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Direct Answers - Dec. 23

Shadows Of Things To Come

My husband recently asked me for a divorce. I don't want one. In the past he told me things he would like us to work on. Time went on and I thought everything was going great. Then he came back from a three month job-related trip and acted distant.

Days went by and there was no talking, so I snooped in his email and found love letters from another woman. I confronted him. He told me he wanted to leave me, but not for her. We have two kids. I think we can work things out, but he doesn't think anything will change.

He has a history of leaving me, even before we were married with children. He says he isn't going to see this other woman, he just wants to be alone. He says his feelings are dead. I don't think they are. I think he's blocking his love because he is stubborn. I love him very much and don't want us or our family broken up.

He finally agreed to go with me to counseling, but he doesn't believe it will work. He has fooled all our friends and family about his intentions. Help!


Amber, the initial problem in your relationship is still there. Your husband kept trying to leave, and you kept dragging him back. Now he has had three months to practice being single. He likes it.

If you go into counseling with false hopes, you will get hurt even more. Each of you has predetermined what the outcome of counseling will be. One of you will be wrong. Your marriage counseling may turn into a discussion of how the divorce will be handled. At the very least, you want to negotiate how your husband will continue to father his children if you part.

I would like to give you encouragement, but in all honesty, you need to realize how often our beginnings determine our ends.


When To Say "When"

I have been in a "significant other" relationship with a man for 13 years. For three years we lived together. I had a 9-year-old son at that time. My partner's father was the son of a British-India military officer. Our parenting styles were opposite so I moved out but stayed in the relationship. My significant other has a son who does not live with him, about the age of my son.

My son, now 18, accepts this man happily. His son wants his father all to himself on visiting weekends. Consequently, we spend alternate weekend evenings together. We are monogamous and he calls me "his lady," but I know we are on different planes. I am spiritual, he doesn't want to bother.

He has a full life and is very busy. I have an empty life and feel unfulfilled. It is fine to advise me to go out and do other things, but it hasn't happened yet. I am in my fifties and somewhat overweight. How do I gather self-esteem and regain my self-importance? How do I figure out what to do with my life?


Kaitlyn, when you are not satisfied with your life, the first step is to break the pattern. One significant change can begin a cascade of events which alters your perspective and renews your spirit.

For 13 years you have stagnated in a relationship that hasn't come to fruition. That burden has sapped your energy and limited your future. You are afraid to take the first step and step out of this relationship. Don't worry about self-esteem and self-importance. They will come when you start making decisions to improve your life.

Every successful life is, in some measure, a victory over fear. You're letting fear of change keep you from living. Is the pain of your situation finally bad enough that you are ready to act? Or will you drift another 13 years?

Wayne & Tamara

Wayne & Tamara are also the authors of The Friendship Solution,


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