Not a Good Time

QUESTION: Hello, I just today found your site and think its great that you guys can give helpful advice to the women of the world! Well my story is complicated.... at least to me, so I'd like any advice you can give!

Here goes: Ok my boyfriend and I have been together for 4yrs. We've known each other for around 10 though. He is divorced and has three children. I've never been married and have no children. We got together in a weird sort of way. I was his ex-wife's brother's girlfriend for 4yrs. We both pretty much broke up with our exes at the same time and have been together ever since. We both agreed at the start that we would be upfront and honest with each other about anything and everything because we both lacked that in our previous relationships. I guess you could say we both had certain issues that needed to be overcome. I can tell you now that mine was trust and I guess you could say his was being trusted. His ex was constantly accusing him of cheating.

He is a very outgoing person that is overly nice to people and as you know some women take that the wrong way. The first 3yrs went really well with just a few minor rows and the normal relationship issues. Then towards the begining of this year we started to become distant with each other. We both had to change jobs, money got tight, and stress was mounting on both ends. He spent more and more time out drinking and I spent more and more time at home alone being mad.

Finally it all came to a head and I was snooping (not good I know) and found some texts from a girl that I had never heard about. I'll tell you now that there was no real sexual meaning behind them but they didnt sound good either. I completely lost control and we started arguing. He had no explanations for the girl texting him and ending up storming out in the middle of the night. I didn't know what to do. I felt completely betrayed. The following day I changed the locks on the house and started packing his stuff because he refused to talk to me. I gave him a deadline in which to pick his things up and I was done. I cryed for the next 4 days straight. I couldn't let him or his kids go.

Over the next couple of weeks we started talking again and agreed that since we had known each other for so long that it would be stupid to never talk again. We had really long talks and he told me he never did anything with anybody else and I believed him. Soon we were sleeping together again, but we were calling it "friends with benifits". Then he told me he was sorry and that he really did love me but he was under so much stress that he didn't know what he wanted. (He runs a restraunt, has to work 50+ hrs a week so he doesn't fall behind on child support, cause if he does his ex takes him to court and tries to get him thrown in jail) To be honest all our problems started when he had to go to jail overnight for being behind. After that he was obsessed with work and said he would never go back. Anyway he started staying the night pretty much through the whole week. Things seem to be ok but there's alot of strain. One of the major problems is I can't let him move back into my house because my parents own it and they flat out said noway. He stays at his dads and neither one of us has the money to move right now. We both just started school so we can get away from the food indusrty. I know he's stressed about that because he can't tell his boss for fear of being demoted and falling behind in cs.

This past week he hasn't stayed the night with me at all. He's not as lovey as he usually is unless I initiate it. He still says "I love you" but it almost seems like its just habit. But at the same time we've almost been planning the future like we used to...looking at houses and talking about what we want to do. Do you think I'm overanalyzing or is he done? Is he just overstressed? I try and be as supportive as I can but it gets frustrating because I dont understand what he wants. *sigh* Well thanks for listening and I hope you can shed some light on this!

Thx again,

GARLAND: Thank you for your question, it;s a very good one that I think a lot of people can relate to.

Your man sounds very stressed, and stress, like most negative stuff, trickles down, in this case, to his woman. I think that this may be a time in your man's life that he focuses on his priorities, and while it may sound cold it's not meant to be, but you are probably NOT one of those priorities.

Let me explain - when I was single, I dated a reasonable amount, not a lot but not a little - sort of right in the middle I guess. But, while I would have liked to have had a girlfriend or at least a steady hanging-out-friend most of the time, I came across certain stretches where my money was funny, or I had to focus on getting myself squared away. It was during those times, that I didn't date, or I didn't kick-it with that special someone. I focused on me, my money and/or my situation. When I was on even footing as a Man, only then was I any good for a woman.

I think for Your Man, this is one of those times where he needs to get himself squared away and be gainfully employed, a steady father, self sufficent, and a more reasponsible man. He's divorced, struggling with child support, living with his dad, overworked, and I'm sure his head is all over the place. Honestly, I don't see where he has room in his life to try and be a decent boyfriend or partner to you. He is worried day-to-day about whether or not he's going to jail. He REALLY needs to work on the REAL issues in his life. And being the father of three, he needs to make sure he gets quality face time with his kids. He just sounds like he needs to prioritize big-time. Also, you sound like you have some things on your plate too, That's NOT a knock on you, but living in a house owned by Mom and Dad and just starting school, it sounds like you have dreams and targets you need to be concentrating on yourself.

