Direct Answers – On The Mend, Time’s A-Wastin’

On The Mend

Lost girl here. I'm 23 headed to 24. I've been dating my boyfriend eight years. He's my first, of course. We were head over heels from the start, but five years ago we had a horrific car accident. I was driving.

My boyfriend broke his neck and collarbone and had horrible things like burns. The accident happened on his birthday. His best friend was with us and he broke his back and some ribs. I was 18, just out of high school, one month into my freshman year of college.

I took care of my boyfriend despite issues in his family life. I loved him and tried to balance going to school Monday through Thursday with working Friday through Sunday. We had a hell of a time going through his healing but eventually we got some money in a settlement.

So we got our own place. We fought. I was enraged with anger at my life. I fell hard for his friend, the one in the wreck with us, but my boyfriend found out. Well, he kept me, though I continued to talk to his ex-best friend who had other girlfriends.

Long story short, I am miserable. My boyfriend never changed for the better. He's had a good job for over a year, but he never finished high school. I never finished college because of our constant fights. He never shows compassion or affection, and I've always had his friend on my mind, though he has a girlfriend now.

I know I should leave my boyfriend because he doesn't satisfy me, but how? We have grown up together. We have a house and everything. It's practically a divorce without the papers and children, thank God!

~ Giselle

Giselle, in a famed poem by Coleridge, an ancient mariner wears a dead albatross around his neck as a legacy of his past. By the poem's end, however, the weight of the past and the albatross fall from the sailor's neck and sink "like lead into the sea."

You also are carrying an albatross around your neck, the albatross of the wreck. Your boyfriend blames you for the accident, and you blame yourself. You were driving a car that gravely injured two men. How much of your connection to these two is based on time and guilt?

Your boyfriend is wrong for you. You'd like to be with his best friend, but he is unavailable. Rarely do people have a chance to start over in life. But you do. You are a free young woman, or at least you can be.

Let the past bury the past. Be a new person in a new place. Untangle yourself and start over. Finish college and make yourself a better life, or the stench of this albatross will curdle your life.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Time's A-Wastin'

I have been dating a man four years. I am 53 and he is 56. I divorced six years ago and he was a friend before my marriage. For the last four years we've only dated each other.

Many times he's told me he loves me, but I feel we are not moving past boyfriend and girlfriend. We don't live together because he says he is not ready for that. He wants to be more financially stable, and he does not want to live with my son, a college student living at home while he gets an education.

When we are together, I go to his house. He almost never comes to mine. I asked if he ever wants to marry me and he says yes, but he doesn't know when. Why is this not moving toward living together or marriage? Should I continue down this path or move on?

~ Debbie

Debbie, you are climbing up the down escalator. You will never get to the top. Stop climbing. Find a man who wants to go in your direction.

Wayne & Tamara

Column for the week of March 16, 2015

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