I am 25, in a relationship for two years. My boyfriend is 36. Eight months into the relationship he cheated on me while on vacation. It took some time, but we worked it out. He claimed part of the problem was my pragmatic point of view.

He is so wonderful to me in so many ways that I forgave him in hopes things could get better. I later found out he kept in contact with this girl through email and phone calls. To top it off, she is only 20. He swears they are only friends and he would never repeat this mistake.

I am concerned. He is returning to the same vacation spot, where her family will also be. I found an email from her. She said she missed him and only wanted to be there because of him. I am so hurt over the whole thing. It seems just when I think it has all come out, something else pops up.

We discussed me going with him, but he said he needs time to himself. It has been so hard to trust him, and I find the whole situation suspect. Am I being paranoid, or does he want to have his cake and eat it too?

~ Shauna

Shauna, he wants you to think you are old-fashioned about relationships. He knows he can have you and a 20-year-old. He thinks what you want is wrong and what he wants is right. He’s not winning an argument; he’s changing the terms of your relationship.

Many women think, “I will show him how he is hurting me, and he will come around.” What these women don’t realize is that the man isn’t changing, the woman is. This man is corrupting your reality. He is pulling you off your own standards. He won’t change, but he will change you.

Put this cake-eater on a diet. One piece of cake is enough for anyone.

~ Wayne & Tamara

False Accusations

My boyfriend has been cheated on by every girlfriend before me, so he finds it hard to trust me. But he is trying. His friends manipulate him by claiming I am using him and cheating.

My boyfriend pays for everything for his friends. That’s why they don’t want me in his life. With me by his side, I don’t let it happen. How do I deal with this?

~ Amber

Amber, people want to believe the sensational. They want to believe the worst, even with evidence to the contrary.

When his friends told him every girl cheated on him, your boyfriend believed it. You believed it too. But if you haven’t cheated, shouldn’t that make you wonder if the others were also innocent? You discovered the motive for his friends’ accusations. Money.

The difficulty is no one can prove a negative. Once his friends sullied their names and yours, there was no way to undo the damage.

There is one thing you can do. Say to yourself, “I may lose him anyway, so I might as well unleash a scorched earth policy on his friends.” Explain to your boyfriend how he is being used. Tell him you haven’t cheated, and that’s reason to doubt that the others did.

Leave that idea in his head to fester and fester. He can’t unhear what you tell him, and sometime in the future, like a dud bomb from a forgotten war, it may explode. You may well lose your boyfriend, but ultimately this might allow him to be free of his manipulative “friends.”

Sometimes all we can do is our good deed for the day and leave things better than when we found them.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Column for the week of May 13, 2019

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