I Don’t Believe in Monogamy

Reader’s Question:
I have never felt that we are meant to have monogamous relationships. I’m sure there are numerous reasons for my beliefs, but nonetheless, they are mine and I do not plan to change them. I’ve found a great woman that I have fallen in love with, but I will not get married. I can tell this is weighing on her. I love my life at home, but I also love and appreciate my life outside of our home. I am not sure how to go about the rest of our life at this point. We don’t openly talk about having affairs, but it is understood that I do and she could too, as long as it does not interfere with our home life. What do you advise?

I don’t see what the problem is? If both of you are in the “know,” then there should be nothing to discuss. Maybe this subject is not what is really bothering her. Maybe it is something else?
I think it is time to have a deep, honest talk about your relationship and expectations.

Perhaps you could explain to her what you have explained to me. Then ask her how she feels and how she would like the future to play out.

It will be a hard conversation, especially if she is on a different path.

If you love this woman, but are set in your old ways and refuse to change moving forward…I don’t see any other solution. It is the right thing to do. Lay it all out on the table so that you both have a chance to move forward in a way that works best for the relationship.

Over the years, I have learned that relationships come in all ages, shapes, and sizes. That we all want and need different things. While I do not agree with your type of relationship choices, I do respect that you own them, and are upfront and honest about them. It will save heartache and resentment in the long run with your significant others.

I Caught My Friend Cheating…Now What?

Reader’s Question:

 I am in a tough position. My friend cheated on her husband and I happened to be out with her when this happened. We are okay friends, but my husband and her husband are close, and he is at our home on a regular basis. I told my husband the truth because, well, we tell each other everything. Both of us are upset that she put me in this position and now has made comments about keeping it between us. I am not sure what to do about any of this. Should I mention it to the husband? Should I tell her how upset I am that she put me in this position? Or, should I just leave it be?

Yes, you are in a tough position, sort of.

Let’s start with the fact that this “okay friend” is not a real friend. A real friend would not put you in this position, ever.

I too have had a run in with a “friend” like this. You have a decision to make, just like I did. You can stay “friends” with this woman or you can “walk away” and end this relationship.

This is a hard situation for many reasons, but the main one is your husbands are close. It is obvious that he deserves to know his wife is cheating on him. If it were me, I would want to know asap, by any means necessary, but not everyone feels this way.

 Some truly believe ignorance is bliss.

 I’m sitting here chewing my nails and cheeks trying to decide what to say to you.

 I want to say rather harshly, “fuck her, she can piss off, he deserves the truth.”

I would personally do one of three things:

#1

Have your husband chat with him about it. He may take it easier from a guy friend. This keeps things private so that he can handle the situation as he chooses. You can let him know that it will stay between the three of you. He doesn’t even need to tell his wife he knows, only that you care enough about him to be honest because he has the right to know.

#2

Do nothing, except break ties with this woman. No more “friendship.” If she asks, tell her why. Be open and honest. Tell her she put you in an awful and uncomfortable position. Explain that her lack of respect and integrity make a relationship with her unwanted, to say the least.

#3

Tell her that you have told your husband and if she doesn’t come clean, then he will probably tell his friend. It’s what is right.

 Regardless of how old we are, it is so important to choose friends and company wisely.

 Friends are supposed to bring something positive to the relationship and if they don’t, you should reconsider your choice of being their friend. I’d love to think we are all mature and honest adults, but this is sadly far from the truth. It is so hard to find new friends close to your age that have similar values, as well as similar pastimes. But, it is always best to walk away from a toxic relationship, especially one that you are not deeply invested in.

My Teens Dating Habit is Expensive

Reader’s Question:

I have a 16-year-old son who dates often. He is a great kid and does well at school. He works a part-time job and has been saving a little money to buy his first car. Financially, all the little things we do for him as parents like pay for his cell phone bill and car insurance, along with giving him spending money for his dates, really starts to add up. I guess my real question is when he is going on all these dates – which usually turn out to be nothing at all- is it acceptable to go dutch? I want him to be a gentleman, but where is the line on all these movies and dinners at $50 a pop is really starting to make me wonder how others handle this situation and what the acceptable way to handle this would be.

Well, I am sure most will not like my answer here, but I am going to say it anyway.

The man should always pick up the check on a date.

It’s chivalrous and important that we teach our young men this very important quality. Dating today is so hard and there are a lot of young people who are raised without learning how to treat a potential suitor.

