I'm 42, divorced officially for one year.
I have a married friend that I have known for years 20+, we dated when we were 16. My dilemma is he constantly has conversations with me daily. Non sexual at first but flirtatious ones recently. Should I stop answering. My ex cheated on me and I don't want anything to do with that happening.

Second, I dated a man for 2 mo. Omg thats when the married friend started flirting. Whoa I figured that one out lol
Anyway, this man I started dating I met online. He stated he was divorced. Which come to find out he is not. He is separated. I backed off from dating him because a. He lied about the divorce issue and b. he was asking to move in. I'm afraid that he's using me. He makes comments about my newly acquired home, what car I should buy, how when he moves in he will pay me rent.
I'm confused by his intentions. What are men's intentions especially second time around?
Money? Sex?
I'm looking for my best friend! Am I being too picky?
Thanks for your time

CHUCK:  Congratulations on your divorce, I guess. But I'm sorry that you're being converged on by bums at all sides. Some men will know you for years as a married person, keep everything platonic, but as soon as they see an opening (like your divorce), they move in hoping they can get something going with you. Maybe an affair, maybe just some rebound sex.

It's a good thing that you acknowledge that you don't want to contribute to the same kind of situation that ended your marriage. If this guy understood anything about you, he wouldn't be coming at you this way. If you're made uncomfortable by his newly flirtacious banter, tell him to lay off. If he refuses to lay off, stop taking his calls. If he keeps calling, record a few messages and threaten to play them for his wife. That's a nuclear option, but if you want to be left alone, look into it.

As for the second dubious male you've encountered, all I will say in his favor is this: Once people are no longer living with their spouse, all kinds of hairs get split. "I'm divorced. No, wait I'm seperated. But I really mean to get divorced. I'm already divorced in my head, so we can date. Really." You see how the thought process works?

But seriously, if you're going to date guys you meet online, you must remember this, first and foremost: PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET LIE. ALL THE TIME. Well, I over-generalize. Garland and I don't lie. But we don't want anything from you, either.

This man doesn't just want a rebound relationship, he wants to move in on you, too. He's seperated, but he wants the feel of marriage with no commitment. Your instincts, I think are pretty much on point.

A lot of guys in their 40's are looking for all the same stuff as other guys: Money, sex, the whole thing. But they don't want to work hard for those things at all. Don't stop looking for your best friend. I'm confident you'll find him. Just watch out for the hazards along the way.  

GARLAND: Thanks for your question.

What are men looking for the second time around?  Probably the same things they were looking for the first time.  Only the second time they usually have less to work with.  Less money, less hair, less honesty, less time and less sex appeal than they had the first time.  Sadly, many guys in their 40's think that they have enough GAME, that they don't have to put in any real work,  They figure that they can skate by with the minimum of effort, because they [think] they know the rules.  By and large, they don't.

If Mr. Internet Lover... I'm sorry - Mr. Lying Internet Lover now wants to move in and pay rent to you, be prepared for a long and embarrasing grilling by Judge Judy.  He will stiff you on the rent and you will have to go to court and explain how he duped a grown and mature woman with some foolishness that would barely fly at the elementary school playground.  Stand your ground and tell this clown to pound sand.  He will only be good to AND FOR you when he is walking away never to walk towards you again.  The last time I checked - they have apartments all over this country, if he wants a new place, tell him to get his own apartment and stop trying to stiff you.  He wants the comforts of The Wifey, but he doesn't want to put in the legit time to make it work. He is a bum.  Listen to his rattle.

With regards to the old flame who wants to flirt with you now - he too sounds like a bum to me.  He knows that you are divorced and common sense should tell him that you may be vulerable.  I doubt that there is anything sincere in his comments and he is probably trying to see just how much it would take for you to sleep with him. That is low down and not to trait of a real friend.

You need to keep your head up and keep focused.  All men are not the scrubs that these guys represent. Your [NEW] Best Friend is out there and I'm optimistic that you'll find him. Don't let weak players and bored husbands get in your way.


