My live-in boyfriend and I are at a fork in the road. There is an unspoken pain neither of us know how to handle.

Yes, we have differences. The funny thing is, I feel we are the same but always on a different channel. When it comes to moods and desires, we don’t seem to be in-sync. We want to stay together, want the house and family, and want the traditional dream. But how do we come together when, on a daily basis, we rarely seem to want things at the same time?

It poisons everything. We are even beginning to avoid each other. Of course, he has always been a free roamer, you know, doesn’t bother to call home when he’s going to be late or even when he disappears for days at a time. Or he says he’ll be home shortly, then shows up in three to 10 hours.

He knows it hurts my feelings. After confrontations about his bachelor attitude (this makes him see red), he doesn’t understand why I don’t run into his arms or slip between the sheets with him when he finally shows up.

To make matters worse, he’ll make me feel guilty for not being there for him emotionally or physically, and at this point, take off again, claiming I only care about myself.

I have two kids, not his. I can’t just take off and go play when I’m feeling down. He told me to get a life. Well, my freedom is limited. Besides, he and the children are my life. I want to be as close as a family should be, not two ships passing in the night.

~ Nyla

Nyla, you start your letter as if you are two dancers, dancing to the same music, just a little bit out of step. Initially, we were willing to go along with you. It appeared you both simply needed to find the beat.

As you said more, it became apparent you don’t share the same rhythm. That is why you are stepping on each other’s toes. You have two kids and want the traditional dream, and you are putting that on him, a bachelor. His attitude is: she should be grateful when I even show up.

He disappears for days at a time without telling you. He’s not dancing with you or trying to dance with you. He is using you. You avoid the topic of money and what he contributes. We surmise it’s because he contributes little.

In a boarding house, boarders are free to come and go as they like. He uses your home like a boarding house and rest stop. You are more like a landlady, trying to corral one of the boarders into being husband and father to her children.

There’s the problem with self-deception. It doesn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t achieve anything. It’s like a placebo in an experiment. It doesn’t fix anything, it doesn’t cure anything, and it cannot be sold. You are a couple only in your own mind. Reality is unaffected.

You have a home, and you have a family. It is not his home, nor his family. His behavior proves that. Pretending changes nothing, but it does do one thing. It prevents you from moving in the right direction. It prevents you from finding one who wants what you want.

People don’t accept that none is better than wrong, even though wrong prevents right from appearing. When we lie to ourselves, we undermine our own chance at success.

 ~ Wayne & Tamara

Direct Answer’s Column for the Week of July 1, 2019 # 1,055

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Wayne & Tamara answer as many letters as they possibly can.

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