I’m not sure what to think. He’s now emotionally distant and he’s always on his phone (which he hides when I’m closer), and whenever I ask him if there’s another person, he always denies it. And he doesn’t seem to care about our relationship anymore. The other day he was supposed to join my family and me for my nieces’ birthday celebration and he canceled at the last minute, saying he was tired from the exam he had earlier. The next day when I came back home, there wasn’t any evidence that he’d actually even been home after his exam. But what’s confusing is that whenever I buy something for the house, he’s always telling me not to use my money – that he’ll do everything. And the funny part is he’s home 95% of the time (if he’s not at work) and he sleeps at home every night, but after saying he’s going out with his friend, he sometimes doesn’t pick up his phone.
Please advise on what I need to do. When I tell him his behavior upsets me, he’ll change for a day or two and then go back to being online or on WhatsApp all the time and not answering his phone when it rings in front of me. I’m frustrated/angry/sad/stressed because I didn’t expect such from him. Also, I’m three months pregnant. — Sad and Stressed
Ok, so what part is confusing to you (because it sounds clear as day to me)? Your dude isn’t into you anymore. See: the complete disinterest in you when you’re home together; the lack of calls to you; the disinterest in sex with you; telling you “thanks” when you say you love him; disinterest in going out or on vacation with you – and he’s having sex with other women on the side. See: lots of condoms even though he never initiates sex with you AND you’re already pregnant AND they’re in places you don’t have sex together anyway; repeatedly not answering his phone in front of you; and blowing off your nieces’ birthday party while making up a lame excuse that was easily refutable. What part is confusing here? That he tells you not to spend your money on stuff for the house? Let me guess – it was his home first and you moved into it, right? He doesn’t want you to spend any money on it because he doesn’t want you to feel any ownership of the space since he has no intention of continuing this relationship long-term.
The only reason he hasn’t broken up with you yet is because he’s lazy – breaking up with someone requires effort and he doesn’t want to give you any of his. But don’t take it too personally – it’s not like he’s giving anyone much effort at all if he’s home 95% of the time that he isn’t at work. It sounds like the only thing he’s putting much effort into is making hook-up dates on WhatsApp for the 5% of the time he’s out. I’m gonna guess that sex with him is really unfulfilling, right? “Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am” type? He’s only got so much time to spare, and making sure the woman is into it doesn’t really work in his time frame.
Look, it sucks that you’re pregnant and will always have that connection to this guy, but a baby is not a reason to stay in a dead relationship with a guy who doesn’t like you, who doesn’t respect you, and whom you cannot trust. It’s time to find a new place to live, line up your support system for help when you become a single parent in a few months, and focus on the next chapter of your life, which should only include this guy in as much as he’s interested in being part of his baby’s life (and NOT part of your love life). I know this is a hard lesson to learn, but the faster you can accept that your fiancé no longer loves you and has been cheating on you, the faster you can move on to something better. Also, please make sure you get tested for STIs.
Two years ago I kissed a girl for the first time at a party. It was like fireworks going off in my head. The girl and I parted ways amicably, but I couldn’t get the thought out of my head – finally, I felt like me! I confessed to my parents that I was attracted to girls. My mother nodded slowly and my dad … Well, he told me he was disappointed in me. I let it slide, knowing that maybe one day they’ll get used to it. I wasn’t exactly dating anyone at that point, but I felt I needed to share my preference for women.
Over the past two years, I have gone on two dates with women which never went anywhere. Now I’m 24 years old and have started meeting up with the first girl again. We realized quickly after the first meet-up that there had been an instant connection, something more than friendship alone. We liked each other.
I told my parents that I was dating, and they were quiet. My brother says he doesn’t care whom I date, and my mother says somewhat the same, but my dad says he will never accept me and never wants to meet my new partner. I feel defeated, torn inside and absolutely distraught. I don’t know what to do anymore as I cannot even mention my new girlfriend without it making everyone uncomfortable. I feel so happy, but yet I feel sad that I can’t share my happiness with anyone.
I need advice because I feel lost. — Lost Lesbian
I’m so sorry that the love you should feel from your family is conditional on your living inauthentically. That isn’t love. And, like the LW above, you’re learning a difficult lesson that I hope will bring you some liberation if you can accept and embrace it. Your dad doesn’t love you for who you are. What a loss for him. And I know it feels like a loss for you, but I think if you can reframe it as a “disappointment” rather than a loss, that’s actually a more honest version of what you’re experiencing. If your dad’s love for you was always conditional on your behavior and how you present your identity, I can’t imagine it’s ever been a warm and generous love. It came with strings attached – strings that you say held you back from exploring an early desire to date women. Just imagine what you can do and who you can be (yourself!) without those strings holding you down anymore. It’s so disappointing that your dad can’t love you for who you are. But a loss? His genuine love and acceptance were never yours to lose in the first place.
You say you have no one to share your happiness with now, but what about your partner? Share your happiness with her. Share it with your brother who seems to accept you just as you are. And, you know, your mother isn’t a lost cause either. She might come around as she observes you living authentically and happily. What about friends? Do you have any? Share your happiness with them! As I said in a recent column, “family” can be chosen, and if the family you were born into doesn’t love and accept you for who you are, then even more reason to choose family who does. If you don’t have many friends, make some. Explore ways you can connect with the LGBTQ community, which will allow you to shed the “traditional” expectations you were raised under and grow into the person you felt you had to suppress all your life.
You have so much to be excited about – exploring your true identity, loving and being loved by someone you feel really connected to, creating a chosen family of like-minded people who share your values, shedding the oppressive lens you’ve been viewed through your whole life. Wonderful things await! Hard, sad, and challenging things await too – life is still life, after all, even when we begin to live it as our authentic selves – but to experience the hard things alongside people who truly want the best for us is a feeling much better than the conditions you’ve been allowed to live in thus far. Let yourself feel the disappointment that comes from being alienated by a family member. Mourn the love and the relationship you wish you’d had with your father. But don’t let him keep you from thriving at the exact time you’ve finally given yourself permission to.