Dear Ellie: I was recently married to a girl I’d dated, and then was engaged to for three years. We met when I was 25, she was 22. She’s jealous. I had to lose several close female friends. My male friends and myself were disallowed from discussing my previous relationships. A week before our wedding, one friend divulged the truth about my bride who’d made me constantly choose her over my life-long pals.
He said that in the nine months before we started dating, I was the fourth guy she slept with, and many more previously. When I confronted her, she stated that her standards only applied to me, that I should just forgive her and move on. I’m struggling to stay in this relationship.
Should I Forgive Her?
Your friend may’ve believed that he was saving you from marrying a cheater, but her sexual relationships apparently occurred before you started dating. Yes, her confession and expectation of forgiveness are certainly surprising. Why had she been sexually involved with so many guys? Why did she marry you? You’re both still young and seeming inexperienced in what a long-time relationship actually looks like, when it includes the commitments of two people to love and respect one another. Maybe you were both just caught up with the romantic idea of marrying. But a thoughtful love-partner doesn’t just hide/disregard past behaviour that can so deeply hurt the other and expect instant forgiveness.
Say “No, not now” to her request. Instead, take some “thinking” time apart. Your future is yours (as is hers, too) so focus deeply on what’s happened. Take a few weeks just for yourself to consider what you feel inside beyond shock/pain/embarrassment. Also, weigh the quality of your relationship until this time.
Did marriage bring you two closer? Were you easily intimate together? Were you comfortable just being with her?
I urge you both to consider joint marital counselling. Ask your bride to state aloud within the counselling discussions why she married you and whether you can now still trust her. Then ask yourself what you can live with if you stay in this marriage. Also, whether forgiveness is possible or not, and why. This sudden revelation is about you and her as a couple, not your friends or their judgements.
Dear Ellie: My spouse of 20 years died eight years ago. I felt lost. I was later pursued by someone from overseas who came to Canada to study. But I was initially very hesitant because of the age difference. I was raised to make efforts to make a relationship work. I sponsored that person though he was very evasive, never introduced me to his friends.
I later learned that he was dating someone else while his immigration application was going through the system. He even brought her to my home when I wasn’t there.
After half a year of getting his status, he left me and blocked me from all social media. I learned that he’s starting a new life with that person in another city. I reported him to immigration authorities for fraud. Have I gone too far? Should I simply let him go? I don’t think I should be taken for a free ride while the other person could’ve sponsored him. Resenting “Free Ride”
He’s already gone. Yes, he used you to get his immigration status. Knowing this, feel relieved that you didn’t end up more involved with him. Now it’s up to the immigration department to decide his future, not you.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the wife’s “unsocial partner” (Sept. 13):
“Leave the poor guy alone! He’s an introvert needing time to re-energize when he comes home from working with people all day. “I’m an introvert and wife, happily married for 50 years. I’ve never had a close adult friend whom I’d invite to join me shopping. I’m happy that way.
“My employment when younger, and my current volunteer work, keep me busy working with people. I also cherish my quiet home life with my husband. “He tends to be introverted, but does have buddies he’ll have fun with occasionally. I even enjoy times when I’m alone in the house and can listen to music that I like and he doesn’t. “This hubby needs his wife to listen when he feels the need to share and to leave him be when he needs alone time. “Continually harassing him may make him want to find peace and quiet elsewhere.”
Ellie’s tip of the day
A long-term couple relationship thrives on mutual fairness as well as equal support.
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