Can’t Forget Old Boyfriend

Dear Tilly, When I was 8 I moved to a neighborhood where I first met Bob. We became best friends and I could count on him like no one else. When we for older about Freshman year in high school, we dated. I was much more mature than him so after a couple months I broke up with him for a stupid reason, I wanted someone more mature. Well, I found someone more mature and I dated this guy, Joe, for 5 years. I honestly did love Joe and I showed him that. However, part of me still loved Bob too. Bob and I stopped talking upon me dating Joe per Joe’s request but Bob could make me smile on my worst days and I don’t care how young we were it was true love. Throughout my relationship with Joe my best friend Susie was the only one who knew that I still loved Bob and didn’t even understand why I was with Joe. Well, about a year ago Joe and I broke up. He cheated. Still to this day I think about Bob all the time. I want to tell him how I feel but it’s a difficult situation. He’s in a relationship and actually has a baby on the way but he isn’t happy with the girl and the girl is constantly putting his first daughter down from what his Mom says. Anyways, I’m supposed to move 25 hours away in September but I think it’ll be the biggest regret of my life to not say anything to Bob and find out how he feels before I just take off and leave. If he was willing to give us another shot I wouldn’t move. I would wait until he was ready. I don’t want to put my life on hold for him but he would be worth it if I knew there was a possibility of getting back together. I’m not usually the type of person to interfere in someone elses relationship but I don’t know what to do. I’ve made the mistake once and idk if I could handle knowing I did it again… Please help :’( If you need anymore details to come up with a resolution, I’ll answer anything just please help me figure this out. Undecided

Hi Undecided,

As you say, it would be the biggest regret of your life not to let Bob know how you feel and see if there is any possibility of anything with him. I think you have no choice but to bring this to a resolution and find out either way if he feels the same. The only pause I have is – you got this information from his mother that he was unhappy with the pregnant woman, and I caution you to take this with a pinch of salt and see if he in fact is not happy with her and is prepared to walk away from her and the baby. This is potentially a messy situation so go into it with your eyes open. But I think you have to lay this to rest either way or it will haunt you forever. Let us know how it turns out. Good luck, love Tilly

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Can’t Forget Old Boyfriend

Dear Tilly, When I was 8 I moved to a neighborhood where I first met Bob. We became best friends and I could count on him like no one else. When we for older about Freshman year in high school, we dated. I was much more mature than him so after a couple months I broke up with him for a stupid reason, I wanted someone more mature. Well, I found someone more mature and I dated this guy, Joe, for 5 years. I honestly did love Joe and I showed him that. However, part of me still loved Bob too. Bob and I stopped talking upon me dating Joe per Joe’s request but Bob could make me smile on my worst days and I don’t care how young we were it was true love. Throughout my relationship with Joe my best friend Susie was the only one who knew that I still loved Bob and didn’t even understand why I was with Joe. Well, about a year ago Joe and I broke up. He cheated. Still to this day I think about Bob all the time. I want to tell him how I feel but it’s a difficult situation. He’s in a relationship and actually has a baby on the way but he isn’t happy with the girl and the girl is constantly putting his first daughter down from what his Mom says. Anyways, I’m supposed to move 25 hours away in September but I think it’ll be the biggest regret of my life to not say anything to Bob and find out how he feels before I just take off and leave. If he was willing to give us another shot I wouldn’t move. I would wait until he was ready. I don’t want to put my life on hold for him but he would be worth it if I knew there was a possibility of getting back together. I’m not usually the type of person to interfere in someone elses relationship but I don’t know what to do. I’ve made the mistake once and idk if I could handle knowing I did it again… Please help :’( If you need anymore details to come up with a resolution, I’ll answer anything just please help me figure this out. Undecided

