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Does He Really Still Love Me? Should I Tell?
I Can't Stop Thinking about Him!
Dear Mrs. Web,
I am involved with a guy I used to date in high school. He is newly divorced and has three children and I have two kids. He loves to talk about his kids. He says he always has loved me and that I was his first love. He says he never loved his ex-wife. He is a good man and cares for the kids while I am at work. He treats me like a queen. Do you really could still love me after all these years?
I don’t know if he really loves you. I stopped doing long-distance mind reading. Dear Mrs Web considers commitment to marriage prime evidence of love. Dear Mrs Web also does not consider it healthy to have a boyfriend involved in your children’s lives!
I certainly hope he is working and you re not giving him a free financial ride.
Dear Mrs. Web,
My former friends at school were in a tough, trouble-making group. We ran a bit wild. I have gotten away from my old friends, but sometimes I hear things and recently heard that the group is planning to vandalize a teacher’s house. Who knows? It might even become personal.
I am not a part of it. I did not plan it. I did not approve it, or anything else. Should I tell the teacher involved? We have never really gotten along. Maybe he won’t believe me or hold me responsible. I don't want to see anything bad happen. But if it does, I don't want to get ANY of the blame for it. What should I do?
Tell your parents. Then, sit down with your school principal tomorrow morning. With your parents if it is at all possible. You will need adult representation in the school system. If the teach is available, have him there too.
Tell the principal exactly what you said in this letter. Heck, take the letter with you! This is an adult matter and the principal is ultimately responsible for the staff and students. That’s why they get the most pay and the reserved parking spot.
You will also want to talk with them about making sure you are safe too. People sometimes get upset if their plans are mucked up. Take care now
Dear Mrs Web,
There is a man I just can’t stop thinking about. He flirts with me and we enjoy each other when we see each other at the local bar. About a year ago, we went home together one night. Since then, we had two other nights together. We don’t date, or even talk on the phone. We just see each other at the bar or in the neighborhood.
I discovered recently that he is engaged. A friend of mine confronted him and he denied it, but I through others, I now know it is true. My problem is that he is soooo nice to me. He flirts and compliments me. I am so upset he is involved with someone else, but I can’t get him out of my head. I am desperate. What should I do?
You have seen this man at a local bar and over a year’s time you had three sexual encounters with him. No commitment, no connections – just sex. His emotional commitments are elsewhere and you feel betrayed.
My dear, you opened yourself emotionally to a bar pickup. No strings sex is just that – no commitment. Just because he is nice, doesn’t mean he has anything but sexual interest in you. Most men are nice with the women they want to use sexually; it gets them farther. What I can’t comprehend is why you are desperate over a person you were involved with in casual sexual encounters.
It seems you have mistaken sex for affection or even love. Just because someone has sex with you doesn’t mean that any affection exists.
Sex can drive one's heart. That is why sex is precious. Only have sex when you are in a relationship with someone who loves you, who cares for you, and who will appreciate the gift of your body and emotions.
I think you need to readjust your dating methods. First, become emotionally connected, and then have a sexual union - preferably in the bonds of marriage.
You need to stop obsessing about a man who gave you crumbs. You may want to list out what you want in a loving, committed relationship and hold out for it. There are plenty of wonderful, men out there who are looking for commitment and love. I know, they write me.
Should I Dump Him?
Should We Move?
Should I Trust Him?
Dear Mrs. Web,
I have a boyfriend who barely talks to me. We never see each other
and he never e-mails me. It's like he’s ignoring me for some reason. I
don't know what to do. A lot of my friends say that he doesn't like me
but I don’t believe them. What do you think I should do? Do you think
I should dump him?
Dear Mrs. Web,
Our son has a learning disability that that needs more than he is getting at the local public school. We have found a school that helps kids with his kinds of problems. It would be a great place for him. Unfortunately, sending our son to this school will require us to move.
I am an only child. My mother, a 72-year-old widow who lives near us, is very upset about the prospect of our family moving the three hours away. She has told me I would be destroying her life by leaving. We have asked her to move with us but she refuses. She says she’s too old to move and it would ruin her life. She is active and in good health.
I feel she is being selfish for not letting us get the help for our son without all this guilt. My son really needs the help this school could give him. Should we move and send him to a school that will really help him, but would destroy my mother's life?