Meet my wife, Chlamydia...uh, Cheryl.

QUESTION: My husband and his best friend get way too personal about myself and his friends wife! For example, his friends wife got Clamidia and told my husband, that is way too personal to be telling your friends! Another I've just had my first yeast infection from taking antibiotics and I'm so insecure about it because it's never happened before! I can't trust my husband not to tell his friend! His friend is no longer allowed over my house because I told him I do not feel comfortable being around him. God knows what that guy knows about me! I have ZERO personal life!

GARLAND: Hi there - since you really didn't ask us a question, I'm going to assume you want our opinion on your husband. 

I'm going to do a 180 here for the first time I can recall.  This answer is my REVISED answer to your E-Mail.  I did one previously and posted it for 24 hours, but a day has given me a new perspective.

Since you didn't give me a whole lot to go on, I have to make some broad assumptions.

Initially, I thought your husband might be childishly putting your business out in the street, but you really didn't give me enough to get a conviction on that point, so I have to aquit him.

As far as the best friend's wife's Chlamydia goes, I thought about that.  His best friend may have told your husband that information because MOST married women don't just GET Chlamydia. His best friend was probably shocked and probably came to your husband for support or advice. I don't think that is too crazy. If my wife came to me with some BS like that, I might go to Chuck and say, "Look man, I don't know if I need to get a divorce or what, my wife has blah blah blah. What do you think?"  Would HE tell his wife? I don't know - maybe. Should your husband have told you? I don't know, and you didn't give the details around this revelation.  It is a stunning piece of information, so maybe keeping it to himself was just too hard to do.

Now, as far as banning his best friend from the house goes... that's a little personal to me.  I had a best friend of over 25 years who was just like my brother, and then all of a sudden, out of the blue - he completely dropped off the grid as far as I'm concerned.  He stopped calling, E-Mailing, communicating, everything, for absolutley no reason.  It has been over 4 years and I still have no clue why he just ended our friendship. While I can't prove it, I have always wondered if his wife played a role in his actions toward me.  I can only advise that you don't push a wedge too deeply between them, you may lose out in the long run.

I strongly suggest that you tell your husband your concerns about what he does and what he is allowed to share with his BFF where you are concerned.  I think that if he is pretty reasonable, he will respect your wishes.  If he tells you that, "Bobby is my homeboy, we don't have any secrets." or  "You're trippin, Baby. Bobby ain't gonna' tell anybody our business." Then you have a Counselor-Grade problem with your husband.  Either way, share your concerns, you might be surprised that your worries are unfounded, or you may have your eyes opened.  Either way, you can't sit back and assume.  Good luck!

CHUCK:  Agreeing with Garland here. We need just a  little more context and details than what you're giving us here. You seem to think that this information was passed along frivolously, like, "Hey, you won't believe my wife, man. You know what she had the nerve to do? She brought a SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE in my house, man! No, Chlamydia. That's some nerve, right?"

I think it may have been a little more serious than that. I hope, at least. That kind of news can lead to a serious crossroads for a marriage, and maybe your husband wanted to share that with you. Either way, I don't think that you had the reaction that he was expecting.

You don't seem to care for your husband's friend. I get it. But you know what? You dson't get to choose your husband's friends. The same way he doesn't get to choose yours. However, if you feel that your husband is breaking your trust, by sharing you two's personal business on the level that the friend is, tell him not to do it. Point blank. I don't know too many men who want to hear details concerning yeast infections, but your husband should go along with your wishes, and keep your business in your house. If he hasn't agreed to that in the past, he should do so now.

I don't know if any of this contributed to your feeling that you don't feel comfortable around him (again, need details), but an overshare on the friend's part is just bad form, at worst. If you don't want to hear about anything this friend tells your husband, tell him to keep it to himself. It sounds that the best way to keep the peace in your marriage, is to pretend this friend doesn't exist. That's unfortunate, but that seems like how it is.


