Dear Amy: I'm 32 and have three children from a previous relationship.
I've been with my boyfriend for five years. We live together. We have had trust issues in the past, and I thought we had worked through them.
Well, last summer he had an affair with my neighbor (who I thought was a friend!). I found out after they had been sneaking around for two months.
He begged, and said he loved me, and that it would never happen again.
I believed him, but — guess what? He was still talking to her and they were together at least another four times.
This neighbor is a psycho. She calls his mother and creates different e-mail addresses to contact him, as well as phony Facebook accounts. She won't give up!
Recently, I found out that he went to her place to tell her to leave him alone and to stop contacting his mother. She says they slept together. Of course, I don't believe his denials because he has lied so many times.
Part of me really loves him. I don't want to throw away five years if we can work on it. But I also don't know if I can ever trust him. Your advice?
Amy says: You have three children. My advice is that you should put them in the center of your life, but not in the center of this drama.
What is it like for them when their mom is upset, angry and hooked into a relationship with a lying, cheating psycho magnet?
Do you want to demonstrate to your kids that being with an unfaithful, destructive and disrespectful partner is better than being alone and independent? Because that's what you're doing.
If you want your kids to engage in healthy relationships, then you are going to have to show them the way. I hope you can find ways to boost your own self-esteem, so that you could see that you are worthy and that you deserve the very best in love, and life.
Kicking this guy to the curb might be a good first step.
Invite left off wife
Dear Amy: My daughter, "Cynthia," and her wife "Sharon" were recently invited to the wedding of my daughter-in-law's friend. However, when the bridal shower invitation arrived, only Cynthia was invited to the shower.
Cynthia hardly knows the bride, and can only assume that Sharon was excluded because her interests and style appear more "masculine."
This stereotyping is deeply offensive. Sharon would have been delighted to attend the shower, and Cynthia is so hurt that she does not want to attend. Nevertheless, they want to do the right and gracious thing.
Should Cynthia make this a "teachable moment" and ask the bride if it was an "oversight" to have not included her wife in the shower invitation? Or should she simply decline and send a gift?
Amy says: This invitation could definitely be a case of offensive lesbian stereotyping, or it could be something simpler and less sinister. (I vote for the latter.)
Showers are more intimate parties than weddings. Unlike weddings, bridal showers are not generally "plus one" or "plus spouse or partner" events.
I could imagine that if Cynthia contacted the bride to offer her a "teachable moment" about social "oversights," the bride might respond by saying, "Oh, no other spouses are coming, and I've never met Sharon, so I just didn't imagine that she would want to come to my shower."
Perhaps this scenario would seem plausible to the couple. If they can't pressure this bride into an additional invite, and if Cynthia doesn't want to attend alone, then sending a gift would be a kindness.
I literally cannot imagine wanting to attend the bridal shower of a stranger, even if I was on my spouse's arm. If I were Sharon, I'd be thrilled to have dodged that particular bridal bullet.
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