Hi Undecided,
As you say, it would be the biggest regret of your life not to let Bob know how you feel and see if there is any possibility of anything with him. I think you have no choice but to bring this to a resolution and find out either way if he feels the same. The only pause I have is – you got this information from his mother that he was unhappy with the pregnant woman, and I caution you to take this with a pinch of salt and see if he in fact is not happy with her and is prepared to walk away from her and the baby. This is potentially a messy situation so go into it with your eyes open. But I think you have to lay this to rest either way or it will haunt you forever. Let us know how it turns out. Good luck, love Tilly
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Cheating Husband Won’t Come Clean

Hello Tilly, This may be long, so my apologies. My husband works in construction and he travels for some jobs. Our son was 8 months at the time and I work from home so we didn’t go on the 15 hour drive to Wyoming in October. I trusted him, we talked everyday, texted a lot, he called me every night. I thought he was being great. He came home two weeks later and had to leave again after 2 days being home for another 3 weeks in Wyoming. He was finally home in the beginning of November. A few weeks go by and we are at my family’s vacation house for thanksgiving and for some odd reason felt the need to check my “others folder” on Facebook. Lo and behold there was a message from a woman whom I have never met. She wrote that she met my husband in Wyoming, found out he is married and really needs to talk to me. That was written October 12th. I replied that moment and awoke my husband. He said (of course) that he has no idea what I’m talking about and has never met her. That it was probably a prank one of his co-workers is playing on him. After a few hours I decided to go on to his phone account online and search for phone numbers that he had been in contact with lately, and he had been texting her all of October and then stopped about a week after he had come home from Wyoming. The woman finally replied saying that my husband was begging her not to reply to me and that he would do ANYTHING for her to be quiet. I finally got everything out of her. They met at a bar, he didn’t wear his wedding ring. She went back to his hotel and they had sex for over a week before she found his wedding ring and checked his wallet for any evidence of me. And so she did. My old college ID card was still in his wallet. And of course he always has an excuse. He swears that he never touched her! Said that she stole $100 from his wallet at the bar and probably went through it all there. That she’s a crazy psychopath that was upset he wouldn’t talk to her at the bar. But could not come up with an excuse regarding exchanging phone numbers. And 6 months later he still can’t tell the truth. I can’t trust him, I am extremely unhappy and our child is about to turn 16 months old and I don’t want him to remember the animosity. I just don’t know what to do from here…  Thank you for reading!    -AB

Dear AB, I’m not surprised that you are extremely unhappy – this is an awful situation. Your husband went off on a joyride and thinks he can concoct all kinds of unlikely stories to try to obscure what happened. Obviously you can’t live with this – it’s an unworkable situation. My advice is pretty strong, so bear with me on this…..I think you have no choice but to separate from your husband at this time. Send him away or you go to live with someone. Tell him you need a month or two to get your thinking straight. Tell him he must think about this and come clean. Only then can you begin to try to heal the marriage – if that is possible. I truly think you have to have a very strong response to the position he has put you in. He has to come clean, then go through all the work it will take to try to rebuild trust. I would say if he can’t do that, I cannot see any way this marriage can continue except in an unhealthy way. This is my opinion. I wish you the best as you move forward. Love Tilly

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Good relationship but sex is lacking

Dear Tilly, I’ve been in a relationship with my wonderful boyfriend for sixteen months now.  I feel that we are really in love.  But there’s a problem – sorry in advance if I over-explain things.  Six months into our relationship  we started having sex.  Since then we have sex maybe one a week – we’re always too busy and it’s hard to find the time.  Anyway when we do have sex, it’s pretty much the same routine.  He sticks it in and it’s over in two minutes, leaving me very unsatisfied.  Then he bought me a virbrator for Christmas.  Honestly I’ve had more orgasms with the vibrator than I’ve ever had with my boyfriend.   I’m very shy when it comes to sex and it’s hard for me to tell him anything.  He rarely gives me oral sex even though I like it a lot.  How do I let him know I want to spice up our sex life.  J.