The obvious issue here is teaching your son how to prioritize and manage HIS money.

 I’m not sure why you are paying for his dates. Especially if they are becoming excessive and he works part time. If he wants to only use his money on buying a car, he will have to learn how to sacrifice other material things in the process. I.e. expensive dates. This is a big lesson to learn young and one that will enable him to manage his finances well as an adult.

I have a 16-year-old son as well, and we always expect him to pay for the date. He works and is saving money for a car, also. While he doesn’t date a lot, when he does, he only takes a certain amount of money with him and spends only what he brings. No cards! The amount is much less than $50.

Let the man be a man!

There are plenty of dates that can be pretty cheap, or even free. Such as a picnic at the park, hiking, movies at home, street fairs, group outings, et cetera. The point is that not every date needs to cost $50, tell your son that.

If your son is old enough and mature enough to be dating girls in an adult setting, he is also ready to pay his own way or change his habit.

Go on Strike, Mom!

Reader’s Question:

 Here lately I am feeling very overwhelmed. Both my husband and I work full-time jobs – him from a home office- yet I feel that all the household and kid duties are solely my responsibility. My husband will say this is not true, but his actions show otherwise, and when we do talk about it, he makes changes to help for about a day. Then it all goes back to the way it was before the talk. We have had the talk so many times that I cannot stomach it anymore. How can I get him and the children to help me out?

First…STOP STOP STOP asking them to “help you out.”

 Do they think taking care of the family’s needs is your responsibility, alone? Do they believe you are asking them to do something for you, rather than for the family/household? Stop assuming full responsibility!

GO ON STRIKE AT HOME!

 Right now, with no warning, just stop doing the chores. Your husband and kids will be fine, I promise. They may get confused or concerned, but it will open their eyes to how much you really do on a daily basis.

 This means for at least two weeks you will NOT: pay a bill, go to the grocery store, clean the house, do the laundry or even make dinner. Let it all go.

 If they are hungry, they can find something to eat. If they need clean underwear, point to the washer. Don’t go buy a gift for that kid’s party Saturday. Don’t take your kid to the party, dad can drive, I’m sure. If you get a notice about a late bill, put it on your husband’s desk.

 Completely and utterly relinquish all household responsibilities to them and do nothing but work and basic life needs…just like “they” always do!

 It will be hard, but when open/honest communication fails you time and time again, make your words noticeable with direct action. Show them that you mean business and don’t give in. Don’t give up! Push through! When the allotted time that you have chosen – at least 2 weeks- is up, then have a talk that includes a follow through plan with the entire family.

 Easier Version:

 If you are not ready or just cannot muster the courage to go on a complete strike, start by giving your husband/kids one important/constant/daily chore. A chore that is pretty much all yours. Such as grocery shop, cook meals, and/or doing the laundry. These areas can really be a quick eye opener for anyone not familiar with how much work all that really is.

 I know this is hard. It will take time to get some of these things off your plate, but it is better than feeling a deep resentment down the road. The home is the family’s home. It is the family’s responsibility to do their part at home, regardless of any extra activities like work, school, or sports. It’s also good that the kids see how a family works together to build a home they are all proud of. The kids should learn that it takes effort to have and keep nice things.

 Good luck and please update me. I’d love to hear what you try and how it works!

 

Why Did My Wife Get A Life?

Reader’s Question:

I have been married for ten years and always been very happy. Recently, this all changed. My wife has started hanging out with a new group of “friends” that she met through our neighbor and she has been drinking more, and going out on her own, on a regular basis. We’ve never really been into this or done that. I am feeling concerned for her and wondering why this is happening, as well as feeling neglected at home. How should I proceed with her?

Is she doing something wrong or unsafe? Or did she just get a life? Without a lot of information here, I am going to have to give you the basics.

If your wife is simply getting her own life by hanging out with the girls occasionally, there is nothing wrong with this. It’s healthy and good for her and for your marriage. If you don’t like the group or the activities they partake in – for good reason, of course- then you should have a talk about it.

 Something is clearly up, though! You should be concerned!

 In any relationship, open and honest communication is key. Maybe she is going through something of her own. Maybe she is bored. Maybe she is unhappy…there are too many things to speculate here, so just ask.

 But, if you are asking for the wrong reasons – e.g., you are bored or unhappy because she is having fun without you – then keep it to yourself and go have your own fun.

