Thursday, April 17, 2008

Q & A: "How can I tell my current boyfriend that his female friend is using him for money?"

Name: Sherrie
Question: How can I tell my current boyfriend that his female friend is using him for money without seeming jealous?

Hi Sherrie,

Explain it to him that you're bringing this up because you care for him and not because it's HER, so to speak. Lay down the facts and show him the evidence to his face. Also see if you can solicit a third party (Another friend, family member, etc.) to also chime in on the situation so he doesn't think it's just your "jealous" opinion. Also, offer resolutions that he can enact to solve his own problem instead of just telling him to cut her from his life. If he feels that it's his decision, then he won't blame you later for ruining a friendship...Hope this helps, and best of luck to you! Have a safe holiday season...

Q & A: "he believes the wife should stay home"

Name: Mireya
Question: hi I have been married for 8 years 6 years ago my husband confess to me that he had sex with his sister since then our lives have been different I just wish he had never told me now I don't trust him at all when they are both together I feel like they are in love with each other. She always gets all nervous when he is with her what do you think I should do because it is really driving me crazy I jus don't know what to do.

Hi Mireya,

Hmmm...Sounds like you and he need to get into some Marriage counseling, and that he and his sister need to get into some therapy, and you to individual therapy as well...Everyone involves needs some professional intervention pronto. Incest is so damaging on so many levels...It's hard to know exactly what the circumstances are or how long this abuse went on for, but it is clearly something you need to work out as this will not go away. It's already been 6 years, and it sounds as if you've never really gotten over the initial shock of it all...How long can you continue to wait for before getting some resolution to this? Go into counseling and see if you can salvage your marriage somehow. You haven't mentioned your relationship with him so I'm guessing your marriage is somewhat fine (If this was never an issue), it's just that you can't get over this revelation (not that it would be easy to). Go and talk it out...try to come to some understanding about the reasons and have he and his sister put to rest their past as well...It can be a very long road before you achieve any resolution on's up to you to see how long you're willing to stay on the ride. You've lasted 6 years already without really making any moves for improvement, so perhaps you can last the time it will take to make things better...But you can't do it yourself or without any action...This is not the kind of family history you can just write off...Good luck to you on this, I hope this helps, and take care.

Name: Tara
Question: I am barely 18 and I'm in love. Unfortunately, he has a girlfriend (I'll call her Karen for simplicity purposes) and one year old baby. We were lovers for a little while before I knew he had a girlfriend but now we're very close friends. The problem is the only reason he is staying with Karen is because her parents threatened that he'd never see his daughter if he broke up with Karen. He loves his baby so much that he puts up with her screaming and jealousy and controlling nature as well as her physical abuse because his daughter is the most important thing in his life. The fact is, he's miserable. He's so young (19) and doesn't want to settle down with her. He can't stand Karen and longs to be independent enough so he wouldn't have to live with her, but he has no education, no car, and no place of his own. I love his baby so much and I know I could take responsibility for her if I had to. I'm afraid to tell him that I am in love with him because his life is complicated enough, and I don't want to make things worse. I love him so much and I'm pretty sure that if he managed to break up with Karen he would be with me. Well, my question is, should I confess that I'm in love with him? And is there anything I can do to help him leave Karen without him giving up his child?

Hi Tara,

Thanks for writing...Some pretty interesting options you've pointed out for yourself in the end...How about this for an option? How about the possibility of being with someone who loves You for You, isn't living with a current girlfriend, hasn't already cheated on you, doesn't have any children who are suffering in an unhealthy living environment, and who can actually contribute to your relationship without being a charity case? Who coulda thunk?

First things first - He CHEATED you...Whatever situation he's in, however bad it is, it is no excuse for him to allow you to form feelings for him, and then for him to later finally come clean about his real situation. Not only did he cheat On you (with an already established girlfriend, so he really cheated on Her - you come in second place), but he also cheated you out of the opportunity to make an informed decision about your relationship with him because of his blatant and outright LIES. I don't care how bad his situation seemingly is...He unfairly suckered you into it and his little web of deceit...If he cared about you a Little, he wouldn't do that to you.