Sure, you may have had a few good years - four - but think about the fact that you have, probably another 50 or 60 years ahead of you. Do you understand how much living THAT truly is. There is no rule that says you have to stay with a guy because you two have gone out for a few years - THERE IS NO RULE! It is okay to walk away from four years with a guy. He needs to get himself together and so do you - it sounds to me like being together is going to be more stressful than seperating from each other.

Right now, this guy sounds like all he can be to you is a Sex-Buddy. He has no money, he can't take you anywhere, he can't cook you breakfast in his own kitchen and he can't commit to you. Sex-Buddies are a dime-a-dozen, but a man that is ready, willing and able to take on a mature and healthy relationship with you is a true prize and one you are worthy of.

Good luck, and think about the next 60 years. Remember - YOU DON'T OWE HIM A THING, YOU ONLY OWE YOURSELF!!!

CHUCK: Confused, once upon a time, maybe during the 90's, there used to be a concept called "having it all." That referred to having everything in your life together and locked down. Your career, your home, your car, your love life: all sorted out. A lot of people had it that way, and thought it'd be that way forever. They were wrong.
Marriages fell apart, people got laid off, homes were foreclosed on, the snatch-man came for that E-class. Things changed for people who did not expect them to. Maybe that is what has happened with your boyfriend. His marriage fell apart, and now he is constantly trying to keep up with his child support. He's even been forced to spend time in jail. He's living with his dad, and cannot stay with you. He is very stressed out. Is this an ideal evironment for a relationship? I don't think so.
You don't explicitly state what it is you want out of this relationship, but it seems to me that if you want anything more than just the most basic stuff, and occasional "benefits," you're not likely to get it. It's not his fault, though. Circumstances have run this man down, and he seems to have decided to spend a good deal of his time at the pity party.
Is his situation tough? Yes, but not untenable. There are plenty of guy in similar broke, overworked straits, who do not have the love of a woman to see them through. He doesn't realize how good he has it.
If you feel you can be fulfilled with things as they are with him, very well. But I think now may just not be a very good time for you two. Maybe you should take a break for a few months and revisit your situation later. Maybe things will change for the better by then. But right now, I think your guy is on a bit of a downward trend psychologically. You're under no obligation to go down with him.


Out of the Question

QUESTION: Ok...ok...don't judge me...I know this is real bad and I will never do or pursue anything like it...I'm just sort of curious...I don't know well anyways here's my situation

I met this man online. We chatted a little, talked about everything and anything. Liked what we said. And we soon chatted some more and told each other that we really like each other and enjoyed each others company.
Problem is we are 33 years apart!!!!!!!!!!
I know its insane, crazy, absurd, wrong in every way...but somehow in some twisted way i find myself attracted to him.
I know you are probably going to yell at me and tell me what the he** are you thinking?!!!
Its the weirdest thing in the world to me.
I know myself and I never would have imagined myself fall for someone like this.
I come from a good life with valued morals and I know its so wrong...but it just feels right.
He lives in Canada and I live in the US.
I never met him or sent him a picture of myself and he never sent me one.
We were both scared and with it all being illegal and what not.
I know it wont work out and to tell you the honest truth I don't even know how it would.
It's impossible.
He's divorced and has two daughters around the same age as me.
He never felt this way or ever thought he would be able to.
He also thinks it is wrong and knows it out of the question but its just hard to not chat together.
It may be just like a little infatuation or puppy love for both of us or even a fantasy.
I guess we just like chatting with each other knowing it wont ever work out.

I know it's wrong in every way but could you tell me what you think of this all...what you think he might be feeling or really anything that you think should be said please feel free to say....

he is 48...so yeah...and his divorce was recent its been a little over a year...I have considered the fact that it might be a mid life crisis or something, him trying to find love...or me at a young age looking for love...but I really don't know and I do know this is really bad of me to even talking with a stranger like this but I know I wont do anything...he wont either because he is worried as well and has daughters my age so...i just would really appreciate it if i had your opinions.