Hi J:
Congrats on having a wonderful relationship in many areas. But I’m sorry to hear that your sex life is so lacking. Your boyfriend clearly doesn’t have much experience in lovemaking. But if you don’t let him know, this will never change. In time it will erode the good parts of your relationship. Obviously it’s a delicate area and you don’t want to emasculate him, but there are ways to gently coach him in the ways that will make sex much more satisfying for you. Do it one step at a time – next time you make love, ask him for something like oral sex or whatever you like – “do it in the spirit of – this feels so good when you do it. I feel so close to you.” Also rent some movies with some good sex in it and watch them together. Suggest you try what you see the screen. Another tip – tell him you want to do some things to him that you don’t normally do – take your time and really give him lots of pleasure – inspire him to reciprocate. I know it’s hard but you are the only one who can move this out of its rut. Sex does become a rut unless one or both people take it to a more exciting place. I know you can do this.  The alternative is to go to a couples counselor and have him/her help you with the discussion. But the preferable way right now would be for you to step out of your comfort zone taking it one small step at a time. Sex is such an important part of life – I wish you all the best in making it happen. Love Tilly

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Interfering Abusive Mother In Law

Dearest Tilly,  I was a single mother for fifteen years before I met my second husband. He pursued me for over a year. Many times I told him I had been single too long, was already 34 and was happy like this. He promised me a family and I was really in love with the idea that a man actually wanted a family with me. I would have more children. It would change my life.
We moved in together and he immediately asked me for a child. After six months, I was pregnant, awaiting the birth of a little girl. When I became pregnant, an ex-girlfriend who he had a child with 6 years before began to bother me. We fought. He involved his mother and she fought with me. I tried to ignore the problems because I wanted his daughter in our lives. I was advised by his mother and sister in law to hide my pregnancy from this girl. I felt so offended. I cried all through my pregnancy because of this and as a result he left me 5 months pregnant and went to live with his mother. I was not welcomed at his house when I went to look for him. Not welcomed by his mother and not supported by him. He eventually came back and we had our little girl. A month later i found out I was pregnant once again. My baby was 5 weeks old. His words to me were ” What are you gonna do? I’ll back you up regardless of what you decide.” I was devastated once again. God had blessed me again with another child and I would greatly welcome it. Moments later that night his mother called me and tried to convince me to have an abortion. I asked him if he had said that to his mother and he denied it. We fought and he left once again. I again went to look for him at his mother’s and she did not let me into her house. It was New Years Eve, it was cold, and I had taken my 5 week old baby with me. She raised her voice at me and again questioned me as to why I couldn’t have an abortion. I found him a week later at his friend’s house and his response was that I was hormonal and his mother was only trying to help.
He eventually came back again and we fought the whole pregnancy. I suffered so much because of this and his response was his mother was only trying to help and I had blown things out of proportion. I became ill and delivered my baby at 33 weeks. His mother never came to meet my son. After I had him, i cried everyday. I no longer had any emotional strength.
We fought one day because he was tired of me being unhappy and angry. He called his mother and his mother asked to speak to me. She threatened to come to my house to hurt me. I had a 10 month old and a baby that was 4 weeks just released from the NICU.He did not support me. He sided with her and he left. He’s been gone 146 days now and has yet to see his children. He tells me it is all my fault because he was good to me and I am stupid for letting other people run my life. I have tried very hard to move on and forget about him but I eventually called him about once a month to talk this over and he tells me he can’t be with me at this time. I feel very lonely, jaded, and the greatest sadness.  Am I too weak?  Was I wrong? I look at my babies every night and they are my strength every morning to live my life. Please advise.  E.

Dear E:  I’m sorry for all this sadness you have been feeling.  Your husband sounds like he is very easily swayed, particularly by his mother.  No man’s mother should be that involved in her son’s life and he was wrong to let her harass you the way she has.  He obviously was not ready to grow up and be a man independent of her.

