of being with you while being able to date. That's what she's really saying. You have two options- Agree to an open marriage or get a divorce. I think I already know what most people will suggest to you and it is also my suggestion. You want different things out of this marriage. And nothing that you can do is ever going to fill her seemingly endless desire for more male attention and wanting to attain more- be it a child or money or security or whatever. I am divorced and had NOTHING when I got divorced, so I understand the financial aspects. But trust me, it was WORTH it and I got back on my feet faster than I thought and I did it on my own with a low paying job. So, if I can do it, anyone can. I think right now you just want the money excuse as a crutch to stay in hopes that you can "win her back". You can't. She's already made her decision. The only question remaining is if you want to play her little game and be abused and disrespected and USED by her, or if you want to be free.
  3. Can you be more specific in how/why you think this is happening? Relationships are built on more than " I was nice/respectful" to you"
  4. Repeat after me: Prior consent does NOT equal present consent or future consent, nor should it be assumed. You are allowed to change your mind. You are allowed to say no- Yes, even in marriage. While I commend you for being open and honest with each other, this has gone too far. Relatives, especially close relatives, should be off limits. And it's all about your comfort zone. You're going to have to have a somewhat awkward conversation. You have to be honest and just say " I am no longer comfortable with this. She is my sister and this cannot continue. It's become an issue for me and it needs to stop now." You cannot control his response, but that doesn't mean you should express yourself. You are an equal partner in this marriage and your feelings are equally important as his. I know you're scared of his reaction, but if you want it to stop you must be vocal and clear.
  5. Yes, you love Julie. If you didn't, you wouldn't be this torn up about her. I'm going to disagree that you didn't love her just because your head was turned by "hotter girls". Even when you're in love, you are still going to be attracted to other people. There's a difference between people you'd just like to have a tryst in the sheets with and someone you'd like to marry. The two can intersect, but they don't always. I think this can make young people VERY confused about love and desire. I'll be honest, my current husband is not the man I've ever been the most sexually attracted to in my entire life. But I'm madly in love and because of that, he has grown sexier to me. And while my head might occasionally be turned, my heart never will. My husband and I are honest with each other. I know that I'M NOT the woman HE'S ever been the most sexually attracted to either. But he loves me, and therefore his heart will never be turned, even if he sometimes wonders " I wonder what she's like in bed". IMVHO, that reaction is HONEST and HUMAN and I truthfully believe that everyone, married or not, does that at LEAST occasionally, whether they verbalize it or not. So, whether you get back with Julie or not- PLEASE do not equate "If I was in love I would NEVER find anyone else sexually attractive" because that's hogwash! Besides, we all know that you can THINK someone will be great in bed and they might NOT be and vice versa. It's normal to wonder WHAT IF with certain people. Most of us had a "one that got away" or a "what if" person. I know I do. What's important to recognize is less about Julie and more about YOU. Based on everything you said, I think you need to see what happens. (As long as Julie is single and you are not not committed) I see nothing wrong with telling Julie how you feel/felt. Sometimes I think we need to just get emotions out or have some sort of resolution. Maybe once you do that, her reaction will be less important than the act of you freeing yourself. It's up to her how she responds and then how that response makes you feel. You will never know unless you do it. Something I think you need to realize. Even when you love someone TRULY MADLY and DEEPLY- you are not ALWAYS going to feel "in love" with them. Ask anyone who has been married for more than a decade. I am MADLY in love with my husband but TRUST ME_ they are MANY days that I do not FEEL "in love" with him. This is normal, because no one and no relationship is perfect. I think you need to reach out to Julie. Trust what's in your heart and stop over-analyzing in your head. There will always be reasons NOT to do something. But if you are feeling this strongly deeply in your heart, then I see no reason not to go for it. At least tell her how you feel. Maybe she has always wondered too, and if nothing else- this could a nice and freeing resolution. Maybe nothing happens and you're no worse off. But imagine the good that could happen. And if you're smiling right now- THAT'S REAL LOVE- whether you end up in a romantic relationship with her or not. Best of luck to you.