The Mantle of Perfection

QUESTION: Dear C and G,

This is the first time I have ever asked for advice via the internet. That being said I found your site, and after reading some Q and A's I got up the intestinal fortitude to ask seek some insight for myself.

John and I were both stationed together in the military, he as an officer and I as an enlisted rank. I had a huge crush on him the first moment I saw him! About two years down the road our unit is abroad and we are all out on liberty. John and I happen to walk into the same bar and he spots me before I see him and sends a beer over to me. Later that evening we are both at the bar and he tells me, "I hope I don't offend you but you are very hot". I express that I found him very attractive as well. Now it starts... for several months later we kept almost "colliding", so to speak with one another. Friends on each side always seemed to separate us at the end of the night. Finally another country later we were able to be alone together. It was an extreme night of passion that I have never forgotten! He expressed that he thought I was beautiful and how he wished that one of us was out of the military (in regards to the fraternization issue). Shortly after this night I volunteer to go to Iraq.

Ever since that night I have never been able to care about another man in that same way. Seven years down the road I see him on facebook... However, I leave it alone because I had a feeling that he had moved on and was most likely married. A little over a year of me having a fb account, I receive a message from him one day! He says that he saw me on someone's list and just thought he would say hi and immediately asks me where I am at. I was so shocked and excited that he had contacted me, then reality starts to creep up on me. We exchange more messages where he compliments me on my photos and is quite persistent on finding out where I am. I was very coy and vague as to my whereabouts. Then I send him a friend request and see that he is married with very small children. Ya see the five messages prior to me sending this request he told me pretty much everything about his life except that. Now my conscience is no longer comfortable with talking with him, I felt guilty and disrespectful to his wife and children. I messaged him one last message to explain my feelings that I had been harboring for him all this time, and how I needed to quite communicating with him as I now knew that he was very obligated. I unfriended him and thought that would be the end of it. Not so, he sends me a message telling me that he completely understood where I was coming from and how the last thing he wanted was to make me feel awkward or uncomfortable. He said he understood what I was describing because it was very similar to what he was feeling as well. He said "I know that on some level, I myself always kind of wondered if we might run across each other again in person - actually I found myself thinking about it quite a bit...". In attempt to paraphrase the ending, he says that he appreciates his family and wouldn't want to jeopardize them in any way but found himself worried that if he were ever around me again in person he might not have the willpower to fight wanting to be with me.

I presume it is quite obvious to you how conflicted and stuck I am over this man. I felt empowered sending him my farewell/pour my guts out message, then he went and sent that! Ever since his reply I have been quite a failure at letting him go. My heart aches for this man and I haven't been able to stop thinking about him! It has become quite intrusive in my life and every night laying in my bed thinking about him gets me dangerously close to sending him another message. So far my moral convictions have been the only thing keeping me from that... I guess my questions for you two gentlemen are... Could this man actually reciprocate my feelings or could he be seeking an affair disguised as eloquent sincere correspondence? Why would he contact me after nine years?

Jane Doe

GARLAND: Hey Jane-

Sounds like you’re in a tough spot. I think the biggest part of this issue is the NINE YEARS that have passed. You’ve had NINE YEARS to polish and shape and place the memory of your night with him up on the Mantle of Perfection and Eternal Ecstasy. I assure you that the man you spent the night with nine years ago has changed in many ways, he has since moved through the military, met and fell in love with a woman he chose to marry and he has fathered children with her and he’s done 10,000 other things to make him a different man from who he was when you were together.

Could he reciprocate your feelings? Anything is possible, but I have to tell you that my gut tells me that you are borrowing drama by messing with this guy. I think that there is too much for him to lose to risk anything with you or any woman that is not his wife. I’m sure that you’ve changed too and he has placed that time with you up on his mantle as well, that might be why he Facebooked you in the first place.  With millions of people on Facebook, I think everyone browses for people from their past, old loves, old frieds, old enemies, people that owe them money, lots of people - this "John" fellow probably looked you up to simply say, "Hello."  He probably shouldn't have, but that was his choice - I wouldn't look too deeply into it.  I hope that everyone on Facebook doesn't want to have an intimate relationship with someone from their past that they shoot a message too - if I'm wrong, I'd better have a talk with my wife!