You now have two children to look after.  They only have you and bearing that in mind, it’s important that you try to come to a place of strength and acceptance about your marriage. It seems pointless to keep asking this man for anything – he clearly has moved on, and is not taking responsibility for his part in the marriage failing.  I advise you to concentrate on your life as it is now and put your energy into making it as good as possible – for the children, as well as yourself.  Use your time well – if you are not working, consider getting a job and doing something that puts you out in the world and gives you some satisfaction.  Find ways to be around other people so that you can move forward and not dwell on the unhappy past.  I know you wish that this man had fulfilled your dream of a happy relationship, but it did not happen, and it probably never will.  Even if he comes back, it seems there are deep problems to be overcome.

I wish you all the best – take care of your little ones.  Love Tilly

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If Someone Blocks Me on Facebook…..???

Dear Tilly,  I met a man, undeniably beautiful in every way.  Everything from his looks, to his personality, to our compatibility, is perfect.
BUT HE IS IN THE ARMY.  We’ve only know each other for a couple of months and hung out twice in the past 6 months, each time about a couple of days.  Each of these times he’s told me about his wanting to pursue me, and that he only wants me.  But every time he leaves, he tells me otherwise. “A lot can happen in a year” is his favorite line.  A lot of my friends tell me that he’s only afraid of getting hurt, but he really has no idea how much he’s hurting me.
 
The second time he came back, he told me he was happy that I only wanted him and that I waited for him, our connection was indescribable. The second time he left, we got in this huge fight.  We were both really drunk, and I was mad that he didn’t want to make this a relationship while he was gone.  I slammed the door of his truck, and stormed inside, and that was the end of that.  I’ve had a couple of hook ups since he left, but it all goes back to him. We talked and laughed a couple of times about us “having bad timing” and about how I Hulk slammed his door, but he isn’t telling me everything.  I like this man, and I know he more than likes me.  But he blocked me on Facebook and we haven’t talked since the night he left.  I don’t know what to do. If he were here, everything would be perfect. Do you think he wants me to wait for him? Am I wasting my time?  I don’t know what to think. Help me!
Sincerely,  Torn in Two

 

Dear Torn:  I think if this man has blocked you on Facebook, that is a pretty clear message.  You can try to read into it that he’s scared or whatever but that is a trap for you.  The book “He’s Just Not Into That You” was exactly about that kind of distorted thinking women sometimes have when a man isn’t being responsive. 

Look I understand that things seemed perfect but he made it clear he wasn’t up for a longterm commitment.  You pushed back hard and it put him off, it’s that simple.  You wanted what you wanted and you tried to force it to happen.  That never works.  In my opinion there is only one sane course to take – unless you want to dig yourself into even more torture.  Do nothing.  Say nothing.  Get on with your life.  If he does circle back at a later time then great.  But he may not.  And you can’t live your life hoping that happens.  I’m not saying it’s out of the question but if he does reconnect it won’t be for a long time.  You have to let this be and try to to get it out of you mind – otherwise you’ll drive yourself crazy. 

At the very least there are lessons to be learned from this – it doesn’t work to use anger against someone to get what you want.  It can push people away.  Sorry if I’m being too direct but I feel for your pain in this.  Just move on……love Tilly.

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My Marriage is  Big Mistake

Dear Tilly,  I have been married to my husband for only 2 weeks, but we have been in a relationship for 6 years. Months before the marriage, I knew it wasn’t going to work out. His parents were already giving me a hard time a month before our wedding, and many little signs were coming my way to stop this wedding, ofcourse I didn’t listen to my inner voice. Now a day before our honeymoon, we got into an argument about the most stupidest thing, but I hate our arguments as they turn me into another person. I find myself short tempered and I also noticed his short temper towards me. The arguments seem to be getting worse, we no longer have patience and respect for one another no matter how many time we apologize to each other we still continue to hurt each other. I know in my heart that getting married to this person, especially being from very different backgrounds has made it that much more difficult and I want to know is it even worth it to continue and try to make things work?
Sincerely, stupid fool

