Tag Archive: relationship


I have been divorced for a many years now. Certain behaviors caused me to believe she was cheating on me when we were together. I would kiss her and think she smelled like another man. I beleive we just have the instinct to  know, even though I did my best to convince myself I was just paranoid. Then she started running around to bars at night, etc.., yet claims to be innocent. Yet, when a man she is with exhibits such behavior che cries foul!! Now in my last long term relationship I noticed the same concerns, and she absolutely was cheating on me. But my ex has never confessed, and I never saw direct evidence that she was. She has been in two relationships that I know of since we broke up, and both guys she claims have been cheating on her. I wonder if they saw the same signs in her that I saw, and believed her to be cheating on them, when in fact she just exhibits all of the signs of a cheater but doesn’t cheat. Is that possible or just highly unlikely?

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At the end of the day you will never know if she cheats or not. She might enjoy the attention of other men but might not have ever cheated, she might have. If you are no longer with her then it’s time to let it go. The past is in the past for a reason, if she chooses to cheat then she is just creating her own karma. It’s time to let this go and move forward with your life.

*If you have a question or would like to submit a topic please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmail.com

 

Recognizing Our Patterns and Learning How to Change Them

Editor’s Note: This is a contribution by Maria Cristina McDonald

“What we call chaos is just patterns we haven’t recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can’t decipher.” ~Chuck Palahniuk

Life has a funny way of teaching us lessons. When there is something you need to learn, something that you need to work on, the same situation will continue to repeat itself until you either learn your lesson or find a healthy way of dealing with that particular issue.

Think of the movie Groundhog Day. It was one of my favorites. Once Bill Murray realized that he was living the same day over and over again, he came up with ways to fix the things that went wrong before.

He learned how to fix the relationship with the object of his affection. He even learned to deal better with the annoying insurance salesman who approached him every morning.

It wasn’t until he learned to accept his fate that the cycle of reliving each day ended. He also became more compassionate and more sympathetic—an overall better version of himself.

I hear people say: Why do I keep going through the same things in relationships? I’m with different people, but things always end up being the same, or they act just like someone who I used to know.

Some of these people give up, some get stuck in a vicious cycle of their own making, and others don’t even realize that they are basically chasing their tail, repeating the same situation over and over.

Recently, I found myself in a pattern of attraction. It took some time for me to understand it. I had a hard time coming to terms with my divorce, and for years I wanted a second chance in that area of my life. A new start. A new marriage.

Only problem was that when I did come across someone I liked, he was unavailable—already in a relationship or emotionally unavailable to me, and therefore, unwilling to participate in a relationship with me.

I went through a period of time when the only guys who asked me out were either married or in a relationship of some type, live-in or on-and-off with a current girlfriend.

Instead of pursuing those situations (for obvious reasons) I would instead go for the single, yet emotionally unavailable guy. And I would try to win him over, to no avail, trying to prove that I was “good enough.”

It wasn’t until recently that I had an “a ha” moment, in which I realized that the critic I was trying to “prove myself” to was not someone else. It was me—the inner critic who still had not come to terms with the dissolution of my marriage and considered it a complete failure.

My thought process was: If I could turn this person around or make this person change his mind and love me, then I would be worthy of love.

It was an erroneous way of thinking. Had I not done the emotional self reflection I would probably still be in a pattern of trying to win someone’s love, or what I like to call chasing my own tail and going around in circles.

A good question to ask is: Am I reliving the same scene, over and over again? What’s my part in that?

It might not be in relationships, but in different situations, like at work for example, when the same issue comes up disguised. If you work with the public it could be the same issue with different customers, until you find a way to deal with it or until you learn the lesson.

While working with the public, I have noticed times when every single person I come across is upset, angry, or annoyed, and at first I would react in a similar way. We are all mirrors of ourselves.

After a number of people with the same, or similar issue, came up to me, I started to try to find different ways to resolve the problems—for example, not taking things personally and showing empathy to the person I was helping.

Around that time in my life a pattern, or lesson, I was in could be described as: How to stop taking things personally and how to view problems as opportunities.

Had I not experienced the same problems with customers and made the necessary changes, I would possibly still be in the process of learning that lesson.

I’m still working on this; some lessons take longer than others. Instead of reacting to situations, when something comes up and seems familiar, I try to stand back—if even for a second—to think.

For a while it will seem like coincidences playing out, but over time the pattern of your lesson will come up. This is the lesson you need to learn at this time.