Don't you DARE tell him that you love him as he doesn't even come close to deserving it. It's wonderful you feel so much empathy for him...However, you have not make any drastic mistakes in your life (as he has) where you have to lie and connive to while away the time and keep you from boredom...He is LIVING with his GIRLFRIEND. He might say whatever, but if it is as bad as he says, and if he is even half a man, he'd take care of that situation first before getting someone completely innocent (like yourself) involved. You might feel that you love him, but he certainly does Not love you. He's Using you in the most base sense of the word.

Remember, he's been lying to you from day one, so really take a look at things. You think that the parents are FORCING him to stay with "Karen"? Let's see...He has no education, job, car, income, or place to live (which all equals up to Freeloader in most Parents' eyes), yet they threaten him that he has to stay there? Ummmm....sure. And he's contributing........? NOTHING. I can almost guarantee you that the parents are not forcing him to do anything, other than to finally take on some responsibility in his life, which he does not seem to want to do - He'd rather find other people to sleep with and spend time away from the girl he impregnated and his child. Now for Karen...He wants to be independent from her because she's controlling (he has no job, is living for free off of her/her family's generosity, not bringing in any income or value to the relationship - So what is she doing, asking him to help out around the house? And that's controlling?), she's jealous (he's cheated on her with You, and who knows who else, so she obviously is spot on with that mentality), and she yells at him a lot (this I can believe because this guy is such a loser I'd have laryngitis by now)... OPEN YOUR EYES, Tara!!!!!

If this guy had one iota of decency, he'd do whatever he can to: 1) provide for his child in any way possible, 2) leave you alone as it is not only unfair to you and your future, but it is completely unfair to the woman of his child, 3) try to make the home life as happy and stable as possible for his child, and 4) if he really chose to be apart from Karen, then he would focus on doing whatever he could to get himself out of there and still maintain a healthy relationship with the Mother (if possible) and the child.

Tara, lace up your track shoes and Run, Run, Run...You are getting sucked into a no-win situation. I bet you that if you asked Karen how things were, she would think everything was good between she and this jerk. I'm sure she has no idea that he's been cheating on her, and if she did, then I'd hope she'd have enough self-respect and care for her child to kick his no-good, leaching butt right out the door. Cut your losses and get away from this fake drama. You deserve to be completely happy with someone who can contribute to your mutual relationship on many levels...Someone who is completely free and clear to make the choice to love you for you, and for you to be free to make that similar choice. I know it's hard to see when you're so close to it, but this guy has lied to you from day one. I wouldn't be surprised if everything is happy at his home and he's merely cheating on Karen...He probably doesn't want to give you up because he sees what a great person you are...But that's too bad. He made his commitments, and now he has to live with them.

Please Tara, leave this jerk and move on...Cut him off completely. It might be hard to see now, but in the future, you'll be SO much happier that you did. Concentrate on YOU and realize all the potential you have within you...and then Work towards it and let NO ONE deter you from it. Once you are on the right path, you will only be willing to share your valuable time with people who will contribute to your life, not unfairly leach away from it. Your future and your future happiness is all that matters, so take it very seriously. I hope this helps, keep in touch, and please take care of yourself...Have a great and safe holiday season!

Name: Faith
City: Lake Charles
Question: Me and My husband began having problems about 9 months ago. We married march 2000 and are from completely different worlds, mine being liberal and not too religious. He was home-schooled and strict Baptist. He did not want me to do any social drinking at all.( probably no more than 2x a month and only 1-3 drinks). I knew he didn't want me to, so I stopped. However, I began to completely change my lifestyle to suit him. I never went out with any of my friends, I couldn't do anything but cook and clean without him pouting or getting upset. and Definitely no drinking at all. I got tired of this lifestyle really fast. I love him so much but I can even have a job because he believes the wife should stay home. I just cant live that way. he doesn't like me (he said that). And he cant accept me going out or drinking. I gave him more than three months to at least try to compromise with me and when he didn't I left. For those 3 months he was so mean, and was very emotionally abusive. Its been 4 months and I have been going out with someone else. He says if he sees us together he will kill him. we are still married because we did something called a covenant marriage where its really hard to get out of. I still love him so much but I gave up so much to be with him and he still wont compromise, yet he says I am the one who is throwing away our marriage. What do you think about the whole thing?

