Respect the relationship

Joey Garcia

In the past, my husband would frequently suggest going to a bar separately and pretending we don’t know each other so he could pick me up. I thought it sounded stupid and always laughed it off. I started traveling out of town for work, and he stopped answering my calls at night. He also password-protected his phone and started carrying it all the time. But I checked his iPad and saw messages that were mostly sexual from women he apparently met in bars. He doesn’t know that I know. How do I handle this?

Admit to your husband that you betrayed his trust. Tell him you searched his iPad. Be forthright that you played investigator because you noticed changes in his behavior, and suspected he was having an affair. Tell him you believe that you found evidence. Bring up the emails you saw, and request an explanation. If he denies any wrongdoing, ask if you can sit down together and review those messages. His willingness to work with you will reveal whether your relationship has an upcoming expiration date or whether marriage counseling is the next step.

One last thing, please don’t judge yourself for not taking his fantasy seriously. Yes, it might have been sweeter to play along. It certainly would have been kinder not to ridicule his desires. After all, you were the one that he wanted. That said, be clear he lacked the maturity to communicate the importance of his fantasy. He also failed to protect the marriage from the harm of turning his fantasy into reality without you. And that leads to the deeper problem in your marriage: a lack of respect for each other. That’s the issue you both need to tackle in therapy.

I’m dating a guy who only wants to chill in his room with a video game and pizza. He rents a room in a house with a bunch of other people. It feels completely claustrophobic to be there. I always suggest that we go out, and I always offer to pay my own way. He never wants to go out. I realize that he doesn’t make much money, but neither do I. We both work at the same place, he’s in the warehouse, and I work in the store. I don’t understand why he can’t try to do something special for me once in a while. I finally got sick of it, and we had an argument. He yelled that everyone wonders why I’m with him. I went home crying, and he hasn’t even called me. He is a really nice guy. I feel bad, and I want to call him but don’t really know what to say. Any ideas?

“Thank you” is the perfect place to start. Express your gratitude to this man for the privilege of his friendship. Do this after reflecting on what this relationship taught you. In the process, stop your brain from fearing that you have lost your true love. He was not your soul mate. You shared a relationship in which you didn’t feel appreciated. Be grateful that you can recognize a nice guy (not everyone has this awareness).

Now search for a nice guy who is into you. A guy who really likes you would plan dates that took you into the world because that’s what you enjoy.

There are many possibilities for people on a budget: a picnic in the park or along the river, Second Saturday art walks, and free concerts or low-cost plays.

You can enjoy any of these awesome events on your own or with friends to fill in the hours previously spent stuck in a bedroom with a guy, a pizza and a video game.

Meditation of the week
“Extraordinary human ingenuity has been used to eliminate the need for human ingenuity,” writes Barbara Garson, in The Electronic Sweatshop: How Computers Are Turning the Office of the Future Into the Factory of the Past. How can you fine-tune your creative problem-solving skills?

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