But, think about it for a moment, would you REALLY REALLY want to be with a man that goes to his wife, the mother of his children, the woman he vowed to love forever and says to her, “Uh, baby, this woman that I slept with nine years ago is on Facebook, and nine years ago she seemed pretty nice so I’m gonna’ file for divorce from you and I’m gonna’ see the kids twice a month and I’m gonna’ get a little apartment in another state and I’m gonna’ see if her and I can get that hot sexy night back. So, I’m outta’ here.” You really want to be with this guy? You want to trust a cold-blooded guy like that with your heart? Hmmm, if you do – be prepared for the day he comes to you with the story of the woman he slept with 12 years ago who’s on Twitter.

I hate to sound so cold, but I don’t do this blog to sell warm and fuzzy nonsense to ladies with questions. I understand that the night you had with this guy was special to you, that’s great. But if you are even remotely serious about your own well being, wish this guy well, tell him that he’ll always be a special memory to you and tell him not to contact you again – unfriend him and don’t look back. Trust me – HE CAN AND WILL NEVER LIVE UP TO THE IMAGE YOU HAVE WITH HIM IN YOUR MIND. Move on and let him and his family be happy and find your joy with another man. Good luck.

CHUCK:  We all have our romantic ideals. Those transcendent experiences that we look back on, and compare our current experiences to, often unfavorably.  But the past is the past, and we can't live the rest of our lives there. I mean, you're telling us that nine years have passed, and your experience with this officer has not be been equaled by anyone you've been with since. I would have to think that, at least partially, you won't let anyone else into your life sufficiently to compare to that experience.

As for the Facebook thing, if you're asking whether this guy could not reciprocate your feelings, but is just looking to get laid, despite the fact that he now has a wife and children, I think it's a likely possibility. You've blown this encounter up so much in your head that you're willing to  play a part in wrecking this man's home. Don't do it. As Garland says, if he's willing to throw his marriage and kids away for a Facebook contact, he'll do it to you, as well.

You've kept your time with this man in a sacred place, but I think it's way past time to stop living in the past and get with the future, Jane. You've seen that there is no future with Mr. Facebook, so I think you need to finally move on. Lingering over one guy like this isn't healthy, Especially when he has shown you that he is capable of moving on. Close the chapter, Jane, and stop torturing yourself.


The Short Con

QUESTION: I met a guy in California when I was visiting over a month ago from Germany. We hit it off at a club but didn't exchange any information. A few days later he contacted me through FB and we set up a date. I was very straight forward about exactly what I wanted which was just a night of a lot of fun, then, done. I live in another country anyway. Well, the night and next morning turned out to be really wonderful, full of laughs he even offered to drive me an hour to visit friends in the city (i was initially just going to take the train). After we said our goodbyes he seemed a little sad. He started texting me about an hour later and into the night we were sending flirty texts. He told me that he really wanted to see me again before I left... I obliged. We ended up having 3 days together that were amazing and he even took me to the airport to go to Chicago. It was a sad goodbye again and he was texting me again right after. Ugh I'm making this story really long. Basically, for the three weeks I was in Chi-town before going back texts turned into 2 hour phone calls almost nightly and he asked if he could fly out to see me before I went back to Germany. I said I would love that. Before he came, he told me that he was falling in love with me and that we were meant to be together... that he wanted to marry me have babies, blah blah... A lot of it was flirty joking texts but there's only so much joking you can do before it's obviously serious.

