Lets get deep for a minute...

QUESTION: Hi Chuck and Garland - Just doing some thinking for the new year about where my life is heading. The background: I got married to my college sweetheart in 2000 when I was 31. Although he was a love of my life and I learned so much from him, I left after only a year of marriage for the main reason that he was a regular pot smoker, and I didn't want to have kids with someone who depended on drugs. He was highly functioning, had his own business and was smart as hell. But... I felt the pot was keeping us from having the marital relationship I believed we could be having. Addiction kept him from growing emotionally. I had believed his promises to quit throughout our many years of dating, and it took me a year of marriage to realize they were empty, and I would have to move on.

Fast forward ten years. I have had a wonderful life full of good things. I've traveled the world, enjoy my job and friends and took time out to work on me through therapy. But I had just assumed that once I got out of an unworkable romantic situation and worked on myself that I would find someone who wanted to put the effort in ie; a guy who gets it. I've had some love connections but mostly from guys who are too young as I look ten years younger than my age. Oh, and ironically, my wasband just got married two years ago, and judging from Facebook photos, appears to have the life I left him for.

I'm not particularly unhappy about my situation nor am I desperate to change it, but sometimes I wonder why am I not getting what my friends seem to have. I don't really have a question per se. I just want your input or impressions about how life is "supposed to go" as opposed to how life really ends up.

GARLAND: Hi there. Thanks for sharing.

Yeah, I feel you. Life tends to work itself out at the speed, time and manner that IT chooses.

I think we all see what we want out of life and if we're lucky we get SOME of it. I think that happens for two main reasons :

(1) random events happen every single second of every day and these events have a ripple effect that impact the world, the country, the state, the city and the neighborhood we live in, the areas where we work and play, the people we know, the people we are yet to know and subsequently - US. So, nothing on a philosophical or a 'higher' plain is fixed in place, variables are everywhere.


(2) Everyday we become just a little bit different - we learn a little bit more, forget a little bit more; we appreciate a few more things and appreciate a few less things; we love a few more things and we hate a few more things. Our priorities, desires, abilities and perspectives are always changing.

At one point in our lives we might money, or we might want a house in a good neighborhood, or we want that sexy guy or girl that works out at the gym we go to. Then again we might want a kid instead of the house. Or, we might want a solid 401K as opposed to that weekend in Puerto Rico. Maybe we'd just be happy dropping 30 pounds as opposed to having $3000 in new jewelery. I think everything ebbs and flows.

What I'm about to say is easy for me to say because you and I are strangers, but I say it sincerely and I hope you take it to heart in a positive way. You say that your wasband seems to be doing pretty good... Don't dwell on that too much. While the world and events are random, I still think that on a deeper level - everything happens for a reason. You might assume that your wasband could have turned himself around and been a decent guy for you, you'll probably never know. But, before you stress over this... and I'm not saying you are... keep in mind that he probably had to take his life in a different direction to end up where he is, and sometimes we have to take these roads alone. Either he's improved himself and or he's improved a way to hide his shortcomings. I hope you look at him as just - One Stop, on a long bus ride.

And lastly - don't sleep on those young fellas. If you are 40ish and you come across a guy that has his act together, his head is on straight, his game tight and he's livin' right - why not see what he's about? You didn't say you were looking for a man, but since we're all sharing here... I might as well point that out to you.

Best wishes, and enjoy the ride-

CHUCK: You want our Philosophies of Life, is that it? Boy, I love the easy questions!

I don't think that there's any set way that life should go. Things happen when and how they do, mostly due to situations that we don't control. But it's how we respond to those situations that dictates how our lives end up going.

And then there are the things that we want out of life. These things are gonna change, based on where you are in your life. When I was single, I wanted a better car, a smart, stable girlfriend, and more money. Now I want more time with my kids, more (and better) time alone with my wife, more rest, and... more money. Back when you were married, you wanted a stable married relationship. Your husband wanted more weed.
No way that could have worked out.
I wonder a lot about the inequities of life. How can good people live unhappy, unfulfilled lives while others can do wrong, abuse everything and everyone, and still reap life's rewards? I call that the Dick Cheney Conundrum. Do bad things happen to good people? All the time. Nothing is going to change that.
My personal philosophy is to live my life with as little mailce as I can have towards others, and trying to respect other people as I want to be respected. And I guess that's worked out pretty well for me. If things aren't quite going the way you want them to right now, hang in there, because you never know when things are going to change for the better.
Now, enough with this philosophisizing. Give me someone to scold, or find me someone to make fun of!


