Direct Answers – Self-Deception
Four months ago I connected with Bill, a man I’ve known for 20 years. We always wanted to date and finally it happened. We’re happy both of us were available.
He says he and his wife separated two years ago when she went to live with her boyfriend. I asked him on our first date if there was any chance they would get back together. He said
After two weeks of visiting his home, I noticed some of his wife’s knickknacks and clothing.
When I questioned him, he said he’s lazy, he hasn’t had time and facing the thought of getting rid of those items makes him feel pressured.
When I asked him about starting divorce proceedings, he told me he called his wife. She seemed fine with the idea, but since then neither of them has pursued the matter.
I truly love this guy and would love to spend my life with him. I am being as patient as I can, but I’m not strong enough to keep this going. Bill hinted in a humorous fashion that he would like us to live together, but I have a daughter to be concerned about. I don’t want to make a hasty decision.
His wife’s boyfriend—that sounds so strange to say—has been with her two years. The boyfriend doesn’t seem to care if she ever gets divorced. Why should he? Bill pays her medical expenses and car insurance. It’s a comfy arrangement for her. I just think it’s strange.
It’s starting to upset me and make me disrespect Bill, never mind his wife. I have no respect for her, even though I’ve never met her. Bill knows if we met I would raise the question of divorce and ask, “How long should your boyfriend and I continue to feel like fools?”
My friends say, “Red flag. Back off.” I take care of my daughter and have a decent job, but I
don’t know how to handle this. I am a very independent person.
Ellie, a hundred years ago Robert Ripley started collecting oddities and strange tales from around the world.
In books and cartoons Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! told the world about 2-headed cows, 7-legged sheep and medical conditions you wished you didn’t know about.
One story in Believe It Or Not! was about a man in Germany who walked around for five years with a bullet in his head. He didn’t know it until he went to a doctor to have a “cyst” removed. Another tale was about Oscar, a cat in a nursing home, who had an uncanny ability to predict who would die next.
Robert Ripley was able to tell fact from fiction, even when the facts were strange. That’s
something you need to work on. For example, when you said you and Bill were both “available,” that sounds like fiction because he’s still married.
The same is true of the claim he and his wife are willing to divorce. They both seem completely comfortable with the status quo. Also, you claim you are “very independent” even while struggling mightily to turn this four month relationship into marriage.
It’s not that we don’t believe what you are telling us. It’s that you are telling yourself fictions.
As a New Year’s resolution we recommend working on your ability to tell the difference between what you want and what is real. Robert Ripley died in 1949, but the story you told us is one even Ripley would struggle to believe.
Wayne & Tamara
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Direct Answers from Wayne and Tamara – Column for the week of December 19, 2016