So he came to Chicago to try to convince me to move back to California from Germany but basically said he was going to propose when he got there. I was very clear that the only way I would consider such a commitment would be if he gave me one just as big... if you know what I mean. The night he arrived we had an amazing time as expected... until I had a few too many and realized he had no intention of making that commitment to me and just expected me to leave my life for him and no assurance. I made a scene and the next morning he was upset... understandably. The rest of the weekend we still had a great time but there was a bit of a cloud over us, he was holding onto the scene that I made (red flags he called it) haha. I tried to explain myself but felt foolish. Sunday morning before we parted ways again, I had had enough of the guilting. I told him that he needs to take some responsibility in his part for making me believe that he had these intentions... After some resistance he conceded and apologized that he never meant to lead me on and that he came here with this plan.. bla bla. At that point I was upset and annoyed. So we said our goodbye's again, he gave me a very long drawn out hug in which my body was quite limp with despondence and I wished him a quick safe flight back without any sugary sweet tone. Turned around and walked away without looking back... 15 min later I get a text message "Why does this hurt so bad?" The next day I was leaving for my flight back to Berlin and he told me that he was an idiot for not having the balls to keep me there and that I was amazing... and again that he was in love with me. I called him after I landed and we had a sweet conversation, he said it wasn't over and that he was going to figure this thing out. For 2 days everything was fine and then suddenly nothing... It's now been a week and I've heard absolutely not a peep from him. I know he's going through some family stuff right now but this is painful for me too... to top that off, I might be pregnant... BOOM. Sorry for the super long message but I hope you can offer some good 'man' insight, no brothers or daddy for me to run to ;)


GARLAND: Wow. Thanks for your question.

I was wondering if you were going to use the “P” word at the end of the question. After almost 200 questions, I think I’ve got a little sixth sense thing going on.

I hope I’m wrong, but I’m not optimistic about this fellow. He could very well be in love with you and just not know how to deal with that, but his actions don’t make me think this is the case. I’m afraid that he saw you as some kind of challenge. You basically had a big timer on your forehead to him and he saw the numbers ticking by and his ego said, “She’s gone in a few weeks, I wonder if I can get some luvin’ before the clock reaches zero?” Suddenly , he’s the best guy in the world, he’s driving all over the place, he’s texting left and right, he’s using the “L” word, he’s promising promises, he’s talking karats, he’s talking babies, he’s in overdrive, and suddenly he’s in bed and he’s crossed the finish line. I’m worried that the little bit of conversation he gave you after you got back to Berlin was cursory politeness. I’m doubtful that he’ll do much more in the way of attention – that is unless you are carrying his child. Hopefully then the two of you will have some legitimate conversations about your future. Best of luck to you.

CHUCK:  First of all, good luck to you if you are pregnant, although I hope that you aren't. What you have here is a textbook worst-case scenario for bringing a child into this world. Your experience of giving birth to (what I assume is) your first child, should not be tainted by the game-playing and dishonesty this man left you with.

I am not going to say that this guy didn't care about you. I just think he didn't care ENOUGH. He had a nice time with you, and wanted to extend it, so he devised a scheme to get into your head, and made assurances that he had no intention of keeping. He thought that once he got to Chicago, he would sweep you off your feet, keep you in the bedroom, and hope you forgot anything he said about marriage. A stupid con game, but all cons ain't masterminds. So when you realized he didn't mean any of it, he could hang his head, act contrite, and hope that you would still sleep with him, anyway.

As for what happened after: The drawn-out hug, the text at the airport, the phone calls later, call that part of your severance package. The fact is that some guys who do bad shit, don't like to be percieved as guys who do bad shit. So they can talk a good game, they leave you text messages about how they're "trying to work things out." And they can do that, because it doesn't cost them anything, emotionally. You're in Germany now, and I suspect that he doesn't have any intention of seeing you again. So he's cut off contact gradually.

I may be wrong, but judging from the behavior I've seen so far, you can strike this guy from your memories of the States. Take a pregnancy test. Take a couple. See a doctor. Keep us posted. I'm dying to tell you that you got off light.