  6. This is the MOST important part of your post. You already know this isn't a jealousy issue, because you already know she isn't a friend. IMVHO, She's his girlfriend. At LEAST emotionally. And he's already gaslighting you about it. He clearly doesn't care what you think or how you feel as he has no intention of ending this relationship. And it is. Your fiance loves this woman, no matter what he says in his unconvincing lies to you- Why do I think that? WHY ON EARTH was SHE the FIRST person he told about your engagement? If he really knew she was in love with him and he didn't want anything to with that- WHY would he tell her first? But the fact that he told her FIRST speaks volumes. Most people would call their parents, or their best friend, or some relatives- NOT the friend who they know is in love with them. At best, he loves her so much that he knew it would hurt her deeply and wanted to tell her. At worst, he wanted to make her jealous. But BOTH of these suggests at least some romantic love or desire on his part. Sorry, but I don't see this changing. He's getting something out of this other relationship or he would stop it. This isn't about her, it's about HIM. And really, who knows what he's said to her? I doubt she'd stick around in this capacity if he hasn't given her some hope (at LEAST flirting, being suggestive- minimum). I would really think twice about marrying this man. Either he's just not being honest with you or he's in severe denial about his own feelings for this "friend". I've had guys confess feelings for me when I've been married and it's only gone one of two ways 1. The friendship is over and we never speak again because I make it abundantly clear that I'm in love with my husband and nothing will EVER happen. 2. OR if they can handle being just friends- It is 100% made clear that we are just friends and that nothing romantic will ever happen. If they can handle that- then we have limited contact and strict boundaries, I'm never alone with that person, and my spouse is fully aware of any interaction between us, and nothing is ever ok that makes me OR my spouse uncomfortable- and if they can't handle that- Refer to rule 1. I mean, that's it. If there's a reason that someone in a committed relationship will not do those things, there's only a couple reasons. 1. They are in a mutually agreed upon open relationship 2. They actually have feelings/attraction for the other person and don't want it to end or to shut the door on the possibility Take this specific girl completely out of the picture for a moment. Picture marrying this man and imagine you hit a rough patch in your marriage 15, 20 years down the line. (As happens for most of us at some time or other) He starts talking to some beautiful new coworker and consistently sees her and you know that she has said she has feelings for him. He continues to see her and talk to her frequently despite being married to you and despite that you've made objections and then he tells you "She is just a friend" DO YOU BELIEVE HIM? IMVHO, your answer to this should tell you everything you need to know about your future with this man.
  7. YEP! I was going to say this myself! This is a classic abuser cycle- Abuse you, apologize JUST enough to get off the hook (cause he knows you will), then continue to do whatever. I'm sorry to tell you, but IMO and in my experience I find it to be true that once men have children with you they often feel more empowered to cheat because they know that most women won't want to leave for the sake of the child. I feel for you, OP. It's hard to accept that your husband isn't who you thought he was and that your marriage isn't what you hoped it would be. I went through all of this during my own divorce. But, things can also be incredibly FREEING when you realize that you ARE better than this treatment! Make no mistake- he's in relationship with this woman. "Friends" don't just send nudes to other married friends (unless that person is an artist, but even so- it's dicey). When you're married opposite sex "friends" who are secret are NOT "friends". You have to accept that he is cheater and a liar. That's who he is. His behavior has made it clear that he has NO intention of changing. He's just going to keep lying to know and knowing you'll forgive him for the sake of your kid, so he has no REASON to stop. He's getting everything he wants- his family who takes care of him and his sex kitten on the side. You have two choices- 1. Stay in the marriage and be comfortable in the knowledge that your husband will likely never be faithful to you and just lie about it. 2. Get divorced. Whatever you do, don't expect him to "change"- it ain't gonna happen. I wasted YEARS of my life in my first marriage hoping he would "change". I played mental gymnastics with myself " But if only this, but if only THAT" Someone is NOT going to become who you want them to be just because you wish it so. And really, do you WANT the kind of marriage where you feel the need to spy on your husband versus just being able to trust him? You are better than this, please seek some individual counseling for guidance. All the best to you.