It could be a lesson in humility, or a lesson in gratitude, or maybe you may need to learn empathy to see things from the other person’s point of view.

Instead of reacting all the time, every time something challenging comes up it could be an opportunity to learn.

One lesson I’ve needed to learn recently can be summarized with a Shakespeare quote:

“To thine own self be true.”

I’m realizing that, no matter what other people say, do, or think about us, it is our opinions of ourselves that really matter. And, when making decisions, sometimes it is good to question our own intentions. Think: What am I doing here? Or what am I up to?

Ultimately the question I’ve needed to ask myself is: Am I being completely honest with myself? What is the particular reason why I’m scared of change?

There are times when opportunities have come up for me to change my residence, or my place of employment, or even my car, and I haven’t seized those possibilities. I’ve stayed in place. Why?

One particular opportunity entailed moving out of my city to live closer to my family. My family members have offered to help with an out-of-state move, including offering me a place to stay with my children. But still, I haven’t.

I’m still here.

When I started being honest with myself, I realized that this fear of change was a big issue for me. I needed to handle it because, if I did not, situations would continue to come up where I was forced by circumstances to make a decision involving a change.

I learned that not making a decision is in itself a decision—and that my fear of change was actually a fear of failure. That was when I noticed the pattern of things breaking, or circumstances changing, forcing me to deal with my inability to make decisions.

Find your pattern. Find your lesson.

A good way of recognizing patterns in your life is by listening to your feelings, your intuition. I’ve found that when I am involved in a pattern, my emotions run a bit stronger, kind of like a warning from my subconscious mind to pay attention to what’s happening.

More often than not, I recognize the pattern when the situation has ended, or changed. Hindsight is 20/20 in this way. It can be difficult to recognize a pattern while it’s playing out. So, usually we realize what happened afterward. And that is okay.

In turn, life will continue to send us ways to overcome our patterns and learn our individual lessons.

The key is to be alert. When you’re open to recognizing a pattern, you can change it by learning the lesson, and in doing so, change your life

I find this post to be most insightful and interesting. I believe we all have something to learn from one another as well as within outselves. If you have a question or would like to submit a topic please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmail.com

 

My husband and I have been separated 2 months now and I can’t understand wtf is going on with him. It baffles me that it was and has been so easy for him to leave our marriage and our daughter. He’s been acting differently and saying different things so I can’t make any sense of what is going on through his head. Since he left he’s been running around with his friends hanging out with them all the time and getting drunk (rather than seeing our daughter) and he’s making it seem like he’s not even willing to try and work things out. We have both mutually decided to come up with and sign a separation agreement (with our lawyers) and have both agreed that at this time we don’t want to file for divorce, just a separation agreement so everything with child support and all that is on paper. I’ve asked him if he would consider giving us a chance to work things out instead of just throwing our marriage away like it meant nothing and he keeps saying he will have to think about it. Yesterday was so hard for me because I had offered if he wanted to come over and grill with me and our daughter after the parade in town and he said he didn’t have any plans so he’d think about it and then when he came to see our daughter at the parade he told me he’d be going to his friends house for a bbq. I honestly don’t know if I expected him to come but it hurt that he’s choosing his friends over our daughter even though he’s been doing that since he left. If it were just me and him I would have told him to go f*ck himself and not even bothered trying because of the way he has been acting but it’s not just me and him, it’s me and him and our daughter and I feel like for her sake he should at least try. The reasons we separated in the first place are trivial and are all stupid little things that can be worked out but he just doesn’t seem to give a sh*t. He says and does different things that confuse me, one day he’ll say certain things and act like he wants to get back together and the next day he’s saying different things and acting differently and I don’t know what to do anymore. Why in the world is it so damn easy for him to not even care? To just walk away from his family and not even seem willing to try and work things out? I’ve tried explaining that we should at least try before he just throws our marriage away but he doesn’t seem to want to hear it, but on the other hand he doesn’t want to file for divorce, just separation which gets me even more confused. Our daughter is now 13 months old and I’ve hardly ever asked him for anything. He worked so I could stay home with her so I was always the one doing everything for her. I never once asked him to get up with her (although he couldn’t anyway since I breastfed), I never asked him to change diapers or bathe her or do anything. The only thing I ever asked of him was to watch her to watch her while I showered and to mow the lawn and take the garbage out.