Dear “stupid fool”:  This sounds very painful and against all our ideas of how we should feel after a wedding.  I wonder why you went through with it since you had many reservations in the months prior to the event.  I wonder if you thought the ceremony would suddenly change things and make it alright.  Just to put everything in perspective however…..it’s not uncommon to have mixed feelings, even regrets after a wedding.  I think Neil Simon even wrote a play about it. I’ve heard people talk about wondering on their honeymoons if they have made a huge mistake.  (The same happens after a birth of a child sometimes.)  A big life change can be very very disrupting.  What I’m trying to say is some of what you are feeling is normal.  However it’s possible your situation is more serious and there really is a huge mismatch here.  I would try to avoid the arguments, take time for yourself, and give this a few months to settle.  If possible try to talk to your parter about what’s going on – he may be feeling the same.  Is it salvageable between you?  Could this be an opportunity to get closer and know each other better.  Only you know.  Is it possible for you to get help in working this out – a close friend, a counselor?  I wish you all the best, love Tilly.

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Shall I Give My Husband Another Chance?
Dear Tilly,
I have been married for 8 years and we have been together for 11 years. This is my 2nd marriage.
Anyway, I met my current husband playing on a co-ed softball team. He’s 4 years younger than me so at first I wasn’t in to him, but he pursued me for like a year. I didn’t want to burden a single man with a woman and a kid, but he didn’t give up so I decided to give him a chance.  He’s honestly a great guy; he’s a helpful husband, wonderful Dad, BUT when he wasn’t drinking.
He has/had a drinking issue, but never thought he had a problem with it. He said I still get up and go to work every day. BLAH BLAH!!! I had issues with that before we got married. I talked to him and let him know how I felt about it and asked him NOT to stop, but to slow down. He did better for a bit, just enough time for us to get married. When we were single we’d drink together, but once we got married I thought it was time to be more responsible. He went back to his old habit of drinking at least a 6 pack on week days and on weekend went through a 30 pack and sometimes went to store for more.  Before we talked about having a baby together, I talked to him about it AGAIN. He didn’t have one of his own so he really wanted us to have one for him. I wasn’t totally against it, but I was content with my oldest daughter. I told him I did not want to bring a child in this type of environment.  He said he’d be better and for a while again just long enough for us to get pregnant.  He always reverted back to same old drinking habits. Yes I know married him knowing he had drinking issues, that is my fault for thinking it’d always het better.   I had no problem with drinking here and there at parties or social events or family things whatever, but when he drank it wasn’t a few it was always several. I had to be the responsible one ALWAYS… I got so tired of it. I couldn’t have a good time b/c I knew I’d have to take care of him and his drunken ass. And I had to be the one to apologize for his behavior.  So I come to realize he loved his drinking over me.  I know I had a couple more “talks” with him about it and it would get better for a couple weeks and go back same.
So as the months and years went on I shut off my feelings put a wall up.  I have had a lot of build up resentment and anger towards him. I had pretty much shut down emotionally on him. I mean I love him and care about his well being but I don’t know if that is enough.
This last year I stopped giving a crap b/c I felt like he didn’t give a crap about my feelings on his drinking problem. I rarely wanted to be in the same room as him, we just coexisted. We drifted apart really only conversing about the kids or family. To top it off we worked together as well which made it worse b/c I never got a break from him.  I withdrew physically and emotionally. We rarely had sex; he typically passed out on the couch.  When we did it was awful b/c he smelled like a brewery and couldn’t perform b/c he was drunk.
So one night about 3 months ago we had a huge fight we agreed that he should leave. We’ve been separated since August. I just couldn’t take his drinking anymore. I was tired of it and him. He says he hasn’t had a drink since he’s left.   That he’s a better man, and that he wants to make this work and be the man I deserved. He’s willing to work on our marriage but I am not sure I want to work on it b/c of all the hurt and resentment I have. I think of it as why do I want to work hard on something that has caused me to much pain.  
I am not saying I am perfect in our marriage b/c no one is right.  I even asked him many times if I was the reason he drank as much as he did. To me there had to be a reason why he drank that much. But he always said no, he said he likes the way it makes him feel. I mean I like to have a couple beers or drinks now and then to unwind, but not every night 6-10+.  I am not sure what to do. Since we’ve been separated I feel like a new woman,  I am happy,  I have lost 20 pounds, I don’t feel stressed,  I don’t dread coming home, I enjoy my time with my girls. But I also have tons of guilt, b/c my girls miss him.  Guilt sucks!!!  I do miss him at times, I miss what we used to have, but I DO NOT miss the drunken nights, him passing out on the couch, and then waking me up at 3am when he comes to bed
I guess I am asking if you think I should give him another chance or just move on?! People say follow your heart, but my heart is the one confused here.  My head is telling me to move on that your heart doesn’t need this. Help I am lost.
Thank you,-K

