small village scene

Letters About Love and Relationships

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Topic: Live-In?

TN Wrote:

I graduate this year from college. My girlfriend graduated last year and has a job as a teacher. We have dated for more than two years. Before I take the next step, marriage, I think it is important to live together for awhile. I think marriage should be permanent and should only be done once. Living together makes sure that there are not any little problems that might come up which would not be known otherwise.

My parents, however, will not approve. How can I convince them that this is a good idea?

B Responded:

I do not think that you can convince them or change their minds about their values. If you think you are correct, then I suggest you be honest with your parents about what and why you are doing this. You owe them honesty.

Given time, parents find a way to validate what their children do, just because they love them. Parents are the one to 'catch' children when they fall, as they did when only small children, if bad decisions are made or they are hurt. It is all part of parenting. Surely this is not the first decision you have made that tested their parenting skills.

All of life, and especially love, is a gamble or risk. Just remember that the commitment that marriage brings into a relationship helps to make it through the problems that come up. Without that commitment, it is very easy to walk out instead of working it out. Oops, the parent in me is showing, yes?

letters about love

Topic: Big Deal?

SP Wrote:

I have been married for some time and I have a good marriage. My spouse has an old friend, a man that she grew up with.

A few weeks ago, she said she was going out, but she wasn't going to tell me with whom. I questioned her and she told me she was going out with her old friend. When I asked if she was ever going to tell me this, she said she didn't know. I got upset because she was not going to tell me until I asked.

She met him another time and told me about it. I trusted her and tried to get over it since she told me about it.

A few days ago, her old friend called and left a message on the answering machine. He said how good it was to see her, that he had been in town a few days ago and wished he had called and seen her and that he was thinking about her. He also said that he would like to take her out of town with him. I was extremely upset about this message. My wife says he didn't mean anything by it.

Am I making a big deal out of this or should I be concerned?

B Responded:

Personally, I think your wife is being ambivalent and her old friend is being extremely rude, insensitive and totally out of line!

The bonds of friendship do not have to be broken once you marry; however, they do change, to include the feelings of a spouse and the spouse period.

I do not think it is being unreasonable or having too many expectations for you to want your wife to be honest with you, nor is it too much to not want such calls coming into your home. I'm still wondering why you aren't included in any of their visits together or at the very least receiving an invitation to join them, even if you don't want to go.

I simply can't see that you have done anything wrong, or reacted any different than most spouses would under these circumstances. Your wife and her friend need to look at their behaviors and how they are treating you. I would 'talk' with my spouse and be sure she is understanding how you feel and see if there is anything that you can understand better as to why her friend would be so rude, to both of you actually.

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Topic: Wants To Feel Close To In-Laws

YL Wrote:

I like to feel closeness in family and I feel my in-laws ARE my family. My Mother-In-Law seems to hold me at a distance as if I were one of her friends from her couples club. I can never understand this although I know she is happy her son and I have married.

Recently my Mother-In-Law had a breast cancer scare from a doctor that told her that she would need surgery even before running appropriate tests. She was really frightened.

I took her to a teaching hospital to an excellent breast surgeon who had helped me and he gave her an excellent report after quickly testing her. The whole family was relieved. My Mother-In-Law's relief was thanks enough. She seemed so close to me then, but now she has returned to her aloof, distant self.

I feel I am always held at a safe distance. It bothers me and I feel like an outsider. My husband understands the way I feel but cannot explain it either.

I'd appreciate any insight.

B Responded:

Always remember that you~~married~~her son and it is with him that you should build that family and its closeness that you want and how you want it. Your Mother-In-Law may never show you how she feels, but you will have to learn to accept her as she is; not second guessing her thoughts. Especially after a cancer scare, her aloofness more than likely has absolutely nothing to do with you. Her aloofness could even become more obvious as she becomes more concerned about herself and perhaps more easily worried about her own health.

You say that you know she is happy you married her son. Many cannot even say that so be glad about what you have and do feel. You just have to accept that you cannot change behaviors of others simply because you married into the family. Closeness and forever 'bonds' between individual family members come in many ways and sometimes after many years. Build with what you have and you'll be fine.

Your Mother-In-Law is very lucky! (and I bet she knows that).

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Topic: Wants Someone To Love Them

CE Wrote:

Will I ever find someone who will love me as I am?

B Responded:

As I've stated many times, I am not a psychic; however, I would say 'yes' you can and will.

My thoughts are based on the fact that serial killers find those who appear to fall in love with them even after they have confessed and been convicted of such crimes. Then, on the other end, you find men of God, priests, who give up every vow to marry when the 'love bug' bites. It can happen to anyone, yes?

So, my thinking is that you surely fit somewhere in between and thus you, too, will someday find that person who will love you just as you are.

I recommend that you look in the right places and be ready when that day comes. Good luck!

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Topic: Wondering Is Love Worth Giving All

SB Wrote:

I have been seeing a guy since 1991. Our relationship is one reason he got a divorce and he helped me get my divorce.

We've run his business and he has been the only one who made me feel like he was 'in love' with me. I was the happiest I've ever been until three years ago.

He bought another business and he said that as long as we stood together and loved each other then it could work. He would run one business and I run the other. We don't get to see one another as often.

About six months after opening the new business, he started seeing another woman who worked there. He denied anything each time I confronted him.

I confronted both of them together. He told the truth and promised to stop seeing her. Also saying he had made a mistake and that he loves me.

I don't trust him anymore. He calls every evening and says he loves me. He won't fire the other woman because he says she is important at the other business.

How do I stop loving him so I can get on with my life? I very seldom see him anymore. I ask him to spend time with me but he always has an excuse.

