Gone 'Til November

QUESTION: Dear Chuck and Garland,

I met a man two months ago at a night club. We danced a couple of dances, he asked me if I wanted his phone number, I took it, gave him mine, and he called me that night. We spoke by phone and sent texts back and forth the next day, then on that Monday he met me for drinks and we ended up back at my place, and in the sack! As the week went on we spoke numerous times, saw each other numerous times as well. During this first week he told me that he is married and that his wife is serving time in prison for embezzlement. He told me that he married her against everything in him because he knew she was going to jail. I asked him if he still loved her and he told me that he had grown bitter and cold against her, and that he rarely goes to see her in prison. I hesitantly accepted this, and kept pursuing a relationship. In the mean time I met his children, and his birthday was the next week. I surprised him after work that day and I took him, his children, and my children out to celebrate his birthday. My kids fell in love with him! We have spent numerous hours together with our children and alone. So much so that his children tell me that they love me, and my children tell him that they love him.

My dilemma is with the wife. He told me just this weekend that he is torn. He has very strong feelings for me and my kids, and he doesn't want to hurt us or his kids. He told me that he fells like he is being unfair to his wife even though that situation is killing him. He proceeded to tell me that he doesn't know what he is going to do. He wants to be with me, but he isn't sure he is ready for his marriage to be over even though she won't be released from prison until this November. She has been in prison since last May. His kids despise her for what she has done to them and their dad, and he is torn because of this as well. He worries about his reputation being seen out with me and people knowing he is still married, and he doesn't want anything to get back to her until he is ready to make his decision.

This is killing me. I want to be with him, but in reality I know that I have to prepare myself for the day that he may tell me that it is over between us and he is going to work things out with her. I am not ready to do that, and during our conversation last night he told me that it would kill him to see me out places if we didn't make it and he was with her. I am getting mixed signals and I need a little guidance. What do you suggest?

Thank you!

GARLAND: I started planting mental red flags as I progressed through your question so I could help formulate my answer. I only brought four flags with me and I had to go back and get several more from my mental office to finish them as I moved on.

Let’s see… I like to stay in order, but I’m going to skip the dramatics and tell you that you should prepare for the day his wife comes back home. He’s staying with her and he’ll definitely call you up for creapers on Saturday nights once in a while, but he’s not staying with you.

I’m going to chat about the kids for a second… So, they despise their Mother for what she did to the family AND they love you after a handful of dates? First, I have to tell you that most children, especially younger ones will not DESPISE either parent for embezzlement jail time. Kids suddenly hating a parent after just a few months of jail and then loving a stranger in just a few weeks – it just doesn’t pass the sniff test to me. I don’t know whether he is lying to you and selling you a pipe dream or if you could be misunderstanding the environment you’ve found yourself in. I’m not going to say anything else about that because you didn’t ask us to critique your whole situation.

My thoughts on him – He’s going back to Wifey. He’ll swear the kids to secrecy and if you ever come up in conversation, he’ll do his level best to minimize the situation between the two of you. When he sells it Mama Madoff, you’ll be little more than “some woman” he ran into with the kids at a McDonalds and you all shared a couple of Quarter Pounders [or Royales with Cheese if you’re in England]. Why am I taking such a negative tone to what he’ll do? Because of the first red flag I planted – he slept with you BEFORE telling you that he was married. This is pretty low down and self serving on his part. He probably knew that the odds were against him climbing in the sack with you if you knew there was a wife in the picture. The fact that she was doing hard time in minimum security is a minor issue.

The Bottom Line: I’m sorry to say that he is finished with you and your kids. He needed some company while The Boss was in lockup and he wasn’t man enough to tell you that. He sold you some foolishness and now he’s going to slither away. (Please Read My Older Post called “Rattle of the Snake”)

My best to you. I’m sure there’s a great guy out there somewhere waiting for you.

CHUCK:  This guy is all about himself, and he has noplans to share his life with you. You're just collateral damage. Let's look at what took place here. You met this guy, slept with him rather quickly (let's face it), but afterward he tells you he is married. His wife is in jail, but you decide to continue seeing him, and introduce your kids to his kids! What do you think this is, the Brady Bunch?

