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 [email protected].
Ashley June 16, 2017, 8:21 am
LW 3. Outside looking in, it may be your old friends are threatened by your single status. It could be they have no concept on how to be friends outside of “couple friends” and so that is why they are going for your husbands ex-wife. Doesn’t take away anything Wendy said about their character but I think it tells you what small, little people you’re dealing with here.
va-in-ny June 16, 2017, 8:28 am
LW1 – stop trying to leave a coat in his car… instead, just leave the set of signed divorce papers.
You know exactly what is happening here…
RedroverRedrover June 16, 2017, 9:01 am
The first two a different sides of the same douchebag coin. They could be writing in about the exact same guy. LW1, he’s cheating. You know it. There’s really no other explanation for his behaviour.
LW2, he’s probably married. His mother knows he’s cheating and doesn’t approve. He can’t introduce you to the kids because he’s still with their mom. Maybe they’re separated and still trying to “work it out”, or maybe they’re actively living together and he’s got some cover story like he travels for work a lot. But either way, he’s keeping you a secret for a reason.
LW3, sorry you’re hurting, but they’ve made clear that they’re not really your friends. Friends don’t behave that way. Like Wendy said, they’ve shown their true colours and you’ll just have to move on and find new, better friends.
Cleopatra Jones June 16, 2017, 9:06 am
LW#1: I’m a little disturbed that your husband is clearly exhibiting the behavior of a man who is repeatedly cheating on you, and your main focus is that you can’t leave a coat in his truck. WTF??? Babes, that is the least of your worries! Stop focusing on the damned coat. You need to do the following, posthaste– 1) Go get tested for sexually transmitted diseases/infections 2) Get yourself to a lawyer so you can file for divorce, and put a claim on the communal assets before he has a chance to squirrel stuff away 3) Move the eff out of the house or throw his ass out. 4) Get some counseling or therapy to help you cope with this situation. This marriage is over, leave and don’t look back.
LW#2: If he wasn’t at your house almost every night, I’d say he was still married. But whatever he is…he is treating you pretty shitty. You should dump his ass and move on, cause he’s not interested in a real relationship. He wants the benefits of a relationship without the commitment and work. Around here, we call that a situationship.
bagge72 June 16, 2017, 9:15 am
LW3: it’s because god fearing church goers are the biggest hypocrites in the world.
LW1: Not sure how you could have reread your letter to yourself and still had any questions to ask.
LW2: Who wants to date somebody who can’t share their life with them. It’s probably going to lead to a whole other set of problems down the road.
Janelle June 16, 2017, 9:43 am
LW2: I’m confused. You say he won’t properly introduce you to his mother but that “when I see her..”. Which is it. You seem to obviously have been introduced. I’m really lost on that one.
RedroverRedrover June 16, 2017, 9:54 am
I think she hasn’t been introduced as his girlfriend. Just like “this is Sally” and that’s it.
dinoceros June 16, 2017, 9:55 am
It is weird. I assumed that she sees her around, but he’s never had a conversation where he was talking to the LW and his mom at the same time and acknowledging they’re together. For example, if he had to drop off something at his mom’s house, and LW came with him, and he just sort of pretended LW wasn’t there?
Janelle June 16, 2017, 11:06 am
She says “when I see her” and “she knows we are dating”. Boyfriend sounds like a cad but perhaps she is expecting some parade to introduce her. On that note she may be acting a bit unreasonable. Could be regarding the kids that their mom will not have it and he doesn’t want to create drama with the baby mama. Haha had to say that. Anyway or he just sucks. Just a thought.
dinoceros June 16, 2017, 11:38 am
She’s saying that *he said* she knows they’re dating. I think she’s either doubting whether he’s told her or not, or that’s just his excuse for why it doesn’t matter that he’s never introduced her has his girlfriend in person.
Raccoon eyes June 16, 2017, 11:29 am
That struck me too
dinoceros June 16, 2017, 9:52 am
LW1: Unless you think it’s enjoyable to have a husband who cheats on you constantly and then lies about it, of course you should leave him. The reason he blatantly lies about this is that you’ve shown him that you’ll believe anything he says and let him cheat with no consequence. It’s really concerning to me that you have to ask.
LW2: Of course he’s making excuses. But even if he wasn’t, he’s clearly not as serious about the relationship as you are. In the future, don’t integrate someone into your family who hasn’t been clear that they want a future with you.
LW3: Find new friends. This is also a lesson that being Christian does not automatically make you a good person.
Janna June 16, 2017, 10:15 am
Don’t be so hard on the friends in Letter #3. My brother cheated on his wife and left her, my friend of over 20 years. I have tried to maintain the friendship for years, but her bitterness has taken a toll on me. There is no conversation — even 5 years on now — that doesn’t revolve around what a despicable person my brother is. I have tried to talking to her about it, I have tried changing the subject, I have quite literally turned and walked away when the conversation shifts to him. Short of cutting my brother out of my life, she will just not be happy. I’m not going to do that and it drives her insane. We were like sisters before, and now I dread every conversation. So don’t be so sure that the friends just dumped the jilted wife because they’re heartless.
dinoceros June 16, 2017, 11:07 am
That’s a possibility that something like that is happening here. I’d hope that at least one of the LW’s would let her know, though, if that were the case rather than just giving her the cold shoulder.
Janna June 16, 2017, 12:06 pm
That was my point. I’ve told my (ex) sister-in-law multiple times. She just can’t get past it, even after years of therapy and being in a new relationship herself. But if you asked her, I’m sure she would tell you that I became distant and she just doesn’t understand why. People see what they want to see. Just want people to know it might not actually be ALL the friends’ fault.
dinoceros June 16, 2017, 12:53 pm
I wasn’t disagreeing. It’s good to look at other possibilities.
Fyodor June 16, 2017, 3:19 pm
LW1, the situation is inscrutable. Who can say what it really means?
hazel July 9, 2017, 10:57 am
LW 3 I’m so sorry that your mutual friends have all picked their side and it isn’t you. That is a really rotten thing to happen to anyone at any time of life. Some of them may yet come back to you, but even if they don’t, try really hard not to let this make it harder for you to trust the new friends you will make. If you can, make a big effort to socialise with new people, even if it means pushing yourself to join classes and clubs etc to meet them. That way, even if some of your old friends don’t come back, you’ll be doing something dynamic to move on. Good Luck.