B Responded:

Only you can decide when you have taken enough abuse in the name of love. Then, you'll have to make some tough decisions and stick by them just as you probably did when you divorced.

The two of you obviously chose not to marry; however, I think you might be wise to seek help that doesn't involve the heart, perhaps a lawyer, to be sure that not only your heart but your pocketbook too is not left 'out in the cold' down the road.

It sounds as if your hard work may have been instrumental in the success of the businesses. You have little now and will have little if you leave this situation, after so many years of both an emotional and a physical investment. You do need to start thinking about yourself.

You appear to realize where this has the potential of going, and that it may already be there. Now you just have to decide how much pain you can handle and how much determination you can muster to change things for yourself. Only you can make up your own mind and/or change any of it, whether you go or stay.

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Topic: Internet Romance Victim

OG Wrote:

What do you think about a 54-year-old husband of 33 years of marriage that is going through mid-life crisis and had a loving family, a very good job, and beautiful children and grandchildren and one day he just up and left it all for an internet romance. I don't believe that internet romances are everything they seem to be.

B Responded:

I am sure I would feel exactly as you do! Statistics, however, say that one in three marriages will experience infidelity. That's scary! Infidelity in thoughts and deeds lead to such destructive behavior.

The internet only provides another avenue for those, whether male or female, who choose to ignore their marriage vows and who choose to find any excuse in the book to be immoral, irresponsible, generally reckless, and forever seeking those greener pastures that are never greener. All 'new' things, e.g., emotions, people, etc., become 'old' in time.

If I've learned anything in this life then it is 'you reap what you sow' anywhere and everywhere, including the internet. To be responsible for what he and this woman have harvested is frightening to think about.

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Topic: Loves A Married Woman

JB Wrote:

I am a Father of three whose wife left many years ago without a goodbye. I never thought I would ever love anyone again but I have.

I have met a woman on the internet and we spend many hours chatting and calling one another on the phone. She is wonderful and has helped me a lot. I love her.

She is married already to someone else. I've never tried to get her to leave him, but I know that she loves me and we've talked about it. Is it possible for her to love us both or does she truly love neither of us?

B Responded:

I don't know. The only thing that comes to mind are these two things:

1) It's good that you see that you can 'love' again;


2) "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

With both of these things in mind, I'd change that situation and find someone I didn't have to wonder about and whose love isn't going to hurt others including you....move on, sir! This is no good for anyone.

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Topic: Lonely Weekends

VA Wrote:

Everyday at school I hang out with my friends. We eat together, have fun, and tell stories, but on weekends I get lonely.

One friend has to go to her Mom's and the other friend is always busy. I am an only child and I get very lonely.

My Mom says that teens can get really lonely. I have nobody but my parents and they can't really do stuff that kids my age do and like. Please help with some advice!

B Responded:

You need a 'plan of action' I think. First, I recommend that you again try to discuss this with your parents and ask them to help you make a plan.

Then I recommend that you start expanding your list of friends, as not all friends must be the absolute 'best friend only.' There are probably a lot of others that you would like if you got to know them better.

Next, I would plan to invite one or even two of those friends over at least twice a month on the weekends. You could get a favorite video to share, plan a trip to the mall with your Mom, or plan to go to the movies or just think of any reason to do something special and to invite a friend or friends.

Then get active with some organized groups at school. Usually, specific groups or school clubs plan weekend activities and/or trips during the school year. Participation in these activities also will help you expand your friendships with several new kids your own age.

Good luck! I feel sure you can try any or all of the above and lessen that loneliness you feel on weekends.

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Topic: How To Know If You Are Liked

AI Wrote:

There is a boy I like and I don't know if he likes me. How could I find out?

B Responded:

You don't say how old you are. You could be age 8 or 18 or older. With as little information as I have, this is what I would suggest.

Most times, whether male or female, if someone likes you then they make the effort to be with and talk with you whenever possible. If you like someone, then you must do the same.

Do you know if this boy is online? If so, then send him an email. Start building a friendship relationship between you.

What I'm getting at is that you must "extend your hand in friendship" to start building a relationship.

Once that is established, then you'll soon know if he likes you. You can always tell when someone likes you, too, because they will extend their hand in friendship to you.

I would make several attempts because sometimes the timing may not be right...meaning there could be a valid reason, not having anything to do with you, that the person doesn't immediately respond back.

After a few times of showing your interest, and you get no response back, then I would not pursue it any further. There are other boys who~~will~~want your friendship and interest. Do write again if you don't understand what I'm saying.

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Topic: Out of Love

MA Wrote:

How do I tell someone I don't love them anymore?

B Responded:

If you absolutely must tell someone this, then gentle honesty is always the best policy.

First, search your own heart and examine your own motives and feelings. Be sure this is exactly how you feel before doing anything.

I have no idea if this is a friend, spouse, or whomever. So with that in mind, my advice is only a broad statement of be honest with yourself first, then be honest with the other person.

Glad You Are Here

Topic: Cheating Husband!

NY Wrote:

What would you do if you had a husband that you did not trust? Every now and then my husband spends the night out. I kick him out and then let him in. He is good a couple of months and then it starts all over again.

I do not have proof that he is cheating now, but he has cheated in the past and many times. I need him right now. He babysits the children while I work. I can't afford to pay a sitter.

B Responded:

You pay a high price for a babysitter. That is not a good reason to hold a marriage together, if that is the reason you are doing so. You both may be holding on to the marriage for the wrong reasons. I would want answers, find solutions, and get on with life. The emotional trauma has to be affecting the children and it definitely sets a bad example for them.

I would get myself and him to a marriage counselor to seek answers for what this is all about and to jointly and individually find solutions. Life is too short for me and I would not choose to live it like this.

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