The fact that he forgot to inform you that he was married until after you slept together ("I knew I forgot to tell you something! Guess what?"), speak to the idea that his wife is not the only one lacking in character here. He spins the story as hard as he can to make him look sympathetic, but let's face it, divorce papers are served in prison all the time. If he wanted a away out of his situations, there were well-lit exit signs all the way.

What I feel is going on is this guy got lonely, started something with you, but is preparing you slowly for the let down when his wife is released. I don't know if that was his original intention, because he involved his, and your kids in this, but carelessness or foolishness cannot be ruled out.

Face this fact: You cannot replace his children's mother. They may say they "love" you. They may mean it. They may be embarrassed of the fact that their mother is in jail. They may resent her for that. But she is still their mother. And, unless circumstances are a lot worse than you describe, they will eventually welcome her when she gets home.

My advice is to remove yourself from this man's soap opera, despite your feelings. For your own sake. If you find that he can decide to leave his wife for you, then that is another call for you to make. But as it stands now, there's no way this can work out for you, so leave it alone.


Boys will be boys... Don't hold it against them.

QUESTION: Hi I love your blog. I'am 16 years old and I know that in this period of time(teenage years) is difficult to handle emotions. My question is about a situation that i had 2 years ago. One of my best boy friends wrote in his notebook( I really don't know the reason) how beautiful I am, when I saw almost everything that he wrote he torn the paper. n a childish way I insisted him to tell me that if he liked me. This situation was very stupid really but since then my realationship with him has changed. I don't know how he feels, although he told me that he did't like me anymore(something that I think was for avoid more questions from me) and I don't want him to feel bad. What I should do, ignore that wierd event of ourlives or asking him later what he truly feels? I don't know so I need a guy opinion, How boys determine if you like a girl and if you stop liking her right away?

GARLAND: Hmmm. Wow. Thanks for your question.

Since this blog is called “What Are Men Thinking”, I’m going to have to go back in time a little bit and see if I can recall “What Are Teenaged Boys Thinking?”

If I recall correctly, I, like most of my peers, were fairly clueless when it came girls when we were around 15 or 16. Certainly we didn’t KNOW we were clueless, but in the grand scheme of things – we were. This fellow probably does think that you are a Cutie Pie, and he probably does like you. But I know that one of my big hang-ups as a teen was my lack of money before I got my first job at 16, so this guy may want to take you out and spend some time with you, but he may not have the financial means right now, so he’s backing off to avoid the embarrassment.

Another issue may be the lack of ‘Big Brother’ guidance. He may not have the self confidence to really chat with you and he may not have anyone to give him the advice and insight that he needs. At a time when everyone and everything is wired up with Twitter this and Facebook that, WTF this and LMAO that - straight up talking is becoming a dying art. I have a gut feeling that this fellow is just a little shy or even intimidated by you. You may be the “It Girl” in school and he may be struggling to be the backup, to the backup, to the backup clarinet player for the school band. Those ‘popular girls’ are always hard for average guys to approach in school.

My advice – don’t push him about his feelings for you. For heaven’s sake don’t corner him and MAKE him tell you if he likes you. Teenaged boys tend to be a bit stupid when it comes to girls, and teenaged girls tend to be way more sophisticated than teenaged boys. Most boys are either too insecure or too arrogant to understand and be able to explain their feelings about a girl. Just be friendly towards him if you like him. Don’t push him to try an define how he feels. Just be friends with him and let him get comfortable being himself around you and before you know it he’ll take his foot out of his mouth and give you the insight to his feelings that you want.

Good luck!

Waiting, waiting, and uh... MORE WAITING.

Dear Chuck and Garland,

Men and women relationship must be start with honest then only there is belief. When I started this relationship with this guy which is different races with me, I have already explained that if he is not honest to me, please do not flirt with me. But things never go smooth as expected.

This is my first love. I love him after he is committed himself to me and I was only 21, still a university student. However I have instinct that he is married guy after 1 year relationship. That is because he never want to let me to see his parents and not allow me to visit his room even he mentioned that he is staying alone in a rented room. To prove that, I am checking his hand phone secretly to get his house phone number, call his parent and act like a surveyor asking about his background. Things that I do not expect are happen – he is married but no children. He is married after a week we meet.

I wanted to leave him but he told me that if I am leaving him, he have no motto to live. The reason is he loving me but not her, he is marry a arrange match. He mentioned that he not loving her and will try to get me into place – divorce her and marry me. He asks me to give him time. I believe him and waiting for him as I fall into love with him too deep. Times goes by. I tried to convince myself that he will be back for me one day.

