QUICKIES: Leaving an abusive husband | Protecting yourself during a separation | Pregnant and wanna come home | Facebook and dating confusions | Her past is messing with my head

QUICKIES: Leaving an abusive husband | Protecting yourself during a separation | Pregnant and wanna come home | Facebook and dating confusions | Her past is messing with my head

RC is asked questions on all topics. Sometimes, the letters sent in inspire an essay (or close). Other times, just a few lines will do – and all those letters are popped into a semi-regular section called quickies. It’s just how it sounds – a short, fast dose of RC advice. Don’t forget, if you need advice from RC or the Manswers team, drop us a line via the Question Box.

We might reconcile, but how do I protect myself in the meantime?

My husband turned 50 at the same time our youngest daughter went off to college, we sold our house, he see mandatory retirement in the near future and he became heavily involved in a motorcycle club. He had been the club for years-said it was just for guys – what a lie. He claims he he hasn’t been unfaithful but there are those pictures of the woman on his lap, kissing him and sporting on the back of his Harley. He said he didn’t know who he was or if he could be married any longer. Said he didn’t know if we were compatible any more and told me to go see a counselor to deal with falling apart. I did.
She said to open the door to let him see what he was missing by including him in family functions. I did-he participated/sort of but it was clear that he did not want to be there. The counselor advised to get an attorney and divorce him. I set the wheels in motion then he decided that perhaps it’s not what he wanted when faced with the finality of both financial and (he said) emotional ends. Now we are seeing a counselor together. There are many things to learn on both sides. We are going away together over the weekend – but cannot discuss any of the “big issues”. It’s only to be a fun experience. I’m all for that because I am so stressed out, I could just explode. How do I protect myself from further hurt yet keep my heart open to a faint possibility of reconciliation?

You’ve been through the absolute wringer, and I do think you need to consider detaching as best you can right now. Do the counselling. Go on the weekend away. But just hold back a little. Your husband’s hurt you terribly; he’s lied to you a long time from the sounds of it and if you want to rebuild your marriage, let him earn the right back in. Let him prove to you that he really wants back in and not just because divorce will be financially and emotionally tough on him.

Should I leave my abusive husband?

I have been married for almost 26 years. My husband left me 3 years ago only to beg forgiveness three days before our divorce was final. After many promises from him I took him back, but he is constantly critical of everything I do.  He has not been unfaithful and there’s never any physical violence but the verbal  abuse is constant.  I don’t believe he is even aware he’s doing it.  My problem is I am not a quitter. I wanted it to work soooo bad.  Our children are grown – one in college and one married.  I want out.  I have a place to go but just can’t make myself do it. Inspiration would be helpful.  I’m a Christian so it would be hurtful but I feel at this point it is necessary probably for both of us.

Your kids are grown, you have a place to go to, you’re free. Please, please leave him. Today. Start the new life you so desperately crave.

I’m pregnant and want to move back to Australia. Is that unreasonable on my UK boyfriend?

Last year I reunited with an old school friend while travelling in the UK and we developed a relationship. I quit my job in Australia and moved 14000kms to be with him, saying goodbye to family and friends. I’d been homesick now and then, and we discussed the fact numerous occasions. This year we made plans to travel to Australia for a holiday; I travelled ahead for a bit of extra time with family before we do the touristy stuff. The first week I arrived in Oz I discovered I was pregnant. This throws everything out of whack as I know that once I’m back in the UK, I won’t have the same support as I will have if I’m with family and friends. This scares me. How do I discuss this with my boyfriend? I really want to be in Australia for the birth. Is it unreasonable to suggest this to him? He doesn’t have as close bonds with his own family in the UK and I think going by past conversations, he would consider moving to Australia.

CONGRATS on your baby news! I’d tell him you’re thrilled about starting a family with him, unexpected as it was. And, tell him that much as you love the life you guys have in the UK, getting pregnant has triggered a pretty serious desire for you to be near family and a support network you love and trust, and you’d love to sound him out about moving back. How does he feel? What are the considerations re work, where you’d live and so on? Is he open to giving it a go? Maybe you could compromise on spending the next six months of your pregnancy in the UK while you plan for the move. Or, agree that you’ll return to Australia in time for the birth and to set up home. You’ve discussed it before, there’s no need to fear bringing it up. Good luck!

He’s hiding our relationship status on Facebook. Should I worry? 

I’ve been dating this guy for a year now and the first longest relationship for both of us. For funsies, I decided to make it official on Facebook last month and this month he decided to hide it. I’m kinda confused. I don’t want to make it a big deal but does he have something to hide? I mean it is Facebook but its not like he has any pics of him and me on there and i dont either. Why did he decided to take it down now when at the beginning I had given him the option to take it down but he was like no, no let’s keep it up. I’m going in circles now. After I saw he took it down I texted him about it and he didn’t respond. Am I being clingy or should I ask what’s his deal?

Of course you should ask. It sounds like he thinks it’s more casual than you do – and you’re entitled to know that. To be frank, after a year you would expect that someone would want to put a photo or two of you on Facebook and let others know he’s taken, so the fact that he doesn’t is a big fat red flag. Sorry.

I’ve struggled with the knowledge of her past for about a year. How can I move beyond it?

I’ve been dating my girlfriend for about two years and I love her very much, however when I found out that she had dated about ten guys including a couple of black guys, I felt very insecure and somewhat angry. I never thought I was racist, especially as I’m Hispanic and have a lot of black friends. She also told me details about how big and how it felt, so I’ve been struggling with it for about a year now. I wonder if I’m big enough or if I can be able to satisfy her. I wonder if she compares me to them. I’ve created images in my head about all of the things I was told that she did and I really am having a hard time dealing with this. I don’t want to even think about it. I need to move forward and focus on how good she is and how good we are as a couple.

You are a smart guy and that’s EXACTLY what you need to do. Just. Stop. Thinking. Stop running that little showreel in your head of your girlfriend with other dudes. Just resolve that it’s in the past, it can’t be changed and if you want to stay with her you have to clean slate it and move on from this moment.  Just FYI, I’ve answered your question a lot on the site; you can check out other Q&As on the topic here and here. And here.

Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


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