Hi Faith,

Two Words - Marriage Counseling. This guy comes from sounds like a pretty severe fundamentalist background and he needs to open his eyes to what the 21st century is all about. It's not entirely his fault because since he was home schooled, he might not have as much opportunity of broad-based social interaction as others...But he has to come to the table. Your battle is a long one because he doesn't see the marriage as a partnership. He sees the wife as property more than anything else, and for him to realize the real essence and joy of Faith, it will take some serious intervention. Good luck with this one...It might be a long road, but I will say that I hope he sees how lucky he is that you want to work through this with him. Let's hope that he realizes that and is willing to give up his skewed views in order to make this last...Take care, and happy holidays!

Q & A: "she woke up one morning and found her Mom having sex with my ex-boyfriend"

Name: Leanne
Country: England
Question: Hi I am a girl who is in her 20's I have been in an abusive relationship before, I met my current boyfriend nearly one year ago he has a lovely daughter who I love very much, the problems is that I have my own house and my boyfriend stays here a lot and I found some love letters, valentine cards etc. from his x, I don't know how old they are do I confront him about them? or do you think he still loves her please answer this please.

Hi Leanne,

Greeting to the UK! I'm interested to hear how you feel about you current boyfriend as a mate. You mention his daughter, your old relationship, but nothing that gives any perspective to your relationship with him. I get the feeling you're very cautious where he's concerned, and that these letters are not helping things. I'd say to definitely bring them up to him and allow him to explain them. Don't jump to conclusions just yet, as they might be a simple oversight (He brought over some things that had old letters in them from a past relationship - He doesn't care about her anymore, but didn't realize he still had those letters in that old bag, etc.)...I can't imagine that he would try to hide a current affair or love interest and keep the evidence at Your house where he doesn't even live.

You obviously care for his daughter, and that's got to mean something to him...I can't say if he still loves her or not, but I'm thinking that the odds are in your favor that he doesn't...Bring them up to him casually and gauge his reaction. I'm pretty certain they were an oversight and he'll think nothing of them...However, if he creates a big stink about them or seems to cherish them and won't let them go, then that's something to consider...Write me back if that happens and we'll tackle that situation if it comes up...Otherwise, thanks for visiting the site, please spread the word about it, keep in touch, and have a very Safe and Happy holiday season!

Name: Amna
City: Karachi (Pakistan)
Question: do u think that any such thing as ''momentarily attraction'' exists? my best friend's boyfriend is attracted to me but only in my presence...we r in a same college and we've been friends from the start...the reason why he gets attracted to me is that we both have same interests and hobbies...but there is no friends gets really jealous...what should I do?

Hello Amna,

Greetings to Pakistan! It's hard to say what's going on in this situation...You mentioned that he's attracted to you in your presence, but it seems that you two only seem to connect over common interests, which is very innocent. You've already stated that there is no chemistry, and if there's none of that, then I think there's really nothing to worry about in this whole scenario. Tell your friend to stop being jealous and be happy that you can relate to her partner on a friendship level...If she's jealous of the interests that you two share, there's nothing stopping her from learning more and participating more in the common interests as well...Then she'll really have nothing to be jealous of and can be happy that her best friend, her boyfriend, and she all gets along so famously. Hope this helps, and take care...

Name: Casie
City: Murfreesboro
Question: This is going to sound like a total Jerry Springer episode but it really happened. I went out with this guy for six months. I fell deeply in love with him. He is 22 and I am 17. Well, we broke up promising each other that we would still get back together because we truly loved each other. Well, at my thanksgiving dinner today with my family he came and he also brought is new 39 year old g/f with him. He was invited because he is a friend of the family. Well, his g/f brought her daughter with her also (which she is my age!). I knew her daughter because we had met a few years ago and had been really good friends. Her name is Krystal. Well, I found out today that this guy that I supposedly was supposed to marry is a loser. While I was with him he was sleeping with Krystal. They were sleeping together for about a month and she woke up one morning and found her Mom having sex with my ex-boyfriend. I have no clue what to do. I really need advice! Please help!