-Thank you

GARLAND: Thank you for this question. First and foremost I want to thank you for being smart enough to talk about this E-Mail 'friendship' that you've developed.

I read your question several times and there were about a million things I wanted to say to you. I've scaled it back some so don't worry. Right up front I want you to know that I want you to stop chatting with this fellow. Let me tell you why... actually you're smart - you know why, but humor me and read my comments.

A 48 year old man that claims to want to be with [or love] a 15 year old girl is dangerous. Hey - I'm sure he talked all about the guilt he feels by talking to someone young enough to be his daughter, and I'm sure he told you that he's never done anything like that before, and I'm willing to bet that he told you not to talk to your parents about him, because they'd never understand that he wasn't a bad guy. Well, I'm going to tell you that he is a bad guy. Talking to him, even as what you would call "innocent chatting" is dangerous very deep down. Let me prove it... Don't you think of him a lot? Don't you wonder if he's thinking about you? Are you looking forward to your next time online with him? He is effecting you deep down. He is a threat to you.

I'm sure that you feel that I'm wrong and he'd never in a million years harm you because he is so sweet and nice and friendly. You wanted us to be candid - so that's what I'll be... no respectable and reasonable man wants a relationship with a teenage girl. I want to call you a 'young lady' because I'm afraid that one-too-many 'girls' is going to drive you away from my answer, but I need you to understand that you are still a girl, and that is not a bad thing. You still have things to learn and experience that will prepare you for womanhood down the road a few years. NONE of those things involve a 48 year old man. NONE OF THEM! He cannot get you to womanhood faster, he cannot bring you happiness or love faster, he can do NOTHING benficial to you.

He is pedophile. While you say nothing has happened between you two, and I hope to God that that is true, he has probably attempted something with someone else. This man is a threat. It is not normal under any circumstance for a grown man to try and develop an intimate relationship/friendship with a teenage girl . PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT HE DOES NOT REALLY LOVE YOU - REGARDLESS OF WHAT HE SAYS, HE IS A PEDOPHILE AND HE IS DANGEROUS. IF GIVEN THE CHANCE HE WILL HARM YOU GREATLY. IF YOU BELIEVE NOTHING ELSE THAT I SAY, PLEASE BELIEVE THIS.

Look, you were mature enough to want to ask Chuck and I for our thoughts, so that shows me a lot. The next people you need to talk to are your parents. Yeah, yeah... I was 15 once too and I know how parents can be to teenagers, but now I'm a parent and I know that I would want my child to come to me. But, if you're not going to talk to your parents - then find a teacher at school that you trust and talk to him or her, or find someone at your church and talk to them. Let them backup what I'm saying with some quality face time. You really need to talk to someone close to you, an adult that you trust. I'm sure this 48 year old fellow said a lot of things that you liked and I'm sure he said some things that, deep down, you may have wanted to hear, but you have to be strong and you have a lot of life to experience and you have to move forward without him.

If you take my advice, and the advice I'm positive Chuck will give you, and this guy refuses to stop chatting with you, or he insists that you two remain "just friends" I want you to contact your local police department or FBI office and talk to them. Remember YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING ILLEGAL and you WILL NOT BE IN ANY TROUBLE. Okay? Okay-

If you have ANY followup questions or comments, feel free to shoot me and Chuck another E-Mail anytime!!! Take care -

CHUCK: I am so glad that you brought this question to us. Because although you claim to like this man, and it's clear that you like the attention, deep down, you feel that something is not right about this relationship. Go with that feeling.

I don't know if this guy is a bonafide, full-time, trolling-for-young-girls pedophile, or just a dabbling pervert. But he can do just as much damage to you regardless of where on the deviant scale he resides. He lives in Canada, he doesn't want any pictures, he's made no effort to see you. These are most likely just ploys to keep you from freaking out too early.

I guarantee you that the longer you keep up this correspondence, the more efforts he will make to bridge the gap between you. These predators are very wary and patient these days, and they will take as long as they need to to determine that you are genuine, and they are not being set up.

Why is a 48-year-old man flirting with a 15-year-old over the internet? A girl the age of his own daughters? This man is not wired right, plain and simple. I know that it's flattering to be courted this way. I know that the taboo and the danger of discovery can be romantic. Pedophiles thrive on exploiting these feelings. Again, plain and simple, no 48-year-old man, no matter how he presents himself as he pursues you, means you any good.