But unfortunately after 3 years relationship, things happen – I am pregnant and I just graduated. He tried to convince me to take away the baby but I insist to carry on. He got no comment but mentioned that he will be responsible.

I kept on asked him regarding his plan but seem like there is no progress or changes. One day, I have no choices but travel to meet his parents alone. His parent gets a shock and does not my existing with their beloved son. A big meeting carries out between his wife, his parents and me. His parents force him to choose to have me or his wife and if he choosing me, he have to leave the family. I am glad that he is choosing me that time but he does not want to leave the parents. After discussion, his parents accepted me. Even though, I have lied to my parents that I have already married to this guy without inform them about the problem. I am guilty about that.

However, I found out another truth that hidden among 5 years relationship. His marriage is not arrange marry but actually they are married after 4 years relationship – love marriage. His wife is pregnant after one year marriage but due to certain reason, doctor has to stop her pregnancy. His wife cannot pregnant anymore – in short they can’t get their own baby unless adopted. Again he promises me that he will divorce his wife and marry me. He mentioned that he does not love his wife. I have questioned him that if he does not love his wife, why he is marries her? He mentioned that he found he does not really love her after met me. And I questioned him again; why you make her pregnant/make love with her if you love me? He has no words but mentioned that his wife is come after him for intimacy not he want to. I so sad and down but my friend advise me that to carry on with him as I am having his baby and also he is choosing me not his wife in front of his parents. I carry on but I lost the belief to him. He is not honest. He mentioned to me that if he is honest he would not have chance to get me. Based on this I carry on my life and hopes that he will divorce his wife and back to me.

My baby born- is a girl. After that, I felt that I really can’t continue to live in guilty – a lie to my parents and holding a belief in a guy that not being honest to me. I felt I could rise up my daughter alone unfortunately I am pregnant again. Thought it may be a challenge from God that wants me to face, I continue my life with him. Again hoping what he is promise will come true.

Years go by. It’s been 9 years I am in relationship with this guy and waiting patiently all the while for the dream. He is staying with me most of the time but he used to give reason that he is outstation and stay away for few days. I always questioning him regarding his outstation but he asked me to believe him. I question him regarding his promise - divorce his wife and marry me. He used to ask me to give him time.

I have no patience now as it been 9 years and now I am already 30 years old with stable finance. Do you think I should continue waiting for him?

I hope you can help me as how you help the other.

Thanks in advance.

GARLAND: Thank you for your question.

I certainly understand that you don’t really want to raise your child by yourself, but after ten years, this man is having has cake and eating it to. He is enjoying the companionship and love of two different women and neither woman is telling him that they are through with him. I assure you that he is telling his wife that he is outstation when he is away from her and living with you. I’m certain that all of the promises he is making to you he is making to her as well.

For him to string you along, to tell you lies and false promises for all of these years – he simply does not respect you. If he respected you or loved you he would be a better man and not worry about his parents or a wife that he ‘says’ he doesn’t love. He would have divorced her and came to you and started an honest life with you and his children. In my opinion, he doesn’t love you and he doesn’t love her – if he did, he would play this emotional game with the two of you. He only loves himself. You are only hurting yourself by allowing him to continue to lie to you and come in and out of your home.


What is stressing My Man?!?!?!

QUESTION: My husband and I have been together married six years now and it seems as if we are growing apart every day. I have three kids (not biologically his) and my oldest and him have quit talking to each other. Well, he has quit talking to her. He stays angry all the time and takes his anger out on us. Most days, when he gets home he will go to our neighbor’s house and stay there until almost bedtime. We argue over the kids, money, how the house work is done and honestly, I think I have found my breaking point. I know that he has joined a premade family but after so many years, when will he get over that? Everyone says that he done something most men would not do. I get that, I really do but when will that crutch be lifted? I am so sick of the arguing and verbal abuse. Meanwhile, our sex life is not the best in the world. I ask, and he shuts me down. I cannot take much more of it. Just last night he got mad at me. I really don’t know why. I told my youngest to put her empty soda can on the sink and I will wash it out in a few minutes. He came into the kitchen and said you can’t leave those on the sink. I said I’m not and I will put them up in a few minutes. Well, he goes storming out of the kitchen and saying stuff under his breath. He leaves for a while. What was the point of him being upset over the soda cans. Was it because I didn’t move them when he told me to? I am bible bread so divorce is not an option for me (unless he was having an affair or physically abusive). I fight for what I believe in and I believe in marriage but when is enough, enough? I just don’t know what to do? All I really want to know is does he want out? I mean if he does, shouldn’t he just say hey, I’m done?