  8. OP, I have to wonder how old you are? 100%- STAY OUT OF THIS!!!!! 1. You have NOTHING to base anything on. You don't even know what you saw. Not to sound mean, but a lot of older people aren't great at operating computers. It is entirely possible it was just a pop up. You are making some serious assumptions based on nothing. 2. It may have been porn, but who cares? In my experience and IMVHO, the majority of men look at porn. 3. Parents and children should stay out of each other's sex lives. Period. It's creepy. Would you want your parents to know every single sexual thought, fantasy, experience of yours? And then TALKING to you about it if they disapprove? If the answer is no (as it ought to be) then you should stay out of this completely. You don't know what your parents sexual boundaries are with each other. Many women are fine with their husband looking at porn. Some are fine with it as long as they don't know about it. Some people have arrangements with each other that they just don't talk about. Example- I know a guy who swings with his wife- they are emotionally devoted to each other, but have a sexually open marriage. And their kids do NOT know about it! And incredible as it may sound to you, different couples have different definitions of what "cheating" is. Unless you absolutely without QUESTION know what those are (and you probably don't), it's none of your business. Some people have low sex drives and are fine with their partner exploring other options (real or fantasy) as long as they are devoted to them emotionally. Your parents are 50, they are grown ups. Leave this alone. No good can come from this.
  9. Honestly, you should break up. She is far too insecure for a grown up relationship and she clearly can't get over her severe insecurity issues (this won't change). You clearly don't trust her (and I don't blame you) to give you space, privacy and respect. If this happened once or twice, I'd say maybe give it another shot. But at this point, honestly what's the point? I don't see how this relationship will ever work out in the long term without at LEAST one of you becoming bitter. You can't fix her deep rooted insecurity issues. Her reactions are super extreme. It truthfully makes me fear for your safety if anything really awkward ever came up. She is not healthy at all. With or without you, she should seek out psychiatrist. Because I honestly don't know a man alive that would put up with this indefinitely. Personally, I'd just break up with her. But if you really want to give it another shot, I'd just say plainly. " I don't deserve to be policed and disrespected. If you don't trust me at this point, I don't know that you ever will. There are females in my past, and female friends in my present and you need to accept that. If you think I'm going to inevitably cheat on you, then just leave now if that's really your low opinion of me. If you blow up at me again, I will ask you to leave. If I catch you spying on me, I will ask you to leave. We are both grown ups, and I do not appreciate you treating me like your child." Then WHEN she does blow up at you again, and threatens to "leave forever"- tell her " Okay, bye." Funny how people say that are rarely ever MEAN it. My ex husband threatened to leave all the time. Once I was ready to finally divorce him and he did it, I said " Okay. Bye." * 5 minutes later* " Why aren't you chasing after me"? I'm betting that that's what will happen here. But if I were you, I'd say " Yes, I do want you to leave and don't come back."
  10. Are you talking about your affair or your boyfriend's affair(s)? You've already gotten advice on this. In terms of your boyfriend, I have NO idea how could trust that he would ever tell you the truth at this point. But if you want to go down with that sinking ship, no one can stop you. And in terms of your husband, that's for him to decide. If you tell him, he may not ever forgive you or trust you again, but that's his choice to make. Not yours. Unfortunately, you have dug yourself into a hole. If his wife finds out, there is a chance she will tell your husband anyway. You either cut if off with your BF and don't tell your husband and hope that no one else tells him (which you can't be sure of) Cut it off with your BF and DO tell your husband and hope he forgives you/ is willing to work on things. Cut if off with your boyfriend and your husband decides to divorce you. Divorce your husband and gamble on the boyfriend that he is willing to do the same. Anything you choose to do is going to have some level of risk and consequence. There's no elegant answer here.