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I think what really needs to be asked here is what exactly do you want? It appears that you wish for him to take the relationship more seriously for the sake of your new child. However, you have no control nor say on how he chooses to decide or not to decide to spend time with her. I would recommend giving him space and focusing more on your childs well being. If he decides to be absent then he will eventually regret this decision. However, it is not your place to help him learn this valuable lesson. In my opinion I do not believe in separation at least in this case. It appears that he has no idea what he wants and maybe was not ready for an 18 year commitment to a new child. Not everyone is cut out for parenthood. I’m not excusing his behaviour however did he show any signs before and during your pregnancy that might reflect his actions today? I would tell him that either he wants to be a part of his child’s life or he doesn’t. And then I would give him the divorce papers. I’m not saying ever keeping your child from their father. This should be available to him at anytime (and if needed with supervision) but it sounds like he was never really present to begin with and you are hoping for a new behaviour that never existed in the first place.

*If you have a question or would like to submit a topic please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmail.com

 

Should I stay or should I go? I’ve been with my girlfriend for 2 years and I do love her. She married a dude when she was only 17 and stayed in a marriage from hell with the guy for 19 years before she filed for a divorce. She’s was single for 4 years before we got together. For 2 whole years I have had to deal with trust issues and insecurity issues from her,I am not doing anything to call for this, I have been the perfect man but her issues due to her past is making it very difficult for me, and I have never had to or been faced with anything like this in any relationship I have had before. She sometimes doesn’t express her anger without including rude comments that often upset me as well, but we always end up talking and ironing out whatever the problem is. She does work,cook,clean and take care of home,yes we live together. At this point IDK what I should do we’ve been living together for 2 years as a couple and she always promises to get some kind of therapy but hasn’t done it yet, I do feel like I want to help her get better as a person because I love her,but sometimes I think that maybe this is too much for me to be trying to take on. What do you think?

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Sometimes we are matched up with people to help us learn and both grow. I would ask her to chat with you about this. It’s a serious concern and it’s obvious that she has been putting it off. We never want to deal with our problems head on unless we have no choice in the matter. I would let her know that you love and care for her however that it’s not fair to you nor the future and health of your relationship to continue down this path and that something has to change. You need to set a timeline for yourself and her, I’m not saying this has to change overnight but something that you feel is reasonable for things to really change. We all have baggage and history but it’s what we decide to do with it that makes the difference. She can hold on to it and carry it around and keep everyone at a distance and lose you. Or she can own up that it’s her own insecurity and that she can keep the lesson but not hold on to all the pain and mistrust. Sometimes we have to make a choice for ourselves that ultimately is a choice for the relationship. If she is ready she will do it, if not then she won’t you just need to decide if this is something you want to live with the rest of your life? And given this inquiry my guess is you’re getting a little fed up with it. So set a timeline to yourself for it to resolve or at least for it to resolve to a certain degree. We all have our moments but it’s different when it infringes on those that we care about most. Good luck!

When you’re in love with someone and in a relationship for 13 years and find out they are not happy being with you, how do you not feel like a total loser?  I’ve always thought she was the kindest most tolerant and accepting person I’ve ever met.  If I can’t make it work with her, what hope is there for me?  How can I NOT feel like a piece of s***.  She loves me and wants me in her life, but is just not happy.  Now she wants to start dating again.  How does one handle something like this? Feeling like a total waste of space right now. I am the one still in love with her.  Her announcement that she wanted to split was a total shock to me.  She moved into a separate room, but we’ve been sharing a house for the last 8 months and it has been a living hell for me.  She is so excited to be moving on and I’m sitting here feeling like my whole world was ripped from under my feet. She had told me that I could stay as long as I wanted and that it would be a few years before she got her life together and would even consider dating.  Now she wants to start dating again and I can feel that it’s time for me to leave.  I feel like it’s just more promises not being kept.  What happened to commitment?  To working things out?  I’m just devastated, have never lived alone and feel totally left out in the cold.

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I understand that this is a hard time for you right now. Sometimes people grow apart unfortunately. It’s hard to find balance in life, family, careers, and self. It sounds like she loves you but has lost herself along the way. There are a few words that you have used that peak my interest- “tolerant” and “accepting”. What was it about your relationship that you think she needed to be tolerant of? We all have to bend somewhat for the other person but tolerant seems like a strong word choice. As for her, were there any signs that she was unhappy? Think back to when you first met and how happy she was and what she did when she was happy. Does she not involve herself within these activities anymore? What changed? 13 years is a long time for people to grow and experience life, is there anything that stands out? The crummy part about this whole thing is that it takes two to tango and one of the dancers wants to rest or dance with someone new that leaves the other person at a stand still. If you are emotionally able I would ask that she sit down with you and have a heart to heart and honest open moment. Somewhere in the mix of this communication wasn’t clear since this is such a big surprise to you. Through pain and heartache comes a valuable lesson. I would ask her what changed and what happened? You might not be able to change her mind but at least you will have a better idea of where it went wrong. Also, living alone might seem scary initally but it’s necessary for growth and learning about oneself. It’s unhealthy to flitter from one relationship to the next without providing pause to review the lessons that were provided. Give this time and reflection-the lessons will become clear and your heart will mend.