Hi Casie,

Wow...Yes, you definitely have tickets to Springer. Time for you to simply let go...Completely forget about this guy. Let your family know what's going on with him (you might want to leave out the sleeping together part since you're so much younger than him and in some states it could be illegal, not to mention just morally wrong) and they'll take your side as well. First off, he cheated on you, so he's gone - done, finito, bye-bye...Now, Krystal and her Mom need their heads examined, and I mean that literally - Especially for the Mom. It's one thing for a woman to have a fling with someone much younger (as long as no one gets hurt, there's nothing wrong with it as long as everyone's an adult), it's quite another to make moves on your daughter's boyfriend (or even allow him to make moves on her)...And it's Quite another to continue the relationship in full view and defiance of her daughter's feelings...That's just about the coldest thing I've ever heard of...Distance yourself away from all these people...What a complete waste of your time. Concentrate on yourself and making you the best person you can be...Get focused on your future, because if you don't, no one else will (that's one of Life's little unmentioned promises). One day you can be sure that you will fall in love with someone who doesn't use their age as an advantage (someone more in your age group) and also won't sleep with your friends and their families. I'm glad you see that this is so far gone it's almost laughable enough to be a trashy television show...I'm just sorry that you were involved. It's time to cut your losses and move on...Hope this helps, and hope the rest of your Holidays are MUCH happier...Take care.

Q & A: "I am in the military and she is an exotic dancer"

Name: Sen
Question: I am a student , 23 years old. My problem is that so long I have lived like a loner, which is what everyone thinks about me. Now I want to change: I realize I won't be able to live that way. But I am not able to do it i.e., to change myself, to become more social, share with everybody and take part in social life. Please advise me how to proceed. Thanks for providing help online.

Hi Sen,

Thanks for writing...I guess the best way is to start small. Start building relationships with those that you spend the most time with...if you live in a dorm, then really take advantage of the setting and start to hang out with some of the people who you deem receptive. It's all very casual...You don't need to feel uptight about it. If you don't live in a dorm, then I am sure your school has clubs that meet often and might have shared interests that you can contribute to. All you need is a connection, whether it be through shared experience or common interest, to start some kind of friendship. Just be loose, be yourself, and don't worry what other think of you. Once you start opening up a bit, you'll feel a lot more comfortable with it...It's all about building trust with certain individuals and them doing the same with you. Open up a little, and listen to them when they reciprocate...You'll have fast friends in no time. Just don't put too much pressure on yourself and everything will work out fine...Hope this helps, and have a Safe and Happy Holiday season!

Name: Kayla
Question: I was just told by my X boyfriend that I'm bad at kissing. What can I do to improve my kissing skills?

Hi Kayla,

Thanks for writing...Improving any skill takes practice and open communication with your partners. This does not mean to open a kissing booth or just go kiss-crazy on the general population. When you find yourself in a relationship with a suitable partner, be open and honest about it and keep trying...Just remember everyone likes different things. One partner might like a kissing style that is wholly different from what another likes. You must simply be happy and comfortable with your own style, and if you really like the way one person kisses over another, then try to keep that in mind for the future. But again, everyone likes different things...Just take your time and talk to your partner about it if it really bothers you - I'm sure he'll be willing to help you practice.

LAST NOTE - Your Ex-boyfriend is REALLY NOT the best place to heed advice from when it comes to personal issues...It Just Might come across a little skewed. Keep in mind the source of your information and take it with a grain of
salt...Anyway, hope this helps, and best of luck to you...Have a great Holiday season!

Name: Will
Question: Well here is my question. I am a little confused about a relationship of sorts that I am in now. The girl I met is 22 and I'm 24. I am in the military and she is an exotic dancer. hen everything first started we just sat and talked, and had really good conversations. I mean I like her a lot and would really like to be her significant other. She has had a really bad experience just recently and one night I spent at her house we didn't "go all the way" but there was a sexual encounter. The next day she told me that she really liked what happened but just wanted to be friends. So as of right now I have spent the night with her a couple times and did nothing, as well as hanging out together. Now she has told me many times that she really cares about me and knows my exact work schedule without me even telling her. When I get stuck out of town because my job entails me to do that sometimes she gets upset. Whenever she goes out she always calls me to go with. I really like her and I don't want to ruin this by making the wrong move. She says she wants to be friends but I feel there is more to it. I have asked her about it and she continues to say just friends. She's told me that I was a unique person and I know things that she hasn't told other people just as she knows things about me I haven't told anyone. So to sum it up my question is am I reading too deeply into this or is there really a chance for a relationship? Please help cause I'm really confused, Thanks

