I know you normally do dating advice, but I’ve seen you do marriage advice too.
I have been married to my husband for 9 years. We have three kids together.
Back when he and I were dating, I went to visit him out of town (same town where my parents lived) where he had an internship. He wanted to fool around and we really didn’t have a place to go (he was living with my parents for free during his internship) and so he wanted to fool around in the car. When we finally found an empty dark parking lot, he said he wanted to get in the backseat and I told him specifically that I didn’t want to. My ex had sexually assaulted me in a car, and although I didn’t understand that’s what happened at the time, I told my (then) boyfriend that my ex had been “gross” with me in a car and it made me gross out to mess around. This made my boyfriend snap and he started yelling at me “we better not have come out all this way for nothing!” For various reasons I complied. I was scared of losing him, I didn’t know anything about consent, so I just laid there looking at the ceiling while he helped himself to a hand job from me. I wanted to break up with him, but coming from a very abusive home, I quickly blocked what happened and moved on. And we got married. And our marriage sucked but I got pregnant right away.
Fast forward to 2016 during Trump’s election and I finally have the words for what he did to me and I confront him. We fight for weeks but he owns up to it and apologizes sincerely. On New Years Eve we have sex for probably one out of three times that year and I get pregnant. Things are still rough but my hope is that with everything in the open, a new baby on the way, we can turn over a new leaf. We don’t. Once, when we were going to go see a movie with a couple that he knew (he worked with the girl) we got into a fight and he asked what I wanted to do. Crying, I said, “Please, let’s just go home” Well, he pulls up to the movie theatre, gets out and tells me that the couple will drive him home.
Then I find out that the girl he is working with is moving away. He and I were always very comfortable with each other having opposite sex friends, and he goes to three different going away parties for this girl. I am exhausted and pregnant, plus I am also childcare for our other kids so I stay home. He tells me he’s a social person and when I come home from work and lie in bed, it’s hard on him. So he goes out. Once, while we were watching a movie on his phone, the girl who left his work is lighting up his phone and it’s almost 10pm. She’s sending text after text. I don’t know what they say. But the next day, I look at the texts. Husband and I have always felt fine with having the password for each other’s phones. Once or twice a week, we’d lose a phone and use the other’s phone to call the missing phone. I’d grab his phone if it was close to look stuff up etc.
I see texts that talk about them having lunch together. Daily. She’s talking about crying because she doesn’t want to leave. He tells her he hopes our daughters grow up to be like her. He talks about feminist theory with her. Etc. Nothing sexual. But he did lie. He told me they rarely spent time together. I pressed him on several details about the time they spent together. He lied. And after I asked a few questions about her (he didn’t know I looked through his phone) the next day, he changed his password of two years.
Once I saw that he changed his phone I told him I had seen their conversations. I told him that he had been lying about how much time they were spending together. I told him to stop texting her.
He didn’t. I caught him replying to a text she sent him about something innocuous. And then magically, she didn’t text him anymore. There were other text convos in his phone with other women. One where he told her he likes having deep conversations and low key flirting, but I can tell that she was trying to keep things friendly so I wasn’t as worried about that.
Here’s the thing. He says he didn’t sleep with the woman who he became glued to while I was pregnant. He says he didn’t have feelings for her but when I press, he doesn’t say she didn’t have feelings for him. But he lied and lied and lied to me about how much time they spent together until I told him I read his texts, and his face turned white. “Believe what you want but nothing happened.” And he was trying to making me feel like I was crazy until I had black and white proof. So I have no idea if he really took it too far with this girl.
There are very, very complicated reasons why I haven’t left, but I need to know, from a guy’s perspective, am I making this too much of a big deal?
Hello Doc, there’s something I need help with.
There’s this guy I really like, and, well it’s hard to tell if he likes me or not. He’s just a really nice guy; he always says yes whenever I want to hang out with him, he’s always there for me (he even said so himself), he compliments me like “You’re cool,” or “Awesome,” but never like “You’re pretty…”
And then he calls me bro and stuff.
He replies with long paragraphs but takes forever to reply. We’ve talked on the phone for hours once. Whenever we hang out alone he likes to stare at me; it’s like he stares right into my eyes. He always gets really close to me but doesn’t touch me or anything. I’m always asking “what, are you cold?” but he never says anything. He doesn’t mind paying for me if we go out; even when I tell him I have money, he insists. He’s such a gentleman too.