*If you have a question or would like to submit a topic please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmail.com

My wife and I have been together 3 years, married for one.  She has a 25 year old daughter who refuses to be responsible for herself. She holds a full-time job, but doesn’t make enough to support herself.  She now has a one year old of her own from a non-supportive, non-involved donor. My wife has been paying $500/month rent, cell phone and car insurance for the daughter, with no end in sight.  Her daughter recently got her license back from a DUI, ( $750 we paid to the Lawyer) but is facing two pending  cases of driving while her license was suspended. The daughter has recently taken two alcohol-infused weekends at the beach, which (the way I see it) we paid for.  Lawyer fees, court fees and fines… guess who will pay that? Stop the madness!   She will not cut her daughter’s support off, nor make her responsible for her own mistakes!   I have thought of Family or marriage counsel, but I feel my wife will just continue to support the daughter.   Any ideas?

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You need to sit down and discuss this with your wife. And I think it very wise of you both to seek counsel. There comes a point in our lives where we have to let our loved ones learn from their own mistakes and take responsibility for their actions. Unfortunately, this is tough love. What your wife is doing isn’t healthy for herself, your marriage nor for the future of your daughter and grand daughter. The main concern here should be the child (grandchild) who unfortunately is the innocent victim of these circumstances. Your wife needs counseling. She thinks that she is being loving and nuturing when in reality she is just making the situation worse. I would be honest with your feelings, she won’t like what she hears but ultimately it is the truth and the behavior needs to be corrected.

*If you have a question and would like to submit a topic please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmai.com

His fiancé won’t let us be friends anymore? When my brother was younger his best friend used to come to our house all the time. I got to know him really well. We stayed in touch when he went to college, and I saw him when he came home. But hes now engaged and his fiancé absolutely hates me. I only met her a few times, and she was really rude and dismissive to me for no good reason. Also, he says she doesn’t like when he talks to me and wants him to unfriend me on fb. He refused, but we’re definitely talking a lot less now. The worst part is, I’m not even invited to their wedding and my brother is. I acted like it wasn’t a big deal, but it hurts so much. What is her problem? I hate that shes controlling him like this, and that hes going along with it. I’ve known him since I was like 10 and I’m almost 17 now so I’ve known him a reallllly long time. So it’s extremely dumb and pathetic that she’s threatened by me, when my friendship with him is NOTHING like that. What do I do?

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I would ask her outright why she is uncomfortable with your friendship. The thing is sometimes people assume they know something about someone else which is not necessarily true. I would ask if she could meet you out of coffee and be upfront with her about your feelings. She will probably be surprised how hurt you are about not being included in this special day. Maybe she is jealous of your long standing friendship and how you both can relate on a different level. Friendships and relationships all provide and meet different needs for people. She maybe jealous at first but overtime she will begin to realize that her soon to be husband needs his space and friendships.
*If you have a question or want to submit a topic please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmail.com

How can I stop being selfish? My husband and I recently got married. We are both in our mid 20s and have been together for about 3 years. We had a huge argument recently. He called me selfish because I failed to take left over food for him from our wedding that the caterer left. I guess I was just flustered trying to help clean up the hall where our wedding was and didn’t really think to pack food for him although I did take some left over fish for myself even though he doesn’t really like fish. He has called me selfish quite a few times throughout our relationship. I do most of his laundry and do most of the cleaning in our house. I usually agree to go to the movies he wants to see. I also watch the tv shows that he wants to watch and go to the restaurants he wants to go to. I don’t drive so I usually take the bus. Sometimes he drives me places I need to go to but sometimes he gets upset when I ask him for a ride because he says whatever I’m doing has nothing to do with him so why should he have to drive me. I always say thank you when he does. He buys me flowers sometimes which is sweet of him but I guess I don’t really buy him little gifts just because I don’t know what to get him. I want to be good wife so how can I be less selfish?