Run, Don't Walk!

QUESTON: Hey guys...

I haven't had sex with my husband in ten years! I met a guy and we became "friends with benefits". Then he suddenly says he's falling in love with me. Tells me not to fall for him he's a mess. The deal was since I'm married do what you want I just don't want to know about it. Since he started seeing me he hasn't slept with anyone else. (Or so he and his buddies swear to). One minute he wants to see me, gives me the "look". His friends tell me he's in love with me. He's never said it to me. We have the best time, great sex and I love his kids and they love me. We were friends for nine months before we did anything. He pulls me in and pushes me away. Tells me not to love him. He hates women we are users and take everything. Then he says except me. WTF???? What is going on? What do I do. Yes I am in the process of getting a divorce. He says he doesn't get jealous but if I mention a guy he starts talking about past conquests or says he's having some chick over later. I'm the only woman he lets stay the night even when he has his kids there. This I have scene since we were friends first. I'm 10 years older than he is but he's lived as hard and fast as I have. He got married at 19 and is 34. I say he needs to run and just let us "happen". Stop over thinking it and lets have fun am I wrong? Is he just not into me? Not ready for anything, lying to me to himself? WHAT DO I DO! Keep contact or hit the ground running?

Give it to me straight like I know you will!

GARLAND: Thanks for your question.

You want it straight, huh? Okay, that's how we'll do it.

You have some top shelf foolishness going on here. You are married and in a 10 year sex-less loop, but you can cheat as long as you don't do it under his nose. Fortunately you say that you're getting a divorce, so you've saved me about two minutes of typing - thanks!

This foolish BS he's selling you about all women being hated, theiving, creatures... except for you is some childish nonsense. When he first came out of his mouth with that crap, you should have realized that you were selling yourself waaaaay short. You really should have rolled out and left his juvenile butt standing in your dust, but since you've sent us this question, I assume you don't see the error in your judgement.

Then there is the whole - "I'm lovin' you, Boo - But, don't catch feelings for me, I'm not good enough for that, I'm not ready for that..." Again, you are lowering your value by continuing to think of this guy as anything more than a sexual outlet.

I'm certainly not one to endorse cheating on your spouse, but if you all haven't slept together in 10 years and you two haven't taken the steps to fix that problem, then I have to say that you are only human. At some point you have to do what you have to do, as long as you don't get it twisted. Sadly, you HAVE gotten it twisted. You've gotten good sex confused with loving emotion. What should have been one thing has flipped into another, at least in your mind. I just don't think the reality is anything close to what you are hoping it is. Sorry, I think you're investing in a worthless stock with this guy.

And one last thing - the whole, "his buddies swear he's in love with me..." For him to be a man over 34 years old, and bringing his lover around his kids, and giggling about you to his boys - it just sounds weird. It just doesn't sound sincere. It sounds childish, like he's a teenager in a man's body. I say this because GROWN MEN don't talk to their buddies about the sex they are having with THE WOMEN THEY CARE ABOUT. They respect them too much. Men will, however, talk about the sex they have with women they don't think too much of. If he is letting his Boyz in on the nookie-nook that's going down between the two of you, he doesn't really care about you. Don't let all the gushing they are doing fool you, chances are, sadly, you are a Booty Call to your Lover Boy. That's what men are thinking.

CHUCK: If I was a less than tactful person, I might suggest that the ten-year sexual dry spell has addled your brain and effected your judgment. But I'm not tactless, so I won't suggest that. There.

This man, as Garland has stated, is, despite his age and circumstances, childish, and not someone to even consider a relationship with until he does some growing up. I don't think that you displayed the best judgment hooking up with this guy while you were still married, even given the state of your marriage. And when I read your account of this jackass' behavior, that just confirms my reservations.

There was a song in the 70's called, "Baby, Don't Get Hooked On Me." This singer (a man) was warning a woman off of him because "I'll just use you, then I'll set you free." That's the same kind of insincere narcissism you're dealing with here. And it's not even the 70's anymore. And he hates women, but he's okay with you.That's really some backward idea of flattery, if you ask me. How's if feel to be "one of the good ones?"

You're supposed to relax and just let your relationship "happen." Well, I think you know deep down what's going to happen. What's fun for him now will eventually get old, and he'll break up with you. So my advice is, take his advice. As you start your new life keep it moving and leave him behind.