  11. You are out of line here. He has support from a friend from a mental illness program. You must not care about him very much to want to take that support and friendship away from him. They are in a program together and likely helping to support each other, how is that hard for you to understand? It's like if someone was in AA and had a sponsor and you deleted that sponsor from their phone because of your own insecurity and jealousy. That is VERY selfish of you. What you are doing is being manipulative, controlling and irrationally jealous. You should break up with him, because you are too immature and he deserves to be treated with more respect than this. He has given you no reason not to trust him, you are just choosing not to trust him, but you are giving him multiple reasons not to trust YOU. Honestly, how would you feel if he did this to you? Deleted a contact for no reason other than he was irrationally jealous of someone? Please break up with him. In your next relationship, you need to understand that there are opposite gender people in everyone's lives. If you can't understand that, then you aren't ready for an adult romance.
  12. I'm very sorry you are going thru this. Anyone can have bad days or make mistakes- but repeated cycles of behavior or patterns, usually means that is ingrained in the person's personality. You say you've been together 5 years, that's not very long for him to be this dismissive of you this quickly. (Not that it's ever right) But you are still in the "easy phases" of the relationship and of child rearing. I tend to think that it's easy to "get along" when things are good. New relationship, making plans, having excess money- but you often meet the real person when stressful times happen. Someone already said it and I agree- babies can change everything. Not with everyone and not always in a negative way. But cliches exist for a reason, and I've seen it in action too often not to agree. A lot of men change their attitudes towards their wives after children. This can happen for many different reasons (He no longer views her as 'sexual', he's jealous of the attention the baby is getting, he now feels he has her and doesn't have to try to impress her anymore, he feels trapped and lashes out) You seem very level-headed and are correct about a number of things. You can't change him. Wishing things were so doesn't make them so. Ask nearly any divorced couple (including me) and ask if they had "wanted" or "hoped" their marriage would work out. I know I wanted my first marriage to work out. But, the problem is, YOU can't make it work out by yourself. You can't control someone else. Divorce is never fun, but staying in an emotionally abusive marriage isn't a good example for your child either. Right now, your husband is being emotionally abusive. He is doing a classic abuse cycle- Abuse happens, he apologizes just enough to appease you but doesn't change the behavior, then devalues you and says your feelings aren't valid and you are "overeacting" and to "get over it". Please recognize this is an abusers cycle. I feel for you, because my first husband was like this with me. He'd always do JUST enough to win me back or make me think he was interested in changing, then everything would just repeat. And I know, I really do know from experience how hard it is to leave when you want something to work SO badly and how easy it is to think to yourself " If ONLY he did this, we could WORK!" But I can also tell you from my own experience, that you are in denial. This is who he is. Actions speak louder than words. Repeated behaviors are personality traits and you cannot change them. HE has to change them and that will only happen if he WANTS to. The fact that he doesn't WANT to after you've had multiple conversations ought to tell you where his head is at. He doesn't care enough to change. And it shouldn't take you threatening him with divorce to WANT to make that change. He should want to just because he loves you and cares about you and your feelings should matter to him. Love isn't always enough. A relationship requires SO much more than just love to flourish in the long run. Respect matters. Kindness matters. Support matters. Compassion matters. And you have a right to expect all these things from your husband. I maintain my view that just because you love someone, doesn't mean you can LIVE with them. I really think you should make an appointment with a counselor and talk thru your feelings and options. Until you do that, do me a favor. Imagine that this behavior from him continues (and it likely will)- how do you imagine you will feel after 5, 10, 15 years of this? How do you expect that will impact your child? Your answer should tell you a lot. Good luck. I very truly wish you all the best.