The problem is he’s my ex’s friend. They’ve known each other since they were younger. My ex gets jealous when we hang out but my crush/friend says he shouldn’t care anymore and says it’s sad that my ex doesn’t trust him or whatever. So I’m not sure if he’s shy to make the first move or if he’s scared of what my ex will think or if he just likes me as a friend I just don’t know what to do.
Bewitched, Bewildered and Bemused
I am a long time reader of your blog, I feel like this is what it would look like if Cosmopolitan ran a science journal.
Anyways, I am contacting you in search of advice. I am a nerd-girl, moderately attractive, so I find myself being the one initiating relationships (and sadly ending them.) Recently I asked out a fellow college student of mine over Facebook. We know each other through a gaming club, but we don’t get to talk much because it’s a large club, and I don’t see him other than that because he’s a theater major and I’m a science major. I decided to ask him out after two jokes he told; one on binary, the other on medieval weaponry.
I asked him if I could buy him a coffee, he responded immediately saying yes, and then we scheduled a time. My main issue is this:
Is it a date?
How do I know if he knows it’s a date?
Have I Made A Huge Mistake
I’ve got a problem. A big problem. I’d call it one-itis, just to give it a label, because that’s what it is.
A little background: I’ve been spending a fair amount of time lately with a particular woman (Lets call her… Denna) who is pretty much everything I could ask for in a partner for life, but it doesn’t seem to be what she wants. We went to high school together (I’m ’04, she’s ’05), and we dated for about a year after I graduated and went to a nearby university. We ended up breaking up because her ex-boyfriend very obviously still had a huge thing for her, and it made me uncomfortable. I tried bringing this up several times, usually with the line, “I don’t want to tell you who you can and can’t be friends with… But this makes me uncomfortable.” (Her ex would stop by randomly any given day, bring her gifts, try to hug/kiss her, etc. Generally just wasn’t dealing with the fact that it was over). Eventually I finally just had it with her talking about how uncomfortable it was making HER, but she didn’t want to lay down the law. So I ended things. We had a brief fling over valentines day (this was probably 2 months after the break up), and then all hell broke loose.
We ended up not speaking for five years or so, until I started at the university she was going to. I had had a relationship in the intervening years that ended on decent terms (we were headed different directions in life, and ended things amicably). But as soon as I started hanging out with Denna, things were just like they were when we were dating. Even the first few nights we hung out were spent on her couch, basically making out and feeling each other up. We’ve both since dated a few people since those nights, and now we’re both single again.
In the present day, Denna and I have hung out a number of times–both just the two of us, and in group settings. We’ve watched movies together, gone to dinner, etc. When we stroll about, we even link arms and usually have good, comfortable conversation. Her parents adore me (her words…), my parents rave about her whenever she comes up in conversation. Her animals and mine both have quite a bond with the other person… Most all of the stars are aligned in the sky.
Now, I’ve recently asked Denna out on a few dates. I asked her one Sunday night (about three weeks ago) if she would go on a date with me the next weekend, and she said “Yeah, sure!” But…. Fast forward to Wednesday and suddenly things are just all ahoo, and plans get cancelled. We spent this past Sunday night together as well, just making dinner and playing with her cats. Monday morning I realized a movie I thought we’d both like to see was going to be in theatres, so I asked if she’d like to go to that… This time there was some hemming and hawing, but eventually she decided she’d probably be too tired Friday night, and would just want to have some ‘her time’.
I’m seeing all kinds of “Soft No” written on these various interactions. She wants to preserve the friendship, I think, and doesn’t want to date. Also, whenever I try to strike up a conversation at all, be it via text, IM, or wherever…. Its usually monosyllabic, or at best perhaps a short sentence.
I think I know WHAT I need to do here–I need to take some time to myself, get my head screwed on straight as far as Denna is concerned, and move on. But HOW is that accomplished? Is preserving anything about the friendship (when we’re hanging out in person, we have fantastic conversations… And I would say we have some pretty awesome personal chemistry in terms of knowing how to make the other laugh, or comfort them in a tough situation) possible? I’ve had a number of people say “Kvothe, get out of there. Stop thinking about it. Just let it go.” Is that the right course of action?
A Wise Man’s Fear