Hi Will,

Thanks for writing...Interesting situation. Take into consideration her situation on things (which it seems like you do) and look at things from her perspective. First of all, she's an Exotic Dancer. There's nothing wrong with that, but I am sure that with her being leered at everyday from men (single, married, whatever) and knowing how simple it is to effect them with a look, move, or whatever, her view of men might be a little skewed. She probably looks at the general male population as a bunch of hormone-indulged lemmings who will throw money away for little return...She also has probably seem some instances where the general ideology of Trust and Men has been pretty shattered. She's seen men actively offer to cheat on their wives/girlfriends, spend more time at the bar than at home, waste money that they really can't afford, come off as desperate and a little sad, and the list goes on and on...Imagine if you worked in such a setting - I am sure your view of the opposite sex and relationships would be scarred and cynical. Also, you've alluded to the fact that she had a really bad relationship as well, so that just pushes her even farther away from the commitment table...

So in walks Will...Now I am taking it for granted that she met you where she works. If that's the case, you were probably simply one of the everyday, leering crowd. But you've differentiated yourself from the others, and now I'm sure she's confused about it all. Listen, she will have a lot more trust issues to deal with than the average woman because her entire career as a dancer she's been bombarded with the reality of what's in front of her. I am sure she's met some very nice people at her work, but I am sure she wouldn't think of dating them...Also, I hear that some clubs really discourage any kind of relationships with customers because it could be seen as something less than savory...So as far as building trust, you (and truly any other guy) are really behind the 8-ball.

That being said, it sounds like you are making some progress and are really interested in her as a person, which is important (I can almost guarantee you that any other males at her job really don't care to find out what she's all about). Be patient...You've got to realize that it will take her a lot longer to get to the same focus and trust level that you would like to be at. I think there is a chance for a relationship, but it will be a long and potentially difficult road. One thing that might help her is to leave that environment altogether so she can see a more universal view of people...Right now, she's only being presented with a very defined view of what people are all about.

I think you're doing fine...Just keep it up and be persistent without pushing too much. She will soon realize that you care for her more than simply as an object to gawk at or a trophy to own...And that she might have a true future with you. Just be understanding of her situation and help her see things the way they really are where you are concerned. This will take time, but I think it's not a lost cause...Good luck, hope this helped, and have a very Safe and Happy Holidays to you.

PS - Thanks for keeping our country safe...You and your brothers and sisters at arms have the debt, gratitude, prayers, and best wishes of an entire nation...Don't forget that...Good luck and God Bless...

Q & A: "don't know how to tell my Mom I am bisexual"

Name: Beverly
City: Glendale
Question: I feel alone and lost. Last June I lost my husband of 37yrs. Since his death I have tried to meet other people of my age, one reason is because I am not a very outgoing person. I'm 56 yrs old and I am looking for someone to just be a friend. Just someone to talk to and maybe go out with. Not a romance. I've tried to find out if there is a widow's club here in AZ, but can't seem to find one. I go to church every Sat or Sun. I have gone to grief sessions but I just can't seem to move on. I just don't know where to start. I work and I have friends at work but I still don't feel like I have a life of my own. I married my husband when I was 17 and he was 20. He was my whole life. If I could just meet or talk to someone who has been through the same as me.

Hi Beverly,

I am so sorry for your loss. Thankfully, there are a lot of outlets that might be of benefit to you, and it looks like you've already taken advantage of two of them. Church is a great place to meet someone, and there might be times when the church will sponsor a singles get-together for their congregation. You might also want to look around to see if there are some religious-sponsored single get-togethers that are not sponsored by a particular church. You should be able to find this via the newspaper or even through general advertising at church. The grief group is another way to gel with people who are in the same life situations as yourself. I've also heard of clubs sponsored by hospitals and community centers that are focused on getting widowed people out with others who have lost. Volunteering is another great way to get out of the house and meet interesting people. There's a gazillion clubs/chat rooms on the internet, but the only issues I have with them is that sometimes you have to be extremely careful who whom you meet/share personal information with on the internet (there's a lot of wonderful people out there, but as in real life, there are some whom you might meet in cyberspace that has ulterior motives), and also the more time you spend on the internet is more time you're spent cooped up in the house. Look into doing some volunteer work if you have the time, or at least joining some community clubs that share your same interests. Just getting out and getting on with your life will bring you more exposure as well as more self-confidence. It won't replace your loss, but it will make it more bearable through these difficult times...I hope this helps, and best of luck to you...