  13. There's so much more to being a good spouse than just not hitting and cheating on someone. To me, that's like the bare MINIMUM. But just because he doesn't do those two things also does not make him a good husband. Technically speaking, if the marriage isn't consummated you aren't really married. A relationship without sex is called friendship. (unless of course it is agreed to have a sexless relationship) YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS PAST TRAUMA OR HIS NEED TO HEAL. You cannot do it for him, even if you wanted to. You should not sacrifice your happiness for another person's comfort. You are not a "witch" or any other form of bad person for wanting a healthy and adult marriage. You already know that this is not. Every divorce isn't because someone "did something bad" or " someone is a bad person" or "someone deserved it"- Sometimes things just don't work out. If you want out, get out. No one can force you to stay married to them. It's really that simple, especially since you don't have kids. His pain is his to deal with: Past , present and future. You aren't his mommy or his psychiatrist. And even if you WERE, you STILL wouldn't be responsible for his personal happiness. This is not a healthy relationship for either of you. By staying you are basically saying that his life and comfort is worth more to you than your own. Is that how you really feel?
  14. So, here's what you KNOW then. His wife KNOWS he's cheater and still wants to stay with him. That won't change. He can WISH whatever he wants, that doesn't make it reality. Even IF everything he says about his feelings are true- so what? The reality is he ain't leaving HER for YOU, so he clearly doesn't mind being "settled". And finally, his answer is if you made him choose- he chooses HER and lists some of the reasons why. But the biggest UNSPOKEN reason is, because he DOESN'T WANT TO. Whatever is behind that, it doesn't matter because it ALL leads back to He doesn't WANT to, he thinks you aren't worth the sacrifices he'd have to make and is therefore NOT GOING TO. It WILL be hard, but you can break it off. And as hard as it may be, it would be harder going thru two divorces and being apart from your kids that you adore more than life!
  15. I think the innate problem is that you are communicating to be HEARD and agreed with, rather than trying to understand his point of view. I don't know if you're aware, but you repeatedly refer to your opinion as "facts" and "reality" and his thoughts and feelings as "opinion" and "perspective". IMVHO, you should be careful with this kind of thinking as it can be very toxic. You may be giving off an inadvertent judgy vibe. One of the biggest issues in marriages, differing opinions in how to raise children and dividing parental duties. If you are just looking for him to see things the way you do, you are only going to fail. Even in the best of marriages, NO spouse is ever going to see everything the exact same way that we do. So, alter your own way of thinking first. Avoid using phrases like "reality" and "facts", because that comes across as very harsh and with a ready judgment of yourself being "right", because how can "facts" be wrong? You need to sit down and do so when you are both in decent moods. Tell him you want to talk about your priorities together as your schedule changes. List what is most important to you and allow him to list what is most important to him. Do not get angry if your priorities don't align. You are going to have to compromise and that means that you may have to do something that you believe is unfair, but that is what you need to do. If he is telling you something is important to him and your attitude is "I already do enough", that is not helpful to you, him or your marriage in the long run. Marriage and parenthood ain't always 50/50. Most of the time it isn't. Sometimes it may be 70-30 or 90- 10 or 20-80, it's going to fluctuate over the years. As your child grows, for example, they may feel more comfortable with one of you than the other and therefore THAT parent may have more on their plate than the other. It doesn't mean you don't try. It's just the way life is. Maybe after grad school is complete, he takes a break and does more with the baby. Marriage and children means sacrifice and compromise and the truth is that it is NOT always pretty and doesn't always feel "fair". So, you may not love the "communication" advice but it IS what you have to do and work on TOGETHER. That's the only way this is going to get better. If you're looking for a "how do I get my husband to think the way I do" magic wand, please let ME know! LOL.