 

Dear K,  Thanks for explaining your situation so well.  I feel for your position.  It seems you are very conflicted.  Part of you wants to stay living away from himand the other part wants to make your children happy.  I don’t know what the answer is, and of course only you can come to a decision.  I can say a few things though.
If you did give him another chance, do you have any belief that it will work out?  This is very important because if you don’t believe it, it will be self-fulfilling.  And if you did give him another chance, could you make him know that it is his very last chance and that any slip will mean the end?
As far as your kids go, yes they want you together like all children of broken up parents, no matter how unhappy the parents are.  it’s natural.  You don’t say how old they are but I imagine they are young.  Do they have any inkling of why you are apart?  Have they see him drinking? 
The question of whether to allow him back for their sakes is two sided.    It sounds good in some ways.  Perhaps his knowing you are doing it for the girls will inspire him to get his act together.  But on the other hand, if it doesn’t work out the girls will have to go through a split all over again. 
I think as I write this that you must make a decision of what is right for the adults, and the children will adapt. You cannot just do it for them, it won’t work.  However, if you do decide to not let him back, make sure that the girls see him as much as they need to.  This will be very important.
Is he in any program?  AA? or similar?  It sounds like he needs help as alcohol is unravelling his life.  I hope he is.  It’s so hard to stop drinking alone and in a vacuum.
Have you ever gone to Al-Anon? It’s for family members of alcoholics.  I hear good things about it in terms of coping with living with a drinker.
I hope you can sort this out.  Is there anyone you can talk with in your area?  A good friend?  A counselor?  Sometimes talking things out helps the truth to emerge as to what you should do.
Best of luck with your decision.  Love Tilly
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Hurt by Grandparents’ Criticism

Dear Tilly,  My grandparents were incredibly generous to all of the grand kids and paid for all college expenses. I have always visited, but I started going down weekly for lunch once I entered college. My sister once starting college began to do the same. It has been five years and I rarely have missed a week. My grandfather only leaves the house for doctors appointments and when I come for lunch. My sister and I developed a great relationship with them over the years. We also are the only ones to talk to them. My sister decided to go to a university out of state her last two years of college and went for one final visit.  My grandparents not only paid for schooling, but had also informed us that they set $20,000 aside for each grandchild for a car, which I had already received and she had not. Her and my father asked if instead of getting a car, she could just have the money to furnish her apartment.   When she brought it up at the final lunch, my grandfather started to yell at her for being ungrateful, a bitch, and selfish. A lot of words were said by him which left my sister in tears. He mentioned how I spent to much money on college and how I have done nothing with my life. I have two older cousins, both of which spent more money than I, and have done nothing with their degrees. I graduated in three years to save them money and have a job within my major, where as they took 6 years and work with nothing to do with their major.  They also said that it is ridiculous that my sister and I never had a job while in school. This threw me off because I held a job working 30 hours a week all throughout college, and my cousins never worked and actually received a monthly allowance from my grandparents. They told me my last semester that they did not want me to work because they wanted me to enjoy my last semester and I proceeded to live off of my savings.