Is you is, or is you ain't my baby?

QUESTION: Hi Chuck and Garland,

I need your advise because I am not sure what I should do. So were do I start huh! I have a friend that I have known since high school, we were very close. See the problem is that we have always have something for each other but I was with someone else and ended up pregnant during high school. He always hated how the guy treated me and he was even there for me while I was pregnant, came to hospital when my son was born. After high school we lost contact and I ended up marrying the guy I had my son with and we went on to have another child. We were married for 5 years before we got divorced. After my divorce I decided to look my friend up and give him a call because I always thought about him for all those years. We started talking again and kept in touch. After talking for awhile we planned a trip to Vegas together since I had never been. We both at this point didn't know if we were going as just friends or if it was something more. Well we had a great time in Vegas and ended up sleeping with each other and telling each other that we had always had a thing for one another. Now the thing is he lived in another state than me so a few weeks after Vegas he came to visit me and it was great. After that visit though he didn't really call but I would get an occasional text. So I took the not calling me that he didn't want to be with me. I started dating someone else and a month or so later I got a text from him saying he missed me...I was confused. I told him that I was dating someone else since I hadn't heard from him. So at that point we no longer talked.

Now lets jump forward to a year later. I was no longer dating and we started talking again here and there, not a whole lot though, mostly text messages. We occasionally see each other when either of us is in town but nothing happens. He is very touchy feely with me but it never goes farther than that. I have told him how I feel about him and that I want a relationship but I don't get anything back from him. I told him this in an email since we never seem to actually talk on the phone, just text. He just replied that we need to talk but we never did.

Now I just went to Vail this weekend and we met up and I stayed at his place but nothing happened. I am so confused though because we went out and if any other guy talks to me he gets very jealous. One guy even hit on me this weekend and he almost got in a fight with the guy. Why does he do this if we are not in a relationship? I don't know if I should talk to him about it but I feel since I sent that email he knows how I feel. But why is he jealous if he doesn't want to be in a relationship with me. It is just so hard to be around him because I really care about him. I am not sure if I should just end our friendship because it is so hard for me. See usually if I don't text him I wont hear from him but then on the other hand he is very flirty with me at times. Please give me some advise as I am so confused and not sure what to do.


GARLAND: Thanks for sending us your question. My answer - Cut your losses and move on.

Now, I know every story has two sides, but based on what you've said here - I think this guy is torn between the image of dating you; the reality of dating you; and the possibility of not dating you at all. What you're saying sounds like a guy that isn't sure what he wants.

I'm going to be real with you. I think that guys, for the most part, know what they do and don't want from a woman. If a guy is really feeling you, he's going to let you know - pure and simple. If he's on the fence or doesn't want to hurt your feelings, he'll drag things out - he'll keep you... as Chuck likes to say... dangling on the hook. This guy, with his ocassional texts and odd jealous behavior sounds like he doesn't want you, but he doesn't want to see anybody else with you. He sounds confused.

I think you should just stop responding to his texts. Sadly, you make yourself look bad by being so accepting [and happy] to get the bits and pieces of his attention by responding back and being so willing to accept whatever little petty crumbs of time he offers. If he was really about getting with you - you wouldn't have the time or inclination to send us your question.

Best wishes -
CHUCK: Ditto from me here. This guy doesn't want to be your lover, boyfriend, or anything e;se. He does not want to expend that much effort. What he does want is to keep up some sort of arms-length relationship, where he can keep seeing you, being around you, even getting jealous if you are talking to another man. Where does he get the nerve, anyway?
This man may be living in some idealized world of his own, where you do have a relationship. We do tend to romanticize our high school crushes, after all. But without anything further being done to nurture it, your relationship has even run out of fumes. It's sitting on the shoulder of the road with a red rag tied on the door handle.
And the texts. I should just write a separate post to address this whole relationship-by-text phenomenon. I don't hate technology, people, really, but the over-reliance on these technological crutches is making me nuts. Let me just say: If you need to be reminded what your boyfriend's voice sounds like, your relationship leaves a lot to be desired.
I think we can all agree that there is nothing going on here, right? Why not let the guy in on it? Talk to him, or just stop returning his texts. He should get the message. You two missed out on your time a few years ago. And wishful thinking alone won't get it back. It's going to take some effort, and someone needs to be willing to make it. Good luck.