  16. ^ THIS. This is your answer. There is NEVER a "right time to leave"- cause first it's "they are babies" then " they are impressionable teens" then " wait until they go to college"-etc etc. No wife will EVER be happy with her husband leaving her. If she is the type who would "destroy him"- it would be that way WHENEVER it happened. Don't kid yourself- there will NEVER be a time she is going to be "thrilled" about this. Would YOU be in her shoes??? Also, money. I myself am divorced and remarried. Let me tell you a few harsh realities- Divorce is HARD and VERY EXPENSIVE. Even when you you feel it's the right thing to do and even when it's what you want. It took me a solid DECADE to dig out of my divorce debt and that was without kids of my own. I am a stepmom in my current marriage. Being a stepparent is NOT for the feint of heart and that is in the very BEST of circumstances. You would be dealing with being a stepparent and you know what? His kids are going to give you an even harder time if "Daddy left mommy" for you. So imagine dealing with kids being told you are " a witch" or "the devil" and your own ex likely saying stuff to your OWN kids. I'm not trying to be mean, I'm trying to give you a dose of the reality you'd be creating for yourself. His kids are young, means if you remained together you are going to be going to a bunch of school and other uncomfortable events with their mother. This stuff was really awkward in my experience, and that was without even dealing with that extra layer of "infidelity judgment" that you can 100% expect to get in social circles, school events, etc. Based on what you've said here- he's NOT really interested in being with you. He's interested in continuing an affair for as long as you're willing and keeps reeling you back with "love of my life" talk. You have a decision to make. You are kidding yourself if you think he's going to leave his family. And there's no magical "other option" where you "try stuff" without damaging your marriages, your children or both. Three options 1. You both leave your spouses and start a relationship that may or may not work - but this is the ONLY way to know if you would or wouldn't work together. 2. You continue your affair knowing he has no intention (at least anytime soon) of leaving- and in the meantime your husband or his wife may find out and end your marriage(s) anyway. And you never know how THAT will go, maybe your husband wants an instant divorce but his wife wants to stay together "for the kids" and he feels he should, then what? 3. You cleanly break up with him knowing he is not going to give you what you want. That's it- no option is without risk or sacrifice. You just have to decide what is most important to you.
  17. Okay, let me break this down in a non-judgmental way. I believe ANYONE can have feelings. Feelings are involuntary responses we have. These feelings can come at inopportune moments- like after marriage or children. Sometimes feelings can be rekindled, but often it is not the actual person or relationship we miss, but a specific FEELING that is attached that person or relationship (IE feeling "free" or "full of promise" or "exciting"). However, feelings can also be liars and deceive us. Feelings can change or lead us down a path that isn't good for us. ACTIONS are what matter. I've had "feelings" in the past about people that were totally wrong for me. I've had warm "feelings" about past relationships, too- but that doesn't mean I should find them and run away with them, either. Even giving this man the complete benefit of the doubt, maybe he does really FEEL you are the "love of his life" but so what? If he's not willing to leave his marriage and you're not sure you want to leave yours then what do these feelings matter anyway??? To recap, the past doesn't really matter and neither do "feelings"- so don't place too much importance on either at this moment. This moment is about what you are willing to DO and what he is willing to DO- I.e. ACTIONS. In your own words, he doesn't want to leave his kids and he wouldn't be happy being married to you. You "don't want to do this", so why even try then? For "feelings"??? Even in the BEST of circumstances I do not think a real relationship with each other (based on more than just "feelings") would a good or happy decision for either of you. Most of us never forget our first love and sometimes still think "what if" or have "warm feelings:- that doesn't mean a real relationship with them would be wise or happy. It's easy to pretend it would be a perfect relationship when it is just a fantasy. But honestly picture yourself with him in the NOW, can you honestly see the two of you happy together? Or would you always be worried he was cheating on you? Or wanted to go back to his wife? Or maybe he'd cheat on with someone else? can you honestly picture the fall out with your own family? What if you went thru all of that only to have this man disappoint you again? How would THAT make you feel? Two statements I think you should really reflect on: 1. "NO relationship is perfect, because no person is perfect." Every person has their issues, even if you two got together, you'd still have your issues. Even when you are with "the love of your love"- NO relationship is perfect. He's even admitting he might not be happy with you either, so....... 2. "People do what they WANT to do." If he wanted to leave for you, he would have already done so. If he didn't love his life and felt fully in love with you, he'd have already left by now. It should be NO contest. Sometimes people use kids are their "excuse" when the REAL reason they don't want to leave is their spouse. (I'm not saying kids can't be a factor, they obviously ARE- but I think people often overplay this hand when it's really a combo of their kids AND their spouse). YOU yourself aren't just going ahead and making the leap of faith either, so how do you really feel about it? People get divorced all the time, kids are resilient, so what REALLY holding you both back? I want to point out to you that you've multiple times brought up negatives associated with this. I want to repeat some of those words back to you " Huge mistake" " I couldn't come to forgiving him" "there are times I feel like he is with her because he loves her too" "I also don’t want to do this ; and feel used." Does this all sound good to you? Finally, there is NO WAY to " give yourselves a shot without spouses involved" because you are both married. You will always be a side dish as long as you are both married. The only real way to do this is to leave your spouses and really go for it. So my final question to you is- If you both claim you love each other SO much and are SO in love with each other, then why are neither of you willing to actually DO this?
