It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.
My husband and I were friends with a younger woman. We both knew her parents. She would come to our house to visit. After a while my husband wanted to help her by giving her a job with his construction crew. I said I didn’t think it was a good idea. He went behind my back and hired her anyway and kept it a secret. When I found out, I was furious. He would call her “Babe” and she called him “Boo.” He gave her money and took her wherever she wanted to go — all still behind my back. He says nothing happened, but when I insisted he stop being friends with her and he complied, he cried. Since then he has joined several dating sites and has become addicted to openly looking at very young women and his phone is full of porn. Also, I am not allowed to leave a coat in his truck for some reason. He even sent another female friend a very sexy message, saying: “I can’t wait to see you. I miss you. And it’s a date. He says he did nothing wrong and I don’t believe him. Would You? It is driving me crazy. I am miserable. Please help. Should I leave him? — Not Allowed Even a Coat
He’s on dating sites and sexting other women and not letting you leave any evidence of your existence in his truck and crying when you insist he stop spending time with a much younger woman he was giving money to and who calls him “Boo”? Yeah, I’d leave him…
I am a 33-year-old woman, mother of three, who has been dating my 35-year-old boyfriend for two years now. I have introduced him to my kids. He stays at my house at least five days a week. I love him very much, but I’m not sure if he’s the man for me because he hasn’t introduced me to his three kids (ages 11, 9, and 4). I have mentioned before that I would like to meet them, but he just brushes me off, saying they were bad and he didn’t know how they would react to meeting me. He also hasn’t properly introduced me to his mom although she knows we’re dating. When I told him I wanted to be properly introduced, he told me he has never introduced anyone to his mom, not even the mother of his kids, and that she knows me and knows we’re together. It really bothers me because sometimes when I see her, she gives me the cold shoulder. I don’t know what to do. I wonder if he’s just making excuses. Please give me some advice! — Still Haven’t Met Mom
Yes, it sounds like he’s making excuses. There’s a reason he won’t introduce you to his kids — and it’s not because they’re bad, which is a really effed-up excuse anyway — and that his mother gives you the cold shoulder when she sees you. What do you think the reason might be? I have a few ideas. Give him an ultimatum — either he introduce you to his mother and kids and fully integrate you in his life or you’re moving on. And then stick to that plan, because unless the guy will be totally open with you, you can’t trust him, and you can’t build a relationship without trust.
I was married almost seventeen years to my ex-husband. We were together for over twenty years. We acquired friendships during our marriage. He cheated on me and was very disrespectful towards me numerous times throughout our marriage. We had tried counseling and everything — you name it. Well, we are now divorced for two years and he’s been re-married two years as well. He married the first lady to come along. Anyway, the really good friends we had no longer speak to me or are friends with me. They have now taken the new wife under their wings even though he cheated on me with her. Mind you, these are all God-fearing churchgoers. To be kicked to the curb because I am no longer the trophy on his arm hurts because these were friends of about fifteen years. What advice do you have for me? — Rejected After 15 Years
If they kicked you to the curb after fifteen years of friendship because you divorced your cheating husband, they weren’t good friends to begin with and you’re better off without them in your life. I know that doesn’t remove the sting from their rejection, but I promise that, sooner or later, their true colors were going to show and they’d have disappointed you in some way. This just happens to be the way they let you down, and it comes at a point when you’re feeling particularly vulnerable. Use this opportunity to cultivate and foster other friendships, and don’t measure your value on the way a bunch of jerks treated you.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.