I am hurt by what they said about me and what they did to my sister. I have thanked them repeatedly for their generosity. I do not understand why they said things that weren’t true about me. My grandmother has always had a “we don’t have secrets from each other policy” and if they truly believe I spent to much, I don’t understand why they never asked me to pick a cheaper school.
Because of what they said about me, and what they did to my sister, I am uncomfortable going down there. They never said anything to me about the situation, but I assume they know that I know. I now feel like I am going down out of obligation and guilt. I just don’t know what to do because I feel like our relationship isn’t as good as I thought it was. I appreciate what they have done for me, and I care about them deeply. I am now the only member of the family to talk to them and I don’t just want to let our relationship fizzle. Should I try and talk to them about it or just continue pretend it never happened? And if I should talk to them, what do I even say?     Unsure

Dear Unsure,  I feel for your situation here – it’s very uncomfortable when people seem to turn on you like this.  I have a couple of thoughts.  One is — how old are they?  Is it possible they are not thinking as clearly as they have in the past?  Another thought – the money was set aside for school and car  specifically – I can see that asking for the money for another reason might not go over well.  They obviously put a value on college and having transportation.

It sounds like you want the relationship to continue as it was before and it is sad for them if they are on their own and their relationships with other family members have taken a bad turn.  I know it’s hard sometimes to talk straight to people about difficult topics but in this case, it seems the only solution.  Could you go to see them and sit them down and tell them how hurt you are about what was said.  Also point out that they seem to have a misunderstanding about some of the facts – like you had a job and worked while in college.  If you try to have the conversation calmly from a place of love for them, not from a place of anger, it’s possible you can clear the air with them.  Thank them profusely for all they have done.  They are older now and need support, and it would be a generous thing for you to do, as well as possible relief for yourself.   I know it won’t be easy but it will give everyone a chance to clear the air.  Sometimes things are said in anger that are not really meant – your grandfather may be grateful for a chance to take back some of the hurtful things he said about you.    Best of luck – love Tilly

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What To Do When Relationship Is Stale

Dear Tilly,  I am a 53 year old female whose been in a relationship with a 63 year old man for almost 6 years.  When we first started dating he was loving, attentive, talkative, and I really felt that I had hit the jackpot.  I was so happy.  After about 6 months, he began to withdraw, became moody, started stopping at the bar where he’s a member, didn’t talk, we didn’t do anything anymore like we used to.  I try to talk to him over the years when I’ve had enough of it.   About 3 years ago, he told me he wasn’t attracted to me anymore and he didn’t know why.  I tried to get him to think it through and talk to me.  After awhile, he said he didn’t know why he said that.  About a year after that he told me that he still loved his exwife (who divorced him after an affair).  I moved out at that point.  After about 8 months, we started dating again and things seemed to improve again…..for about a year.  Then he went back to being distant and aloof.  We don’t talk.  We have never had intercourse because his penis is severely crooked.  I was okay with that as long as he was attentive in other ways.  That’s gone too. 

A little background:  He has two adult children.  He is entranced by his beautiful daughter.  Only time I ever saw him cry was when she told him she was moving 1000 miles away.  When we are with other people, she’s all he talks about.  His son is second in line, he loves him but doesn’t have the closeness with him as he does his daughter.  I have flown her home for a surprise father’s day gift and again on another birthday.  I get along very well with her.  My issues is that he capable of showing me the same love and affection he shows her.  I”m not jealous of her but of the attention he shows her that he doesn’t have for me.