  18. I have no problem with opposite gender friendships IF 1. Everything is above board 2. There is NO lying going on 3. It doesn't in any way impact your marriage/primary relationship. You are right to feel insecure over these- because he has broken ALL THREE of these rules. He hasn't been honest about her. He should have made sure you were comfortable with going to lunch with her. He lied about going at ALL and the frequency with which they were going. To me, every day signals something more. I am married and have close male friends BUT- my husband always knows when I am hanging out with them, where we are going and for how long. I NEVER have to lie to him about anything, because they really ARE just friendships. He is also always invited to join. And even with my best friend who is male- I still don't see him or talk to him EVERY day! And I certainly don't avoid my husband or omit what I did with my friends. It doesn't impact our marriage if I go to the arcade or movies or out to lunch with one of my friends. I'm very sorry to tell you that this sounds like more than friendship. He flat out lied. And people don't go out with mere co-workers EVERY day. You have a right to be concerned. I do not think in this instance you are insecure, I think you are wise to be worried, especially now that he's avoiding talking about it and is distant with you. IMVHO, this is at LEAST an emotional affair. You are going to have to decide if you want to live in the dark and assume the best. OR if you want the truth. Understand that if you DO want the truth- you will have to have a difficult conversation, you may not like what you will hear and this may leave you with an even bigger decision to make. Ignorance can be bliss. Reality is much more complicated. But you need to decide which you would rather have. Good luck!
  19. This sounds like my first husband. It's just MVHO, but I can tell you based on my own experiences- this is VERY difficult to change. He has to want to change and addiction is VERY difficult to overcome. Not impossible, but VERY challenging. If you want him to change, you are going to HAVE to talk to him about it. It will not change on its own. But you must understand that sometimes, addictions don't just go away. This may be a lifelong struggle for him. You need to decide that IF this is a lifelong thing- are you willing to accept that he is likely to either have it forever and or even if he mostly has it under control- he may have occasional "slips" that require your help OR you decide it's a deal-breaker that you cannot deal with in the long-term. In either case, do not expect this to simply disappear and never rear its head. Addiction is just not that easy or simple to overcome in the long term. VERY few people hurdle it once and forever after. You need to think about what you want, what you can live with, and if you feel like this is a journey of possible lifelong struggle that you are willing to endure with him or not.
  20. ^ Agreed. This is ALL kind of disrespectful. Doing that with a spouse's friend? Not cool at ALL. I agree something extra fishy is going on here. IMVHO, it goes beyond what he told you. He lied to you about taking your phone and who knows what else he was looking for. He is majorly violating trust and respectful boundaries. You need to have a conversation beyond what he told you. Ask him how he'd feel if you were doing the same thing with a pic of HIS friend.
  21. You are an adult. Your parents owe you NOTHING. Be grateful you have a parent who wants to help you at ALL. I received NO help at all from my parents after I turned 17.
  22. He gave you his answer. He likes that relationship as it is. That's it. Either accept that or break up with him. Those are your choices. Also, just a word of caution to you. Saying stuff like MY boyfriend is sticky territory. People aren't property and unwarranted jealousy isn't attractive. He cannot control what she does any more than YOU can. Nothing has happened and he keeps saying that they are just friends. Why do you feel so insecure with him? Why don't you trust him? You Even SAY YOURSELF that " You KNOW nothing is going on" So, what is the actual problem? Even IF she "hardcore wanted him"- he's not doing anything about it. He's choosing to be with you. You either stay with him or "get over" this friendship with this woman. Or you break up.