GARLAND: Thanks for your question and I’m sorry it took so long to answer. Chuck and I have been bouncing around some things aside from this blog and I halfway thought we were going to just let it fade away. I guess we won’t though.

I don’t know if the “Ready Made Family” is the issue here. Assuming he’s a guy with at least an average intelligence, he should have known that he was moving into a serious situation and he was going to have to make some adjustments in his lifestyle, temperament and expectations. He’s not alone – you and your kids had to be prepared for changes as well. You used the term “when will he get over that…” I understand what you are saying, but I don’t want you to think of your newly joined family as something that has to be “gotten over” – I’m sure you and your kids are a blessing to your husband, whether he knows it or not. I encourage you to not think of you and your children as a burden or an obstacle. People have to get over; life changing illness; loss of a loved one; loss of a job; Republicans; but not a new family.

That being said, let me be candid here. I doubt that you and your children are the root issue here. We men are funny, by that I mean fickle – we hold stuff in, especially to our women. Deep deep down we don’t want our women to know that sometimes we are weak, sometimes we get scared, sometimes we are holding on by a thin thread, sometimes we are just plain HUMAN. Many times, we are just too arrogant and too stupid to turn to the ones who love us the most and just say, “Baby, I have a problem…’’ I’m speaking from personal experiences here because I’m a guy, I have my issues and while I’m pretty open with my wife, I don’t always share the things that are bothering me. I have things bothering me right this moment and I bet that if I sat down with my wife and put all my cards on the table, she’d hug me and tell me that – together we can make it all better. And, I know that she’d be right. Am I going to do that – No Way! Because I don’t want to look weak and flawed in front of her. Like I said, We men are funny like that.

It is in these times of not wanting to open up that we men lash out at the stupid little things. The soda can in the sink, the cereal that was left open on the kitchen counter, the light that was left on in the bathroom, the dirty cleats in the corner getting mud on the carpet. These are the things that give us the opportunity to lash out and vent our frustration at ourselves. Sometimes we are like simmering volcanoes, holding in pressure and pressure and more pressure until we erupt and impact everything around us. We don’t mean to do this, and sometimes the pressure of KNOWING we’re doing this adds to even more stress. It is no wonder that so many men suffer from medical issues – we compress so much into ourselves that we give ourselves ulcers, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes!

My advice is this. Take your husband away for a day trip or an over-night somewhere, just the two of you. Hold his hand and just talk about light hearted things, no bills, not the kids, not the fools at work (You KNOW you have some fools at work – we ALL do!) and just get close to him. Let him talk, make the time together about the two of you and your happiness together. He probably wants to talk to you about what may be bothering him and maybe you’ll help him to open up. Don’t try hard to force him though – if you do, he may tuck his head in like a turtle and you’ve lost. Just get him to loosen up. If he starts talking candidly, let him go, let him talk, don’t say anything – just nod if you have to. If you interrupt us, we may realize that we’re opening up and we might stop.

If you can’t get away like that, then do this – BE THE WOMAN HE MARRIED. By that I mean, the next time he lashes out at you or the kids for something that is clearly petty, try to step outside of the conflict and BE THAT WOMAN THAT HE LOVES AND TREASURES, and step to him and take his hands or embrace him and say his name and just ask him “What’s wrong Baby?” or “Hey, this isn’t you. Talk to me honey.” It is important that you step outside of the tension and get a neutral mindset and show him that you are an equal partner in his well being and let him know that the soda can in the sink, or whatever caused his current blow up is not the issue. Just give him the window to share what is really bothering his spirit. It might open up some needed windows in your relationship. He is going to have to do some heavy lifting as well, because he is going to have to give something too. He won’t tell all of his secrets, we never will, but he might give you access into part of what is causing his tension, and if that works once… well it might work down the road as well, and before you know it – those flare ups may become more and more rare. Best of luck to you.