As Garland says, tell an adult in your life about these contacts. Do not contact this man anymore yourself. Change your contact info so that he cannot get through to you again. And please, PLEASE tell me you did not send him any info that will allow him to locate you in the *real* world. You seem like a level-headed young lady, so I don't fear for your safety as much as I would someone else. But the fear exists. Please seek some help, and stay in touch.


Breakdown in Communication

QUESTION: Here's my question.

My boyfriend and I are having a long-distance relationship now as we are in two different countries with great time difference. I am feeling quite pissed with him because he keeps saying that he misses me very much, but he always fails to call me as he promises. Everytime I mention that to him when I call him, he will just apologize but the same thing will happen over and over again. I am really trying to keep my cool about this as I can understand the problem could be with the crazy time difference and his busy work schedule.. but sometimes, I really wonder.. would it die for him to just spare 5 mins to give me a call over his work? It just makes me think that I'm not important to him after all. What do you think?


CHUCK: At this point in the last millennium, if you had a loved one in another country, you would have to write out letters in longhand, post them in the mail, and then wait weeks to receive a reply. But that didn't matter. Lovers would write at length, pages and pages pouring out their feelings with emotion and eloquence. And today you can't even get some blockhead to send you a two-sentence text?

I'm kidding, but I'm serious. For every advance that is supposed to make our lives move more swiftly and conveniently, we just get farther and farther apart. Okay, getting off the soapbox... now.

There's a number of possibilities for your lack of reciprocated communication from your boyfriend: A) He's genuinely busy, and keeps forgeting, B) He hasn't adjusted to any time differences yet, and is reluctant to contact you at weird times, or C) He just can't be bothered. Is it necessarily bad if the answer is C? Well, It's not good. Nobody likes to feel that they''re not important to their lover anymore, but some folks are just not mature or committed enough to be in a long distance relationship.

And if that is the case, you need to know. If he's moved on in his head, and doesn't want to maintain the relationship as it was, he needs to let you know, rather than just let you keep blowing up your phone bill with international charges. So I would ask him if I were you.

I wouldn't be confrontational. But I would let him know that the one-sided communication isn't working for you right now, and you need to know if anything has changed between you. It's likely that even if it has, he'll deny it like he has been. But if you see no change in the way he has not been contacting you immediately thereafter, quietly let it go. At this point, it doesn't sound as though you're losing much, anyway Take care.

GARLAND: Thanks for your question. Sorry The Old Boy is not holding up his end of the deal.

The time difference could be a big issue, but I'd have to say - If I was at point X on the globe and my wife was at point Y and they were at the worst time zones imaginable, I'd still find time to E-Mail her and speak to her on the phone. Even if I had to set an alarm to wake me up at 3 A.M. and chat with her in a semi-awake haze - I would.

But, that's me.

Any number of things could be in play here with your man. He could be losing interest in your relationship; he could misplacing his priorities and truly forgetting to call you, he could be having the time of his life and living in the moment; or he could be working like a dog and only working, sleeping, eating and shaving. Honestly I don't know. I'll say this - in this day and age with the Internet, computers with cameras, global satelite communications and Express mail - the world has never been smaller. Time zones and continents are minor obstacles when it comes to communication. He could reach you if he wanted to.

My advice - expect that he might be done with your relationship, but talk to him and tell him that you don't understand how he can so easily forget to call you. Ask him if he still wants to be in the realtionship and give him a few days to think about it. Let him know that if he calls back in 2 or 3 days, them maybe he wants things to work, but if he doesn't tell him not to bother at all. And let that be that. But, don't allow a guy to keep you dangling on the hook - you are a woman, not a fish. There is hardly a reason for him not to be calling you on a regular basis, though. None at all.

Best of luck to you.

We're Baaaack!

Hello everyone! Thanks to everybody who has checked in on our blog since our last post back in October. What was supposed to be a week or two of downtime, has somehow turned into a two month hiatus. However, we have not stopped our blog and we still hope to be able to share candid, unbiased and hopefully HELPFUL opinions and insight. We plan on having our first Q&A post on Wednesday, December 16th. Please check it out - and thanks for reading...