Name: Jaime
Question: Well I use to like this guy Joe. Recently he was put in jail for 1-3 years. I started talking to his brother Jason. Now I like Jason and he likes me. I don't know what to do. Because their brothers. But then again Joe is in jail for a long time. What should I do?

Hi Jaime,

Thanks for writing...My advice is to drop both of them. Joe is now a felon, and his brother is not showing much loyalty to him (I'm sure the family is so proud of both of them). Stay away from that whole family and concentrate on what is REALLY important in your life - which is getting yourself on the best and right track for your future. Joe and Jason are mere distractions from what you need to accomplish in making you the best Jaime you've ever dreamed of. Keep on doing what is right for YOU and everything else will fall into place...You'll soon be much more confident and realize that you won't have time to waste on people who drag you down or keep you from moving forward. Eventually you'll find someone who really appreciates who You are and not know what the inside of a prison looks like as well. Wouldn't that be great? Anyway, happy holidays to you, and best of luck...

Name: Melissa
City: Keanry
Question: I am a 17yr old woman that is going through this problem: I am bisexual and have had a relationship with a girl before but don't know how to let my Mom know that I go this way cause I'm scared that maybe I will one day turn totally dyke, you know, help me please

Hi Melissa,

Thanks for writing...It's hard for me to really remark on this because I'm not too sure to what extent you're delving into this lifestyle. You say you've had a relationship with a girl, but for how long? Exclusively? There's a lot of questions that I don't know the answers to where you are concerned. All I know is that you very well might be what is considered "Bi", but you also might be simply experimenting as well. I say this because you emote fear of "turning" into a "dyke"...You make it sound like some progressive, uncontrollable disease, when it's not. I think the best thing for you to do is going to see a counselor and getting this all out on the table. I'm not saying you're Not gay, and I'm not saying you are...I think that at 17, most people go through some very complicated, conflicted, and emotionally charged times where it's hard sometimes to see which way is up (or down for that matter). Bisexuality is one of those somewhat gray areas that people have difficulty setting down what are the parameters that qualify such a designation...In other words - who's to say? Go to your counselor...Just because you had a one-night stand or an exploratory tryst with another girl does not necessarily mean you're dedicated to one lifestyle or another...Only YOU can ultimately determine that direction. Talk it through and hopefully you'll feel better about this whole situation soon....I hope this helps, and have a very happy and safe holiday season...

Name: Natalia
Question: I met a guy and we have such a connection it's not even funny and he has to move away for a little while and get his life together and I want to tell him EXACTLY how I feel but I don't know if I should do that or how to, he knows that I care but it seems like I should tell him. I don't know though. He seems to be getting nervous that he is moving and keeps telling me that I will always be in his life. I don't know what to do.

Hi Natalia,

Thanks for writing...If this person actually has to move away to get his life back in order, let him. It's a great litmus test for you as well...If he gets it straightened out and returns, then his mind will hopefully be clear and set and the two of you can continue what you have built thus far. If he doesn't return, then it's all the best as you want to be able to grow with a person instead of your entire relationship being spent on helping him rebuild. Remember - You Both deserve to be's equal. If you tell him how you feel, it might put a little undue stress/weight on him when he needs to be focused...It might make you feel better that you got it off your chest in the short term, but it might do more harm than good in the long run. Let him get his act together and see how it turns out. If he comes back a better man, then it's better for you as well...If he doesn't, then it's still good for you because you can be happy that you are not entrenched in a difficult relationship...It gives you the freedom to be with someone who is well-grounded themselves and has the foundation set to really build a wonderful future with you - together...that's what you ultimately want, anyway. Best of luck to you, please spread the word about the site, and have a very happy and safe holiday season...

Q & A: "she is a bit concerned that I'm aroused watching men"

Name: Mike
Question: been married for 2 years. recently after getting drunk one night we each slept with our best friends in front of each other. After a few weeks went by, my wife told me for almost a year she hasn't been happy and doesn't know if she wants to be married or not, she said she has feelings for my friend but not enough to leave me. she insists that our marriage or what is lacking in it is the problem. she separated from me for a week, and says she needs to figure out if she wants this. again, she insists she loves me and misses me but wants to make the right decision, now I'm waiting on her. I told her cut and dry I would change and could go on without her I made it clear I wanted to work this out, yet she is still unsure. am I a waiting fool or is there more to it? what should I do?