  23. He gave you his answer. He likes that relationship as it is. That's it. Either accept that or break up with him. Those are your choices. Also, just a word of caution to you. Saying stuff like MY boyfriend is sticky territory. People aren't property and unwarranted jealousy isn't attractive. He cannot control what she does any more than YOU can. Nothing has happened and he keeps saying that they are just friends. Why do you feel so insecure with him? Why don't you trust him? You Even SAY YOURSELF that " You KNOW nothing is going on" So, what is the actual problem? Even IF she "hardcore wanted him"- he's not doing anything about it. He's choosing to be with you. You either stay with him or "get over" this friendship with this woman. Or you break up.
  24. Thanks for your condolences, I appreciate that. We are actually VERY similar, Jay! Yes, I totally understand. My mom and I "got into it" about religion a lot. I truly understand how difficult that can be. The good news is you don't have to live with her anymore. Your Dad definitely does seem to have issues with his own self-esteem. I understand the urge to want to "help" or "open his eyes" as someone who loves him dearly. However, it's kind of like someone who is an alcoholic. It's painful to watch, but they will only change when THEY want to. You cannot do it for them, as much as you want to. I know it's hard, but it really is up to him to change. Oh, perspective. You are going to think I'm pulling your leg here, but it's the honest truth. My father is bi-polar (along with a couple other things that don't need mentioning here). Your stepmom makes SO much more sense to me now. A lot of people with mental illness (my father included) cling to religion as a way to cope with something that is out of their control. Mental illness is JUST that, an illness. She cannot control it. Example- the restaurant incident. She probably knows what she did was wrong, but could not control what came out in the moment. My father has described it as dominos falling - You know you shouldn't let them fall, but it's already been set in motion and you can't stop it. She likely regrets it, even if she doesn't express that to you. I've been thru SO much with my father. My siblings always just wanted to brush him off as a jerk, due to some of his behavior. And I fully understand that sometimes that behavior is outlandish, rude, and not easily understood. I was the only one who took the time to understand his illness. It is all too easy to brush aside mental illness and just wonder " Why can't they just control themselves?" That's the point- they can't. They may want to desperately, but just can't. Like telling someone with depression to just "smile more" or someone with anxiety to just "calm down"- if it was THAT easy, it wouldn't be an illness. We can be so harsh with mental illness in a way we aren't with physical. After all, would we tell someone with cancer to just "not let their hair fall out". You'll really need to exercise as much patience with your stepmom as you can. I can tell you from personal experience that she is fighting a difficult fight. And how it sounds to me, trying as hard as she can to try and be a good person (even if she sometimes fails). I really hope for her sake she gets some professional help. Even if she doesn't now, don't give up hope, it took my father YEARS to admit he had an illness. The best thing you can do is to give them both as much love and support as you possibly can and let them know you are there for them. All the Love! Message me ANYTIME!
  25. Final thought- Others have suggested some one on one time with your Dad. I think this is a good thing to do occasionally. However, I want to caution you from own experience as a stepmom. It can be VERY hurtful if you feel like the kids are trying to avoid you. That happened with me towards the beginning of my relationship with my husband. And while I DID understand and tried to be as open-minded about it as possible, it did still sometimes hurt my feelings. Because I felt like " I am being REALLY nice to them and giving all that I have and they still don't want to see me?" I never made my husband feel guilty about it, but anytime I felt that it was happening "regularly"- I'd ask him " Do they hate me or something that they never want to see me?" My husband still has one on ones with them and it doesn't bother me. But that's also because the majority of our gatherings are still together. It's totally fine to do stuff independently. Just make sure the approach isn't to "give her a taste of her own medicine" or "make a point"- because, maybe she really is trying her best. Even in her imperfection, she is still a person with feelings. And if ALL of what you do with Dad is alone, it really WILL create a problem, if you aren't careful.
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