I have been with Ed, my domestic partner, six years. He has many wonderful qualities and is an excellent provider. He is also a complete flirt and makes me feel diminished when we are around other women.
Ed has a habit, when we are out, of staring at other women as they walk by, either smiling at them or licking his lips. I am talking about complete strangers.
He is inappropriate in other ways. For instance, early in our relationship he went to a funeral without me. The funeral was for the sister of an ex-girlfriend. He ended up making out with the ex-girlfriend at the funeral.
Recently Ed developed a crush on a student teacher at the school where he teaches. He gave her special privileges against school rules, and she is not even his student teacher. I am genuinely concerned he will lose his job.
I have no problem with him talking to other women. He has lunch almost every day with women, which is fine with me. We are both in a choir together. The choir consists of both men and women, so you see I have no problem with him being around women.
The love, affection and attention I give him never seem to be enough. Apparently this was the issue his ex-wife had with him. I am just now learning it caused their divorce.
He says I am jealous. I say he doesn't respect my feelings. I am at the end of the line. I am not willing to wait around and see if one of his crushes takes.
Cami, there are three good reasons not to stay with him, one internal, one external and one factual.
The essence of love is that someone's attraction for us is unique. On an almost daily basis you see that is not true.
Second, Ed's actions are so over-the-top it discredits him in the eyes of others. Staying with him also disgraces you in their eyes, though they won't tell you that. Because you stay with him, they think less of you.
Finally, he could abandon you at any time. Any one of these reasons is reason enough to leave.
Not Worth Fighting For
I am getting married in February. The guy is amazing. The problem is his mother, though my fiancé never supports her. So she gets mad at me. She screams when things don't go her way. She often says I am the second woman and she has lost her son.
For four years I thought I would be able to convince her we will all be a happy family.
As my wedding date gets closer, I am unhappy. Getting married to him was my desire always, but now that I got what I wanted I don't know why I am not excited. I can ignore her now, but she drains me.
My fiancé is unhappy with my behavior, but I am unable to control myself. I don't know why but I want to run away.
Barbara, often after a battle, there is nothing left worth fighting for.
Your focus has been winning against his mother. You won, but four years without a ceasefire has exhausted you. Now you realize that winning your prize will link you to this woman for the next 30 years. Many women don't understand that until after the wedding.
You know the battle will continue. You know you will battle your mother-in-law for your own children. No woman wants that. You aren't envisioning a life of love and happiness but a life of knock-down, drag-out fights.
Worse still, your fiancé's allegiance is in question. At any time he might change sides.
It's time to tell him, "I can't do this. I cared for you. I thought I loved you. But I can't do this. I won this battle but I lost the war."
Column for the week of December 15, 2014
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