Now, if your wife is getting hammered and driving home drunk from the club at 3am, then there may be a problem. If things are unsafe or out of control, then an immediate talk is on order. I know she is an adult and you are her husband, and not her father, but sometimes people just need to hear the strong truth. Let her know you love her and you have deep concern for her safety and that you are here to listen and help.

 Part of a good marriage is being there for your partner in troubling times. When they are down, you pick them up! Your wife may need this from you, right now.

I want to touch on you “feeling neglected at home.” Why do you feel you are being neglected? Do you go out with your friends? If not, why not? If your wife is not making this a nightly thing, I am not sure it is fair for you to make her feel guilty about wanting a life with friends.

 Relationships are about give and take…trust, compromise, effort, and unconditional love. If she is giving you all she is/can, and is just looking for some girl time, you need to be fair.

Say No to Uncle-Dad

Reader’s Question:

My husband and I were married for seven years before we divorced. We remain civil today for our children. He is not very close with his family, but I am and have been for years, even before we became a couple. Last week his brother asked me on a date and I am wondering if this is okay or not? He is a good man and I am interested, but don’t want things to get messy.

Gulp. I am guessing that you know the correct answer to this question, but want someone to say yes, it is fine, or hell no, it’s not okay. So, here you go:

 HELL NO, this is not okay…for many reasons.

Let’s start with your children.

I’m pretty sure “Uncle-Dad” is not a situation any kids want to explain or deal with. It is already difficult when your parents decide to start dating after divorce, but when it is a family member or close friend, things really get emotional. Kids need stability, but divorce happens.

 You don’t have to make things harder for them by dating their uncle.

 There are tons of “fish in the sea.” Unless you two are so in love that you will literally die without him, find someone else. Period.

What are you thinking?

Why do you want to date him and why do you think he is okay asking you out? Could any of this be a shot at the ex-husband-brother? With the family already not close, do you really want to add to the strife? What makes him more appealing than a guy with fewer strings attached? What about a fresh start for you?

Dating with children involved after a divorce is very hard. Sometimes when you have been married for a long time, you forget your self-worth. Maybe this is happening to you now. I think this brother makes you feel comfortable, and it’s easy, and it’s a situation you know. So you feel safe. Making it easy for you to consider taking action on an idea you must know is absolutely wrong!

 I believe it’s best that you nail this proverbial door shut, permanently…with very large nails!

Join a dating site, go to a bookstore, or head out with some friends and meet new people. Give yourself a real chance at a new relationship. One that is best for you and healthy for your children.

 You deserve love!

Younger Lady…Older Man. Is it Always About the “Gold?”

Reader’s Question:

A buddy of mine has been dating women that are much younger than him. He’s 55 and a good looking guy. He seems very happy, but I cannot help but wonder why a beautiful lady would date my friend who is 25-30 years older than her. Since you are in the industry, I thought you could explain and perhaps ease my suspicions that they are all just there for the money.

 HA. HA. HA. You are a great buddy for asking and I’m happy to give my opinion!

 I work with a lot of men that want to date younger women who are generally the total opposite of wife # 1. I also work with a lot of women who want to date much older men.

 Women want stability! It is easier to find a stable and committed man when he is older. This is a simple truth, to which most men would not deny.

 Older guys have more to offer, money included. It’s all about practicality. Older men have more experience, culture, patience, maturity, knowledge and overall peace of mind. Older guys are often ready to live a calmer life, away from parties and drama.

 Now, obviously not every young gal he dates is dating him for the right reasons. There are tons of couples who have gotten married as more of a business transaction. They like each other and they want to be together, but both know not everything adds up. He supports her and she is the best wife and partner that money can buy. They are mostly all okay with this, and happy about it, in fact. It is easy and everyone is content.

 Who are you/we to say this type of relationship is unacceptable if both adults are consenting, happy and content? It took me ten years to figure out that not all “love” relationships are the same. Many couples are happy with their own version of foundation and purpose.

 I originally thought everyone got together because they fell madly in love and could never be apart. Every marriage was a fairy tale in one way or another, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

 Relationships come in all types, sizes, and shapes, and it is not our place to judge.

 We are adults and we make our own choices. If we choose a relationship that is outside of the societal norm, then so be it. As long as we are healthy, happy, and content.

 Life is too short to have it any other way!