Hi Mike,

RUN, don't walk, to a marriage counselor. While there are people who swear by "open" marriages, I never see them lasting very long. It only leads to confusion and pain, and most times sooner than later. She's confused because I think she sees issues with the partner swapping as just another yet very serious issue aside from the original problems she saw in the marriage. This is not going to be solved quickly...It will take a lot of work to put this back to being somewhat normal, but if you love each other, then both of you have to come to the table and give it your all. There's obviously communication issues that are a cause, as she didn't tell you of her feelings for over a year, and then your recent co-dalliance just exacerbated the situation. This is nothing that she will be able to figure out on her own...This is a major problem in Your marriage so Both of you need to work on it Together... Going to counseling immediately is the first step. Oh - and find other friends as that "history" will now always be an issue in your marriage and the friendships of those you had that "shared" experience with. Hope this helps, and best of luck to you...

Name: Phil
Question: My wife and I have been married about three years. We communicate well and have a strong marriage. Like many other guys, I look at attractive women on TV. and computer. My wife knows that I would never want to cheat on her. She trusts me... Here's the issue: I consider myself to be completely heterosexual. I dated lots of women prior to marriage. I would never want to be with a man. A few years ago, my wife and I started to watch figure skating occasionally. After a while, I gradually became a big fan. I like to watch men's figure skating more than women's. I noticed about a year and a half ago that I would often become aroused when watching men's figure skating. My wife began to notice that I like the men's more than the women's figure skating. She even asked me if it turned me on at all. I was reluctant at first, but I have admitted that it often does turn me on. I am embarrassed to admit that watching men figure skate is arousing to me. I don't get aroused watching other men doing other things. It's pretty much just figure skating. My wife has been very supportive and understanding. Naturally, she is a little bit concerned about the fact that I'm aroused watching men. I would never cheat on my wife with a man or woman. Is this very unusual? Should we be worried? I follow websites that cover men's figure skating. Sometimes I get stimulated looking through these websites. My wife will read this message and any response that you give. Thanks for any suggestions that you can give.

Hi Phil,

Thanks for writing...My first inclination is to guess that there's a lot of latent, historical, deeply underlying/hidden emotions that you are carrying below the surface that is leading to this kind of reaction. Seems to me that there are some issues that are unresolved (or maybe never confronted) that come to the surface during whenever you become immersed with this sport. The best and most helpful place to start is with a counselor/therapist. I don't think that it's an issue that is threatening your marriage as your wife seems to be solidly in your corner. However, this situation might be alarming enough to you to not simply just let it slip away unactioned. I'm pushing for closure on this as there could be a lot more to this than what I can tell, but also it might really be nothing at all...But it bears investigation if you are worried about it. Sorry for being a little brief on it, but I'm thinking that it will take a lot of concentrated digging with a therapist in person to get to the root of the matter. Let me know how you progress on this, and I hope this helps...Best of luck, and Happy Holidays!

Q & A: "I love him, but how much more do I have to give up to be with him?"

Name: Sammie
City: Nutley
Question: Hi - I am so torn right now; I have been in a wonderful relationship for 7 months. The last 4 have been long distance due to jobs etc., Now we are at a point that the traveling is too much and we want to be together everyday. I have already compromised, willingly, to leave my career to start a life where he is (but not before he proposes). My dilemma is this- he loves his outdoor activities and in a conversation he told me that his 2 week vacation is his time...not to be with me etc., He said no matter what, family or not, he is not going to give that up and if I have a problem with that they we have a bigger problem. I can't help but get angry, and I know I sound like a selfish martyr... but come on... when is it my turn not to give in to something? Help... I love him, but this is making me crazy how much more do I have to give up to be with him? Anxiously to hear your advice

Hi Sammy,

Thanks for writing...As you already know, relationships are built on sacrifice and compromise. That being said, there's never room for a martyr in an equal relationship as once that mentality starts, the balance of "power" is shifted - away from the martyr, usually. So now it all depends on your perception. This man has (rather harshly, I will admit) stated his need to have some "selfish" time during the year. Try not to look at it as a slap to you or a declaration that he doesn't want to spend time with you. Look at it as a time for you to actually take advantage of his time away and for you to do what You'd like to do independently. I'm going on the assumption that he will have No issues if during your vacation you wish to go off and do whatever you'd like on your own - If he does, then you need to take a hard look as to how devoted he is to the thought of your future together.

