I believe we can learn a lot from each other’s difficulties and accomplishments. I created the Ask Dr. Michelle column to share my advice with many people at the same time, who although they don’t know it, are often facing some of the same challenges. I hope that my comments provide you with some insight into situations that you are facing in your life. If you have a question that you want me to answer, submit it below. I wish you all the best. (I try to answer as many questions as possible, but please understand that due to the number of questions that I receive I am not able to answer every question.)
I am a 40-year-old woman. I met a man about three years ago and he asked me to marry him. We have been engaged since. He told me that he would build a rapport with his parents so that I can get to know them and he can tell them of our plans to be married. This has not happened. When I put a timeline on this, all hell broke loose. He has been rude to me often and does not answer his phone when I call or reply to my messages. He sometimes does, but not always. He does not make plans with me for our weekends and when he does make plans, he goes out on Friday or Saturday night and tells me at the last minute so I end up alone! This has happened about four times. I am ready to dump him.
Can you tell me what you see in this situation? Should I contact his parents? They do not know that he has been living with me.
I absolutely do not think that you should contact this man’s parents. You are forty years old and that makes you a very GROWN woman. Contacting his parents is about as elementary school as telling someone’s Mom that they stole your candy bar. You and he are supposed to be in the big leagues now, so if you can’t handle this situation without telling on him to his parents, he doesn’t sound like he is ready for a relationship, and certainly not marriage. I don’t know his age, but if he doesn’t want his parents to know about you that sounds like a problem. If you are close in age, it would seem that he should have a handle on being an adult and his parents should recognize that he is going to make certain decisions about growing up, being a man and doing grown up man things like getting married. Either he is probably embarrassed by something about you or he is not serious about marrying you because it is hard to imagine many other reasons why he wouldn’t have told his parents by now and no you don’t have to put up with it. He may be using the parent excuse as a stalling tactic to drag the engagement out a little bit longer.
But of course I have to ask, so, if his parents don’t like you does that mean that the two of you won’t get married? He is making it sound like you can’t move forward without his parents’ knowledge AND approval. That would make sense if he was 17, but not now. If he is blowing you and your dates off, it sounds like he is looking for some space. If he has been stringing you along for too long and he does several other things that make you raise an eyebrow, I suggest that you take some time and take a serious look at the possibility of marriage. As of right now, he’s acting like he’s not even sure about the relationship, and he certainly doesn’t seem sure about the marriage.
Hang in there, the truth will come out soon.
I wish you all the best!
I have been seeing my boyfriend for almost four years. For the past year, he cheated on me and now, the girl is pregnant. He has his own excuses for why he had did it, but I remained honest and loyal to him. Now, I have been introduced to someone else who I think I want to date. My boyfriend really doesn’t want to marry the other woman. Whatever happens he won’t marry her. Now, he wants to marry me because he’s afraid he will lose me forever. And I had committed to give him a second chance. He told me, “I won’t waste this chance you’ve given me, I WILL MARRY YOU.” I am very much confused–should I marry him or not? Please help me…
I suggest that you wait to marry this guy until you see some evidence that he is ready to be monogamous. You should give it some time to see whether or not he really will leave the pregnant woman alone or if he will remain romantically involved with her. You recognize of course, that she will always be in your life if you continue to date him. If you marry him, her child will become your step-child, which within a marriage is the same as being YOUR child. Can you handle that and embrace this child? It may be harder than you think. Even if you think you can handle it, don’t rush to get married. Wait a while and test yourself to see how you handle his infidelity, his relationship with this other woman and your soon to be possible step-child. He is fighting to marry you right now to keep you from the other guy but don’t let him ruin your life by marrying you just to keep you to himself because believe me you won’t be getting him all to yourself. I absolutely think you should try dating the other guy you’re interested in and a few others as well. Before you think about settling down for life and getting married, make sure you’ve dating enough men to know that you’ve found the right one.
Wishing you all the best!