I have three married adult children.  I have 5 grandchildren including a set of twins.  He’s good with them all.  I like to have them overnight to give my kids a break and to spend time with the grandkids.  I couldn’t do it alone especially with the twins.  So he a big help with them.  I own the house we live in.  He pays have the mortgage and utilities in a shared checking account that we have linked to our own personal accounts.  We transfer every week into the joint and I pay the household bills from it.  Our personal bills, i.e. car payment, cell phone bills, credit cards are paid from our personal accounts.  So he’s a big financial help.
He does the laundry, washes the cars, mows the lawn etc so he’s a big help around the house.  We go out to eat at the local pub and occasionally to other restaurants (nothing fancy or romantic) so he’s a good companion as long as it’s the two of us.  When we are with other people, I disappear.  He talks to everyone else about his daughter, his job, his work, golf and other sports, and he becomes full of himself.  He commands the conversation and if I try to get a word in, he ignores it.  Once when we were out with another couple and I was talking, he told me to quit boring them.  He did apologize the next day blaming it on excessive alcohol but I don’t want to do anything with other people because he treats me this way.

I would classify our relationship as practical.  So what’s the problem?  I’m lonely.  We don’t touch, hold hands, look at each other in “that way”, never say endearing terms to each other, never playful and we never snuggle or cuddle.  He just doesn’t want to.  I have tried to encourage him but it’s obvious that he doesn’t want to so I just don’t bother anymore.  I long to be held sometimes.  Most times I’m okay and just feel numb but there are other times I just want to have someone tell me I’m attractive, or are in love with me.  Like someone wants me in that way.

He’s confessed that he’s discussed his problems with me to his secretary which I think was very inappropriate.  We only talk by email, very rarely face to face.  When it is face to face, he ends up getting mad and walking out of the room.  I have a good job with a lot of responsibility, I was a single parent, I had to learn life the hard way so I am a very strong person but he knew this when he started dating me.  It seems that the very same thing that attracted him to me in the beginning is the same thing that is turning him off now.  I know he loves me but in love with me in that way.  At this point I feel the same way.

So to sum it all up, he’s there in a big way practically.   I need his half of the living expenses.  I love that he can help me with the grandkids.  It’s great the he takes care of so much around the house and I really appreciate it.   But there’s nothing that puts the heart into our relationship and I’m not dead yet.  I’m not the sort to go out to a bar by myself or be disloyal to him although the thought enters my mind a lot, I just can’t do it.  I don’t talk to anyone about this because it’s not their issues and I’m kind of private when it comes to my problems.  Any suggestions?  Thanks.  Stuck in Stale Relationship

 

Hello Stuck,  This is a story I’m sure many people can relate to, a relationship that works in some ways but is very lacking in other fundamental areas.  You are only 53 and have many years of life ahead of you and I’m sure it must be depressing to think that you will not have love and attention ever again should your partner remain where he is emotionally.  It’s also unacceptable that he put you down in front of people.  I sense such a yearning in you for more and it is a shame your partner does not hear this also.  I suppose the big question to ask yourself is are you willing to risk the stability and support you have now in a quest to get what you really want.  If you get to that point, the first step would be to tell your partner you can’t live like this and for you to stay, things have to change.  The next step would be to really vocalize your needs.  Doing it with a counselor may be helpful if your partner would go with you.  Or you could go alone and get help in speaking up and communicating your needs in a way that’s healthy.  It’s possible if your partner knows you may leave him, he will be inspired to treat you better.  But of course the opposite could happen and t’s up to you if you are willing to take the risk.  The truth is its a big world out there and there are many good men who would value a woman like you.  Freeing yourself and being alone for a while would not be easy.  The question is are you ready or willing to do that.  The alternative is to remain where you are and be resigned to a life without love and affection and appreciation.  Many people do this, it’s a choice.  Some people compensate by having other interests and other friends away from the unsatisfying home life.  You are at a big turning point in your life it seems – I’m glad you wrote it – that’s a great start.  Do you have any friends you can confide in?  I wish you all the best in tackling this……love Tilly
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