I’ve been involved with a married man (the same man, we work together) for the past fifteen years.
His wife is a high-profile worker in the area and is retiring in December. I believe that is what he is probably planning to do as well.
He says that we are going to be together forever and tells me that he will not hurt me. We’ve not physically been together for a year now but we talk several times every day.
Now he is wanting to get physical again but I told him that I’m afraid of getting hurt and he needs to step up if he really wants me. Do you have any advice for me?
It seems that the very most he is offering to you is more of the same.
The likeliest scenario is that he and his wife remain together, he retires soon or in a while, and has less chance to get away to be with you. There’s little that you can actually count on other than phone and online contact.
Your own instinct tells you that this is not the time to renew a sexual relationship with him and stir your emotions to believe he’ll consider leaving his wife. Why would he, since he’s been able to cheat on her for 15 years?
He says he won’t hurt you, but he offers no explanation of how you’ll be “together forever.”
It seems that he’s maintained an extra-marital relationship all these years without ever discussing with you what he planned for the future regarding his marriage, and where you fit in to that scenario, if at all.
My advice is that you ask him that question directly. If he’s evasive or makes more vague promises like “together forever,” it’s time for you to move on and work on your own future.
Dear Readers: Among the harsh effects of the pandemic on people’s lives, there’s been what one worried mother calls “an addiction epidemic.” Her request for more help for substance users is the reason for the following information:
Canada has community, provincial, and national support and services for people with substance-use problems who seek help. This link provides sites and phone numbers across the provinces canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/substance-use/get-help/get-help-problematic-substance-use.html#s2
Included is information for friends and/or families of problematic drug users: Signals to alert attention to the situation are 1) the person using drugs first thing in the morning, or while at school; 2) missing school or work; 3) losing interest in activities they used to enjoy, etc.
There’s guidance on how to start the conversation, showing constructive ways you can show you care. Know that it’s okay if the conversation brings out strong emotions, as it’ll still show your friend/family member your caring concern about them. Also, know the facts about drugs (outlined on that site).
From the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction last February 17: COVID-19-related stresses are disproportionately affecting people with a history of mental health or substance use concerns, according to a new Leger poll.
Respondents with past and current mental health concerns also indicated both increased substance use and more problematic substance use.
One in two respondents with current mental health symptoms who use cannabis, and more than one in three who use alcohol, reported consuming more of these substances since the start of the pandemic.
Help is available, if you reach out for it.
Dear Ellie: I’m a stepmother who isn’t “wicked” but is treated as such by my adult stepdaughter. I’ve known her since she was a kid and her parents were still together.
Her mother left that marriage but several years later when her father and I started a relationship, his daughter blamed me for that earlier divorce.
She’s now withdrawn from me completely, won’t let her fiance meet me, and only visits her father outside her own home, never ours. How can I change this situation?
Carry on normally if there’s ever a casual opportunity, but don’t seek a reckoning with her. She’s old enough to know she’s being mean and blaming you when the initial break up was initiated by her mother.
The issues she has with that event and her father’s remarriage are for her to work out. If she doesn’t get therapy, she may never become comfortable with her past. That’s her reality, not yours.
Ellie’s tip of the day
After maintaining a 15-year affair while still living with his wife, the man’s unlikely to disturb his future retirement by leaving her.
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