In my opinion, your primary responsibility is your son. It sounds like you are looking for the best options so your son can thrive and succeed. Your mother doesn’t want to change her life; very few people do, especially at 72 years of age. That is why she is pulling out the big-guilt gun.
Your mother’s life will be destroyed only if she destroys it. Her life is her responsibility and she will choose how she wants to handle the unexpected changes she faces. Life is filled with these unexpected changes and courage is needed to face them.
However, she has options: can stay where she is and continue her life with her friends and acquaintances. Or she can relocate with you. On the other hand, since you won’t be that far away, she may stay where she is for the time being and when she needs more care/supervision move to your new location.
If she were my mother, I would give her some time to get used to the idea. Sometimes gathering courage to face change takes time. Make your plans. Be very loving to her and tell her you will understand and accept whatever decision she makes about relocation.
Dear Mrs. Web,
I am in a relationship and I don't trust my partner. We have been together almost 9 months and I am 8 months pregnant by him. I know that I really didn't take the time to know him. That was my fault I have fallen in love with him, but I don't know how to let him know that I don't trust him without being rude or mean about it. Can you help?
You have opened your heart and your body to this man and are now carrying his child. You have trusted your innermost being to him, as well as the creation of one of the most important people in your life – your child.
It seems that you have become irrevocably involved with someone who you really don’t know very well and you have some fears and concerns. You have a baby on the way and a lot to decide about its future, your future, and your relationship with its father.
Trust is a foundation of any relationship. I think the best way of talking to someone about concerns and feelings in a relationship is to use "I statements." For example: I sometimes feel I cannot trust you because… or when you say that I feel… It is never rude to talk about relationship concerns when the conversation is respectful.
My Mother's Boyfriend, and Should I Call Him?
Dear Mrs. Web,
My fiancée called yesterday and we discussed getting together that evening. We agreed to meet at his apartment so I went home, rushed through my evening tasks, and went to his apartment. He was not there so I let myself in, fed the dog and settled in. Two hours later – no fiancé so I left a voice mail on his cell phone and went home. I have not heard from him and I am boiling mad. This is the second time this has happened.
If he had been saving small children from a blazing building, or in a severe car accident, well, I guess I would understand – this time. However, if he was having a great time with the buddies and losing track of time, or involved with a project and didn’t even call, well, I think it is time for THE TALK.
The TALK consists of discussing how you feel when you are forgotten: "When you forget me I feel unloved…and it hurts…I need to know…I get so worried you are hurt…."
Make it clear that this episode is a major event for you and causes all kinds of pain. Make him aware of the costs of his behaviors. Do this calmly and clearly. Then drop the subject. If he continues to be forgetful, you have to decide what you will and won’t tolerate.
Dear Mrs. Web,
My parents are divorced. My mother left my father about five years ago. I am married and a mother of two.
My mother is now involved with a man no one likes. This man is rude and crude. He treats my mother poorly. Recently he asked my mother whether he could sleep with my older married sister. I think he was joking.
He is very nice to my 15-year-old sister (who lives with Mom). He waits on her and coddles her. This strikes me as odd. My little sister loves this guy and will actually go next door and call to talk to him when my mother and he have had a tiff. My father has tried to get custody but the courts allow my sister to choose, and Mom has no rules at her house.
Do you think this creep could possibly be sexually involved with my baby sister? Do you think my mother might know? What should I do?
The situation between this man and your baby sister is inappropriate. His behavior is invasive and her behavior is the normal way a fifteen-year-old acts when an older man is seducing her. In my opinion, your sister is not safe.
Would your mother allow this man to sexually seduce your baby sister? Women have been known to use their children to keep a man interested.
This man also asked your mother whether he could sleep with another daughter. Since your mother didn’t show him the door after such an inappropriate statement, I think your baby sister is at risk for sexual abuse by this creep.
She needs to be pried out of there. Talk to your father immediately. You will both need to use whatever legal means available. Talk to a lawyer and the local welfare offices. Make sure you get a restraining order protecting the girl from him. Judges do not look kindly on home situations that include boyfriends sniffing around underage children.
Dear Mrs. Web,
How appropriate is it to call my boyfriend of four years? I have been taught not to call men. However, occasionally, not often, he does not give me a good morning call. I wait until lunchtime to give him a call. Is it appropriate to call him?