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I’m only getting one side of the story, however it sounds like he has a guilty conscience. Just because you weren’t thinking of him every waking moment does not make you selfish. It sounds to me you go above and beyond to be very accomodating to his wants and needs. Are there things that you want and need? And if you were to partake would he still call you selfish even it brought you happiness? If so then there is a major misunderstanding or miscommunication. I would recommend sitting down with your husband and expressing your feelings. If he doesn’t respect you enough to even do that then you have an even bigger issue on your hands. I would try to speak with him, if this doesn’t work I would recommend counseling. There is more to this and you both need to find common ground.

*If you have a question or would like to submit a topic please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmail.com

 

 

A few years ago I met the “perfect girl” after about five years of being perpetually single.   I was not taking care of myself, I never slept, lived to go out and party, chased girls for all the wrong reasons.  This “perfect girl” I met was very different from a lot of the girls I had been chasing.  I finally talked her into dating. About two years ago we got married.  I have no reason to want for anything, she is a people pleaser, will do virtually anything I ask of her.  She helped to make me a better person emotionally.   Will be a great mother someday if we go down that road.  I am extremely satisfied with everything about her.  She takes very good care of herself physically, is a very attractive “girl next door”. Our romantic and sex life is everything a person could want. I’m serious when I say that i never want for anything…  Yet…  I find myself tempted all the time by girls I would have chased before her.  I am a dirtball.   There is no reason for me to want any other female.  While engaged I knew that she was never going to be like those other girls that I was chasing and I was perfectly happy with that thought.     A few weeks before we got married while out with some guy friends I met an old flame.  Everything about this girl spelled trouble.  Yet I found myself so sexually attracted to her, and she knew it.  We ended up doing little more than drunkenly making out, but I don’t know if I could have resisted the temptation to go all the way had we been in different surroundings.   I knew it was wrong.  I felt like shit and put it behind me though. This old flame is once again trying to get into my life.  I don’t answer her calls, but she leaves very inappropriate messages, and sends picture messages all the time of herself.  I know that I am only attracted to her still because of how i used to live my life and the porn star sexual life we had…  There is no logical reason for anyone to leave what I have with my wife for this other girl.   I would be ridiculed forever by my family and friends.  I guess I don’t really know why I am rambling on.  My wife does not know about this other girl but she does know how I used to live and the girls I used to chase. I feel like I am addicted to girls I shouldnt be.  Maybe I just need to grow up?  Maybe I need to seek counseling for some sort of sexual addiction?  I’m confused and scared if I do nothing I will find myself in a situation that I don’t need to be in.  I love my wife very much and I don’t want to cause any problems in our great relationship.

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Thank you for your honesty and courage to be so open with your thoughts and experiences. I think it is a very common and a normal feeling for humans to desire things that we cannot have. And to sometimes reflect about how we used to live our lives when we were younger. Let me ask you this, if you were to cheat and she were to find out what would happen? I am sure you have already considered the scenario since you are still abstaining. What is it about these girls that you find attractive? Is it the thrill of the chase? Or because it’s something you know you shouldn’t have? Marriage is hard- it takes a lot of patience and work. New things become old and we need to find a way to make them fresh again. In my experience if I am uncertain of something I ask myself ” If the roles were reversed how would I want my spouse to handle this situation?” In the end what matters is trust and honesty in a relationship. It is good that you are being honest with your feelings and if you think this will be an ongoing problem that you cannot move past then I do think it wise to go see a therapist. There very well could be a deeper routed issue that you haven’t been able to move past just yet. As for the girl who is attempting to to lure you away you need to tell her that her advances are not welcome and she needs to leave you and your family alone. One message should suffice and if she continues ignore her and she should eventually leave you alone. I certainly hope that this helps! Best of Luck!

*If you have a question or would like to submit a topic please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmail.com

How can I stop my fiancé from thinking I cheat all the time? I have been with my other half for nearly 3 years now and at first his accusations weren’t that bad, but they are slowly getting worse. I don’t want to leave him so please don’t suggest that. I really want to make things work because when things are good between us they are excellent. I love him so much and I really don’t want this to ruin things for us! Please help! 😦

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This is not your issue it’s his. If you have remained faithful this is a huge fear that he will have to overcome. Marriage is based on trust. If he doesn’t have it in you then there is really nothing you can do. I know you do not want to give up on this but do you want to spend the rest of your life with someone who is always questioning you? Also, this could be a guilty conscience on his part…I think you might want to sit down and tell him it’s all or none. He either let’s this go and trusts you or you are done.

*If you or have a question or would like to submit a topic please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmail.com