Thursday, April 17, 2008

Q & A: "At first I wanted to have an abortion"

Name: Tina
Question: I met my fiance years ago. I had just turned 17. When I met him I was in a really bad relationship with a guy who was much older than me. I had been with him since I was 15. He was 6 years older than me. We lived together. We were still living together when I met my fiance. The only reason I had been living with this guy was because I didn't have anywhere else to go. No money and to young to get a job that would pay well enough to be on my own. At the time I thought I was in love but it turned out to be just a dependency. He gave me attention when I had none, even though it was negative attention most of the time. It seemed like the only thing I could do at the time. Then I met my fiance. Well, it started off as friendship, kind of. We were both really attracted to each other. At first it was just a lot of fun. We would hand out together just do things that you do when you're dating someone. Then we started having really strong emotions and after seeing each other and me cheating on this other guy for about four months I became pregnant. I didn't know what to do. At first I wanted to have an abortion. Because I didn't know whom the father was. But, I couldn't bring myself to do it. So I began lying. Lying to both men. I told so many lies that I can't even remember them. I was so afraid of my boyfriend at the time finding out about me cheating. I was afraid he would throw me out on the street or beat the hell out of me or both. I cared a lot for my now fianc?ut I didn't trust him enough to tell him all the mistakes I was making. I had him believing that the boyfriend and me had broken up and he was just letting me stay there. There are so many more lies besides that. If I wrote them all down this would be an endless letter. The truth was that I was 17 and pregnant and really stupid. I didn't want my fianc?o leave but I didn't know How to tell him everything that was going on. So now the old boyfriend is out of the picture. Haven't spoken to him in two years. The baby was my fianc? I thought that I would be so happy because we ended up together. But, now he looks at me as this person who lies and cheats and didn't even know who the father of her baby was. He stayed with me after the whole ordeal because he said he loved me and he really does want to be with me. He doesn't know how to deal with his anger and frustration at me. He doesn't know how to believe anything that comes out of my mouth. And I don't blame him. We really do love each other and want to stay together. When we fight I tell him how sorry I am for the things that have happened in the past. I tell him that I would take it all back if I could. I tell him I understand why he doesn't trust me. I tell him that I will stay with him and keep trying to work it out as long as he will let me. I try to explain that from the time your 17 to the time your 20 a lot of things change about you especially when you're a Mom now and pregnant with his second child. He thinks all the time that I am going to cheat on him. He still thinks that I am lying to him about the past and wants to talk about it all the time. I try to talk but it always ends up in a huge fight and he says so many horrible things to me and I feel terrible and so does he. So now I just avoid the subject and he thinks I am selfish and I probably am. I can't handle any more fighting and name-calling. I just need some advice on how to handle the situation.

Hi Tina,

Thanks for writing...Wow - You put it all right there. Go to marriage/relationship counseling.
You both have a lot to go over...You have to be able to let go of your guilt for the past, and he has to be able to let go as well. If you two keep going over the past, you'll never grow into the kind of couple you can be in the future...And now you have two children to think about...Yes, you lied a lot and you should have been more honest and open. Yes, he has sacrificed for you, but he can't make you pay for it every day. You both have to come to grips with the past, accept it, and move on...He has to learn to trust you, and the only way to do that is to look forward, not backward. Go to counseling and lay everything out...You owe it to each other, your marriage, and your two children. This situation can be saved, but there has to be a surrender from both of you...You surrendering your guilt and realizing that you can only say you're sorry so many times (and realizing the lasting effect lies can have and to avoid such situations in the future), and him surrendering his mistrust and his anger from the past. If he wants you by his side as his wife, then he has to respect you as such. Your children deserve to live in a home that is calm and loving...Not one that the parents are walking on eggshells and things can blow at any moment...It does no one any good. Go to a counselor and save what you have...I think you have a good chance in doing this. Good luck, and hope this helped...

Name: Amy
City: NYC
Question: My best friend's boyfriend is a jerk, he treats her awful, cheats on her and always tells her she's fat (although she's not), but she can't stand up to him or break up with him? I'm scared he's going to end up hurting her physically, what can I do to help her?

Hi Amy,

Thanks for writing...Really sit down with her and tell her everything you see. Get through to her that she is better than how she is being treated and that she deserves more...Anyone who abuses her, even just orally, is no more than a simple waste of time for her. Get other friends to come with you and really push your point home. She might be sticking by him because she feels she has some kind of emotional attachment to him....That if he is not in the picture, no one will "love" her. She has to see how magnificent she is and to realize what a true Queen she is. She need input and attention from others right now, as the lack of attention is how she probably wound up with the kid anyway - He probably just paid some kind of attention to her, bad, good or otherwise. Help her on her feet and to dust off this guy...Once she gets her self-confidence back, she'll never settle for this kind of guy again...If you need other help, have her write me...I'll be glad to assist. Or take her to her school counselor who knows her - An objective friendly face can do wonders...She needs reinforcement that she's better than what she believes at the moment. Hope this helps and please spread the word about the site...Don't be a stranger...