Yes, I do think it would be appropriate for you to call him occasionally. It sounds like your relationship has flourished (4 years) by you allowing him to take the lead. Therefore, I wouldn’t change things too much, but I would do the unexpected occasionally.
Musical Marriage, and
When Things are Tough
Dear Mrs. Web,
I am a 24 year-old musician, and have been one all my life. The first time I met my wife-to-be, I was reciting some of my lyrics, showing my new friends that I was good at it. We met in college, fell in love, graduated and got married 8 months ago.
Before marriage, I told her that music was a big part of my life and I planned to make it a successful career. Now I'm on the brink of being a successful/famous musician and my wife is beginning to not trust me. She speaks about all the obvious things like groupies, being on tour…
I am working with a recording company. My wife thinks that the women there can, in her words: "relate to me on a level I can't" because she's not a musically inclined person. I've invited her to a few of our events, but she has refused to attend. She is now accusing me of having a secret life because I have a cell phone and I don’t answer it when I am recording/working. She thinks I am avoiding her.
I don't want to stop doing my music because it is an important part of my life. I have changed my public personality for my career, but I am the same man she married. Do you think I should give up my music? It is a big part of my life. How can I help her be less insecure about my work?
Trust is the foundation of marriage. Your wife does not trust you. She has some good reasons to be concerned. The industry you are working in is very hard on marriages. Musicians, and other entertainers, especially well-known ones, are in the midst of alcohol, drugs, and sexual acting out.
The headiness and glitz of the industry can change people. Performers change and grow for their audiences. As a wife and perhaps, mother, your wife’s concerns are somewhat reasonable. No woman at age 34 and with three kids wants to be dumped for a groupie or record exec. In this day of easy divorce and lack of commitment, this isn’t a stretch to imagine.
On the other hand, you could be having affairs while pumping gas. Many of the choices you'll make with respect to your marriage commitment will be dependent on your character, and how you choose to keep it intact. Marriage, especially marriages with stresses of separation, adulation, and travel need more communication and work than the ones with a 9 to 5 life.
In your shoes, I would get into marriage counseling with my spouse. Trust-building would be the focus. Your wife may have insecurities that your behaviors are setting off. In addition, you both need to examine your expectations about marriage.
It is time to learn the details of marital communication. You need to know how to communicate with her so she feels connected. In addition, she needs to learn how to enter your world and become comfortable in it. She needs to know it and understand it, because this is part of you. I would, of course, expect you to do the same for her. You are a team working together to design the lives that you both want. There is nothing, in my opinion, that supports one more than a solid, strong marriage.
Do not misunderstand me, I think the marriage comes first, even before a world-famous career! However, I think that the issues do not make it an either/or situation. With full commitment and communication and hard work you might be able to have both.
Dear Mrs. Web,
My boyfriend was called as an expert witness in a lawsuit. The night before he was to appear the attorney representing the case called and said there was a major error in the report my boyfriend submitted. The lawyer was upset and said he hoped this would not cripple or kill the case.
This comment made my boyfriend a total wreck. He called and asked me to visit with him. I tried to encourage him but he seemed quiet and distant. I just waited for him to talk and then I responded. Did he just need quiet support? Could I have done more for him?
I think that you could do no more than to be there when he asked, listen to him, and respond when he spoke. A person’s thoughts can be far away when a problem besets them. Being present and supportive is the role we play in those circumstances.
You showed you cared during what must have been a difficult time for him.
His House - Not Hers, and Matchmakers
Dear Mrs. Web,
There was a terrible crime in our community last year and it is now coming to trial. I cannot believe that people can treat each other so inhumanly. It seems as though more people, especially young and troubled kids, are lashing out against anyone or anything they can catch at a disadvantage: children or animals, religious icons or racial differences. Why are these kids doing this?
I have always had a theory that the mentally and morally troubled are the canaries of a culture. They are cultural indicators. They act out the desires of the zeitgeist, especially the hidden or not so hidden hatreds and fears. Right on the edge, they are the first to go when the guardrails are removed. Many of the safety features normally in a culture to protect they young have been eliminated.
Children are obedient; they do exactly what they are told. Look around you today to discover exactly what we are telling them to do. Television, video games, magazines, commercials, and hobbled schools give children. teens and adults hedonistic, violent messages. Unprotected children and teens as well as troubled adults exposed to these messages will comply, to the great grief of the community and the nation.
