“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Jul 10, 2014
DEAR AMY: My boyfriend of four years is married. He and his wife separated months before we got together, and I am sure he has had limited to no contact with her while he is with me. But as I get older and friends are becoming engaged and married, I find myself wanting those things too.

Confronting him with the topic of filing for divorce ends in World War III! He says the only reason he hasn't filed for a divorce is due to laziness, but I worry it is more than that.

My dilemma is that I have a 4-1/2-year-old son (my boyfriend is not his biological father). They adore each other, and he has been an amazing bonus dad.

I feel bad complaining about his refusing to get a divorce because he has helped to raise my son. But his unwillingness to settle down with me is unfair.

I can't walk away from the relationship because a child is involved. How can I approach the situation and express my feelings without sounding controlling?-- Upset Girlfriend

DEAR UPSET: Your judgment seems so compromised, it is hard to advise you about a specific course of action, other than for you to take a long look in the mirror and make a promise to yourself to act in your son's best interests from here on out.

Ponder your choices: Committing to a married man who gets attached to your son but will not legally commit to either of you? Not in your son's best interests.

Being in a relationship with someone who engages in "World War III" when you try to talk about his choices and your future? Not in your son's best interests.

If you truly feel that "I haven't filed for a divorce because I'm too lazy" is anywhere near an acceptable answer, then you two might just deserve each other. Bringing this up is not controlling; it is raising a topic of importance to everyone.

Know this, however: Locking this guy down with marriage is no guarantee he will stay.

You don't seem involved with your son's birth father; at some point I hope you will realize that being alone is almost always preferable to being with the wrong person.

If this man loves your child, he can continue to love and spend time with the child as a special friend, regardless of whether you two are a couple.

DEAR AMY: I read the recent letter from "Rejected and Dejected," who wrote about feeling bullied by some "frenemies."

In my research there have emerged a few tips that can be helpful for people in these situations.

First, try not to spend too much energy imagining a witty comeback that will make the bully wilt with shame. In reality it doesn't happen easily or often.

Second, in the short term, use distraction. Watch a funny movie or read a good book -- something that will absorb your attention and keep you from dwelling on the situation. Time will almost always make you feel better.

Third, and this is most important and most effective, make an effort to spend time with people who you know do truly care about you. Stick with your friends, your spouse, your kids, your parents, your siblings -- whoever can dependably be nice to you. Remind yourself that others really do love you and this will make the mean people seem much less important.

Meanness can be coped with. The trick is to not suffer alone. Most people do pull through just fine. You can't change what mean people do, but you can work on changing how you feel about it.-- Elizabeth K. Englander, director, Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center

DEAR ELIZABETH: Excellent and practical advice. Thank you.

DEAR AMY: Regarding your advice to "Flummoxed," whose 37-year-old daughter was pregnant and in no position to raise a child, I think that instead of your "soft and gentle" approach, this would-be grandmother should have told her daughter, "Fine. You want this? You're on your own. Good luck."

That's tough love.-- Upset Reader

DEAR READER: That's no love.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#2 Jul 10, 2014
1: Amen to what Amy said.

2: Good advice. This is one thIng I think I will copy and keep.

3: I agree with Amy. I don't think the original lw had any right to tell her daughter to get an abortion. If I were the daughter in that situation, I think I'd do my best to limit my contact with my mom. I think a lot of women would at least feel they'd want to. In that case, today's lw wouldn't have to tell her daughter she was not going to help. The daughter already senses that and may want to stay away from her mom anyway. Telling her daughter that she is on her own in that situation is equivalent to "cutting off your nose to spite your face." The mom might live to regret her words.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#3 Jul 10, 2014
1- he needs to sht or get off the pot. Four freakin years??
Kuuipo

Marina, CA

#4 Jul 10, 2014
LW1: First of all, remove the words "I can't" from this situation. You can do what is in you and your son's best interest. Also, it takes two people to wage war, so when you bring this subject up again, determine to discuss it calmly and rationally and walk away if it gets heated or you are tempted to raise your voice. When you are angry, it is difficult to get your message across. One other thing you can do: Research the divorce laws in your state. Find out what the process is and how much it will cost. Ask your boyfriend to go for a free consultation with an attorney or court professional. Perhaps he is more intimidated by the court process than he is lazy. The question that I have for you is how is your relationship apart from this issue? Is he generally kind and caring toward you? Don't get so caught up in the idealization of marriage. Make sure that your beloved is a man of substance and character.

LW2: Great advice. When you spend time with people who truly do value you, the frenemies become irrelevant.

LW3: That would be a horrible thing to say to your daughter, I hope original LW does NOT do that! I'd advise her to listen and emotionally support without giving unwanted opinions.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#5 Jul 10, 2014
LW1 - Get your head back on and start thinking of your son. Dump your "boyfriend" yesterday. Your son will recover eventually - IF you don't jump into another "committed" relationship with anyone not even remotely available or ready to commit. Even if your BF does get a divorce, he doesn't sound interested in marrying YOU, and you can't browbeat him into it, and if you do browbeat him into it, he'll make a horrible husband and father. He is likely to resent you, and he'll leave you the moment he gets bored with you.

LW2 - If you can stay away from bullies in your adult life, put a lot of emotional and maybe even physical distance between them and you.

LW3 - I don't know....Maybe it's the right thing to say to say, and maybe not. I just don't think parents of adults are in any realistic position to advice or coerce their offspring into doing anything - or not doing something. Sometimes, all you can do is sit on the sidelines and desperately watch your adult child's life going down the drain.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#7 Jul 10, 2014
Cass wrote:
LW1 - Get your head back on and start thinking of your son. Dump your "boyfriend" yesterday. Your son will recover eventually - IF you don't jump into another "committed" relationship with anyone not even remotely available or ready to commit. Even if your BF does get a divorce, he doesn't sound interested in marrying YOU, and you can't browbeat him into it, and if you do browbeat him into it, he'll make a horrible husband and father. He is likely to resent you, and he'll leave you the moment he gets bored with you.
.
The boyfriend is not interested in getting divorced and neither is his wife. The wife presumably knows her husband has been dating someone for 4 years and has not taken any steps to end the marriage either.

Divorce requires splitting things up and making formal commitments to support in some cases. Boyfriend is phobic there.

And even if he does get divorced, there is no assurance he will want to remarry anyone much less LW.

I do rather wonder if he has kids with his wife though or whether the wife has been dating these last 4 years..

FWIW, I ran into my high school crush at a reunion. He has done very well for himself in a high profile position. He said he was separated and had no intention of getting divorced because this way he didn't have to fend off women who were after his money. Cynical but practical.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#8 Jul 10, 2014
LW1: You're a stoopid tramp. And a lousy mother.

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