Remember that people move towards each other at different speeds. He might be hanging on to this notion of "his time" as some of the last vestiges of what he sees as his dwindling individualism. I'm sure that as you two grow together and spend more time together he will see that the joys of spending vacation time with you might be a heck of a lot more fun than sitting in the woods by himself. Give it some time...Relationships are in constant flex and growth. I'm happy you two are looking towards the future, but remember things sometimes progress slower than one would like. Give it time and be open with your feelings with him. Make sure he realizes that although you understand his still feeling that he needs his "space", he's in a Relationship and has to try to work at making you see his point of view in a more accommodating light - In other words, as ardently as he fights for his own feelings, he has to just as equally keep yours in mind. Hope this helps, and best of luck...Don't be a stranger!

Name: Jeanette
Question: Me and my Husband are trying to get pregnant, but I'm also trying to lose weight in the same time. I'm taking some metabolism Herbal diet pills. If I end up being pregnant will the diet Herbal pills effect my pregnancy or the baby?

Hi Jeanette,

Congrats and Good Luck on your attempts to grow your family! As you take on this new responsibility, you definitely want to be smart about it. Speak to your OB/GYN and regular internist and bring the bottle along with you so they can read the label and look at all the ingredients. Most pills have the warning on the label anyway that you should consult with your doctor, and if you're trying to get pregnant, that's excellent advice to follow. As a last resort, try to contact the manufacturer directly to see what their official recommendations are for someone in your situation. Chances are, they'll tell you to keep off that stuff in the best interest of your child. Hope this helps, and best of luck to your new endeavor! Have a wonderful holiday season...

Name: John
City: FL
Question: Hi,
First off, I just want to let you know how thankful I am for finding a page like this. I just need some advice on an issue I have...My mom works with this lady who has a daughter that goes to my old high school. I'm a freshman in college, and the girl, Jen, is a sophomore in high school. Throughout high school, I never went to any homecomings or proms because I never found someone that "special." Jen was going to go to homecoming in a group with her friends, but didn't have a date. She said she was going to be the only person in her group without a date, and was considering not going, so I offered to go with her. I've met Jen in person twice, yet I talk to her online often. She really is a nice girl, and I am glad that I am going to be able to go to the homecoming dance with her. The thing is, however, that I am really nervous. I think she's expecting me to be cool about everything because I'm in college, but I am so nervous. Since I've never gone to any of the dances when I was in high school, I don't really know what to expect. If I can have one wish granted for homecoming, it'd be that she has a great night. But I know that if I'm nervous like this, she probably won't. I've never really fast danced before, so I don't know what to do when it comes to that. I've slow danced with some people, but all I did was pretty much go around in slow circles when dancing. I don't know if that's what I'm supposed to do, or if there are any specific steps to it. We're just friends, but I don't know if I should hold her hand wherever we walk. I'm so terrified of disappointing her. When I offered to take her to homecoming, she said that I "made her day." Homecoming is next weekend. I've had butterflies in my stomach ever since I asked her, and I've had a total of 2 meals in the past 3 days. I don't even feel like eating, because my stomach is in knots. I want her to enjoy herself next weekend. What can I do to ensure that that's what happens? Do you think she's nervous also? And what about the dancing part? Thank you so much for your time.

Hi John,

Thanks for writing and for the compliment as well! Let's hope we can help you here...

First off, take a breath. She'll be there with you, but will also be mingling with her friends, showing you off (You know, the older, "cooler", college-age guy who's going to the date with her), and just relishing the night. Unless there's a big dance contest, I'm not thinking that there's going to be a lot of people ringing the dance floor collectively critiquing your every move. You want her (and yourself) to have a great time? Then just chill and let her relish in the night...By being relaxed, both of you will be able to just go with the flow and enjoy the evening. If you fixate on every possible aspect, you'll be too wound up and uptight to just hang loose and have fun, and that might have an adverse effect on her night as well. Be happy she trusts you enough to escort her, and just enjoy yourself (and BE yourself - don't forget that she likes your friendship because of You, not because of your dance moves)...Hope you both have a blast!