Name: Tracey
City: San Diego
Question: I'm not sure how to begin. This is my 1st time online, much less asking advice. I guess I really want to ask you if it's normal to be attracted to someone else if you are in a truly loving and committed relationship. My husband and I just celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary. I love him so much, sometimes it seems like I didn't have a life before him. My 1st marriage was abusive, both physically and emotionally. My husband now is as close to perfect as any man could be. He's thoughtful, considerate, tender, loving. The best friend I've ever had. He makes me laugh and holds me when I've had a bad day. BUT, I've have found myself attracted to a guy that comes into my office regularly. Now I find myself in a very confusing situation. This other man has flirted with me openly and has even gone so far as to call me at work to give me his phone number. He knows I'm married, but that doesn't stop him from flirting. I am attracted to him physically, but at the same time I love my husband with all my heart. Why is this happening to me? Is it normal to be attracted to someone else when you are happily married? PLEASE HELP

Hi Tracey,

Thanks for writing, and thanks for making my site one of your first stops into Internet realm. You've got a great question here, and I'm going to take my time in answering this one. As for your situation, you are certainly not alone. I've heard that the ol' "7 year itch" that was fabled to happen to marriages actually occurs around the 4th year. There's a lot of reasons why attraction like this can happen (more of your waking hours is spent away from your spouse than with him, the newness of your marriage has worn off, etc.), and it's always hard to pin down the exact cause. You seem very aware of how much your husband means to you, and that's really important. So let's take a look at a few things:

First off, right now is about the time in marriage where you really seem to notice (subconsciously or consciously) that your relationship with your husband might be more routine than exciting or new. You two are settling down into your prospective grooves - You are no longer simply living for each other (i.e. - the Honeymoon's over), but thinking as a couple/team (Future wise) and are concentrating on your own prospective careers to achieve your collective goals. This refocus on your career and goal achievement, even though prompted by the goals set with your husband, can reawaken your independence and sense of self. There's nothing wrong with that...But sometimes people can really lose focus on the big picture and drift when they don't mean to.

The renewed independence, coupled with the waning "ga-ga-ness" of your marriage, can make you take more focus on yourself, your appearance, etc. This self-awareness can be good and bad, in a way. It's good because it's nice to step back and really look at your marriage at this point and realize that you are with this partner by choice and can easily see all the reasons why the two of you are together. In a way, it reaffirms/validates/solidifies your correct choice of marriage...The danger is that even though you have all the best intentions in the world (don't they say the road to Hell is paved with this?), your own self-awareness can make you vulnerable. You are really scrutinizing yourself...And if someone else seems to find you attractive, that can really catch your attention. You might subconsciously feel a wane in the amount of attention/affection your husband gives to you on a day-to-day basis (to his defense, this might happen because he is also off focusing on your combined goals), and now someone new comes in and starts showing interest, it really can seem very exciting...But you have to realize it's short-lived.

Okay, enough of the armchair psychiatrist routine. Really look at what you are saying...You found happiness you never thought you'd have in marriage (Your first time was a horrible experience)...and yet you flirt with disaster. Perhaps you feel that since you were abused in marriage before that you think you're somehow not supposed to enjoy things that are good? Maybe you are attracted to people who are potentially bad to you because you equate Secure with Boring? You ABSOLUTELY deserve to be happy...Wait a minute - I thought I was finished with the shrink's couch...Let's take a look at this new guy for a second.

He's hitting on you for a variety of reasons. One, you may be extremely attractive (To him or others), so that could be an obvious reason. Two, he can sense that you might actually feel "needy" for that kind of attention (You must have reacted in a somewhat positive or not-negative-enough way to his come on, intentionally or not, for him to turn it up) via your reactions and body language. Three, you're married, so he knows there's no strings attached where you are concerned, there's no emotional baggage, and he has nothing to lose. Four, since you are married, if he can get reactions out of you and actually make you go against your own wedding vows and put your entire secure future in jeopardy because of Him, then you unwittingly just stroked this guy's largest sexual organ - his ego. You might be the most wonderful, beautiful, caring, philanthropic, intelligent, altruistic person on earth - he doesn't give a Rip. All you are to him is a "Challenge"...You mean nothing more to him than immediate stimuli. If it's not you, then it's some other person who's on his daily route. Trust me - the farthest thing from his mind is Your Future...Let alone any future with Him (because there isn't any).

Let's go back to the third reason why he's hitting on you - He has nothing to lose. How ironic...YOU DO. It's actually pretty sad, really. He flits around trying to "score" while never really knowing what it's like to share in Love. Be a little pompous and don't give in to this charity case. Take a look at it this way - He has everything to gain, and you have everything to Lose. Put it in that perspective, and he seems pretty pathetic. Stick with what's real and important. Use this as a warning sign and Learn from it...Marriage is Work - You have to put effort into it. You and your husband might have the best friendship/relationship in the world, but you can lose your marriage if you don't pay attention to it. Go out on a Date...Really enjoy each other. Not only focus on future goals, but also take time to concentrate solely on each other and making each other happy. Your marriage is not over yet...Just give it a little jump-start and it will be fine. However, do a fling with Delivery-Boy here, and you're potentially throwing away everything that you cherish. And when the chips fall down and you lose your marriage and your best friend, is the person who helped you throw your life into turmoil going to be by your side? Nope...he's not going to remember your name in 6 months (and will be very happy to be away from your crumbling situation - he doesn't want emotional issues, just his own heightened ego). And the sad part is, you won't even think of him...only of what you lost. You want to be tempted? Spend some real quality time with your husband and concentrate on working the romance between you...All your temptations will/can be realized, satisfied, (and more) right there - At home, where they should be...

Alrighty - I'm off my soap box. I truly hoped this helped, and please do not be a stranger. Feel free to visit at any time, and please spread the word about the site. Good luck!!!!!!!!

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