A man and I have been living together since last September. I had just left my husband and filed for divorce, and he separated from his wife two months earlier. We knew each other from before, when we were both happily married.
In November he moved out for three weeks, saying he still wanted to date me, but had never tried living on his own. What he was really doing was making every effort to get his wife back. By the time he realized it wasn’t going to happen, it was well into December.
He came back and I let him move in. Five days later he said he loved me. He never did that before. On Christmas he brought home a dozen roses for me and dressed in a suit to impress my family.
Last May, he left early one morning saying he was going to visit a friend. He never came home that night. The next day, when I looked for him, he told me he met someone else. I told him, “I thought you loved me”, and he replied, “I thought I did.”
I was so angry I told him to take his things and get out. Four days later he came to see me and said the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. He seemed upset for what he had done. I told him it wouldn’t be easy to trust again, but I let him move back.
It is September again. He spent a few hours on the computer this morning, then left to see his mother. Seven hours later I called to see where he was. She said he left at five, but he didn’t get home until eight. Naturally I asked where he was for three hours.
He said, “I don’t like you calling all over to check up on me. You’re not my mother. This is not working out.” I told him I called his mother because he usually calls me and I was concerned. He said he didn’t think we were meant to be and refused to talk further.
Could he have said this because he was angry? He is the type of man who likes his space and likes someone else to settle his affairs.. Or could he be using me to satisfy his own needs? Am I asking too much of a person who is used to being alone and not treated lovingly?
Mallory, you should be in Cirque du Soleil. You are tying yourself in knots trying to excuse his behavior, and some people pay really good money to see that.
You thought he cared about you while he secretly tried to get his wife back. Getting back with you didn’t cost him much. All it cost was a dozen roses and wearing a suit for a day. You thought that reestablished trust. But the flowers died and the suit went back into the closet.
He does things he can’t or won’t explain. When he said you are not his mom, he said something from the mouth of a petulant child. You most certainly are not his mom. You are not his wife, and you are not his girlfriend. You are not even a person he respects.
He is a man who has a home wherever there is a woman in need. When he finds a pasture a little greener than yours, he will be gone. You should decide which course is better for your self-esteem: I got left, or I kicked him out?
~ Wayne & Tamara
Direct Answers for the week of September 30, 2019
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Wayne & Tamara answer as many letters as they possibly can.