I am a 30 year old used to be, has been “player.” I was engaged to the sweetest woman I’ve ever known. We were engaged for two years. The problem is my past lifestyle. It caused me to lose her. Now she is with someone else and I respect that, but I still love her. I see now more than ever how much she meant to me. She tells me that she is in love with him, but I know her, I can tell when she is lying. Every time we talk it always ends up leading to the past. She moved in with him right after our break-up, but we still continued to see each other. She says that she can’t believe in the change I’ve made because people can’t change over night. I want to spend the rest of my life with her. Help?
I know this is a hard thing to hear and accept but right now, but you just have to be patient and wait. It is very difficult to get someone to trust you again after you have cheated on them, or “played” them in whatever ways you may have played your former fiancé. I usually warn people who are in new relationships to keep a lot of distance from their “Ex” because they are usually very vulnerable to their Ex and that could lead to them losing their new relationship to an old one that isn’t going anywhere. I don’t know if she should give you another chance and probably neither does she, which is why she is trying to move on with someone who she thinks might give her what she wants. If you aren’t absolutely sure that you are ready to change then you should let her move on instead of getting her caught up in a fantasy of the “new” you. You know that she isn’t over you, but you want her to get over whatever you’ve done to her faster than she is ready. The most effective way I know to regain her trust and respect is to start over.
Start at the beginning by being a good friend, being honest and being respectful of the situation that she is in right now. You are going to have to deal with and work through all of the old “dirt” you did before she is going to be willing to trust you again so get ready for some long conversations. You can try to pressure her into leaving this guy for you, but she doesn’t trust you so that is less likely to work than showing her why she should want to be with you. If you are a reformed player then I know you know how to win someone over and it sounds like her heart is still open to you. Show her that you have respect for other people’s relationships and that you are no longer the type of guy that would go around trying to take another man’s woman or make her cheat on him. Win her over. You shouldn’t have to take her; she should want to come to you. If you respect her new relationship and give her some space, she has the option to come back to you if she decides that this new person is not the one for her. Your patience, determination, perseverance, honesty and respect are what could ultimately convince her to give you another chance.
Recently, my boyfriend of one year and I had sex for the first time. We had talked about it a while before, and both had beliefs of waiting until marriage, but unfortunately that isn’t possible now. Even though it takes two people, I still feel hurt that my views were made clear and well known, and he couldn’t respect that. I, of course, could have stopped it from happening just as easy as him, but I did not. Am I wrong to feel upset at him? Or should I just except that we made a mistake? We talked afterward about it and agreed it shouldn’t have happened, and are still together continuing a strong relationship. I guess part of why I’m upset is I wanted my first time to be special, and definitely not something to look back on as a mistake. Any tips on dealing with this?
Everyone makes mistakes. You have to accept that you both made a mistake. If you still strongly believe that you should wait to have sex until you are married then don’t focus on the fact that you made this one mistake. You can decide from this day forward that you won’t make that mistake again, and you don’t have to become sexually active until you are married. I know once you are married, it won’t be the “first” time, you won’t ever get the first time back again. But, if you think that sex should be saved for marriage, continue to save it.
You may feel that your boyfriend pressured you to have sex, but as you said, you could have also stopped things from going forward. If you feel that he pressures you into many other things you don’t want to do, then you should talk to him about it. But, you can’t expect other people to respect your wishes if you aren’t respecting them yourself. Even more than he owes you the respect of backing off, you owe yourself the respect of standing your ground and sticking to your word about waiting to have sex. You are expressing your anger toward him but deep down inside you are probably actually mad at yourself because you know you compromised on something that you didn’t want to give in to. You simply have to forgive yourself and your boyfriend if you expect to continue to try to have a happy and healthy relationship.
You can still have a “special” first time, it can be the first time you have sex after you are married. Don’t beat yourself up too badly about this. You can’t take it back, all you can do now is plan that in the future, you will stand up for what you believe in and not be pressured into doing something that you don’t want to do. Everyday is a chance to start over, so start over today.
Wishing you all the best!