Dear Mrs. Web,
My future in-laws are buying us a home in time for our wedding this May. His parents have made one condition: that the house would be in my fiancé’s name only. This makes me feel like they don’t trust our relationship.
This is essentially a pre-nuptial agreement. My concern for you is future planning and asset building. Since a house is the one biggest asset most families accumulate, you should not be shut out of it. I have a number of letters in my mailbox every week about married 40 year old men who fall for younger women.
You and your fiancé should come to a mutually beneficial agreement and your fiancé alone should deal with his parents.
Dear Mrs. Web,
I've concluded that in order to have a social life via the net and other singles functions, I need to spend about 20 or so hours a week to plan, organize, search etc. With the 60 plus hours I devote to my business, already this is not possible or will I have any energy left to actually attend functions.
Therefore, with my business to run it would be better off if I were to hire a professional matchmaker to accomplish this. Do you know where I might find someone to hire who would enjoy conducting a campaign on my behalf?
When I think of matchmakers, I think of people who will search in their ethnic or religious databases for a mate within the ethnic or religious enclaves. Orthodox Jews, high caste Indians, and some Arabs use traditional matchmakers. I am not aware of any more broadly based matchmaking services. Please let me know if there are any.
In the meantime, there are dating services. For the more traditional there is a new, well-recommended service called Singles With Scruples. I think that says it all.
Cutting back a bit at work to find the right woman may be the best thing you ever do. Because you cannot have a family and such a hectic schedule, so this would be a good time to lean how to gain some balance in your life.
Stealing, He Dates Her - I Like Her, and Flirting
Dear Mrs Web,
My stepson is 11. I have been in his life for 7 years. He has begun to steal money from us, not a lot but I am concerned. We have spoken to him about it.
He is a loner, who enjoys television and computer games. No friends at home but mixes well at school. He has been a good child until recently.
He has a 6 year old sister who he "hates." He fights or hits her constantly. He is enormously jealous of her natural abilities and cheerful, attention-getting extroverted personality. I fear his stealing is a cry for attention. What should we do?
I think you are right. The stealing is a symptom of his emptiness and neediness. He is crying for attention and help. He should also be evaluated for depression.
This boy is at the edge of puberty. In your shoes, I would advise putting him into family counseling. His father, you, and his mother will all need to learn how to help, guide, and direct this child. He needs attention.
It is time for the adults in his life to clear their calendars and focus on this child. It will be important to work with the counselor to help this child find a niche and a way to shine in life. You will be surprised at how positive attention will change a child’s heart. He is at a good age to catch this isolating, angry behavior and turn it around. However, it is going to take time, attention, and commitment.
Dear Mrs. Web,
My friend started dating a woman, Susie. Her best friend, Jean, and I are old friends. We began dating too, more for a lack of anything better to do. I think I am attracted to Susie. She seems to really like me too. I think we are falling in love!!
If I make a move, I could lose the friendships of Jean and my good buddy. What do I do?
You said you thought you and Louise are falling in love. But you really haven’t talked to her about it yet, have you? Let us not assume. Check it out.
When individuals become emotionally attached and detached such as this, problems happen. Dating and going out are, frankly, a way of shopping around. People get hurt. That is why I prefer courtship. You are going to need to decide what relationships are valuable to you and choose accordingly.
Dear Mrs. Web.
What do you think of a person who flirts while in a relationship and the psychological profile of that person?"
I don’t provide psychological profiles. However, I do have an opinion about it. People who flirt, generally like or need attention from the opposite sex. Flirting can also be a way a woman gains power in a given situation. Flirting can signal availability or lack of self-control.
In some areas of the country, particularly the South, flirting can be part of the way women of certain classes relate to all men; it is understood there to be all in innocent good fun.
I will be frank with you, I consider any man or woman in a relationship that isn’t firmly engaged (ring and date) or marriage, to be somewhat available. Therefore, I would not consider flirting totally out of line.
However, I feel that a betrothed couple and of course, married couples, have a commitment that precludes opposite-sex attention-getting maneuvers. A betrothed who flirts would be a poor marriage bet, because it would show lack of control and judgment. Moreover, a flirting husband or wife with a roving eye would cause great pain to a family. However, there is no reason for people who are in "relationships" or steadily seeing each other to close down their options completely.
That said, I would find a woman who flirts with others when dating someone to be rude. The old "dance with the one what brung you" rule says it is best to pay attention to the one you are with now.
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