DEAR AMY: What’s wrong with women these days? I’m an okay catch in today’s world. I have little debt, a steady job that I love; I cook, I clean, enjoy life, have hobbies and am not too bad looking.
But I find that after a few dates with a woman, she begins to ask about my “baggage.” I admit to not having a perfect past, and I reply to the question with honesty and openness.
It’s at about that point that the women I attract seem to get weird. If they are okay with my imperfect past, they latch onto me for dear life and are no longer the women I got to know casually just a week or two before.
When I tell them that this “change” is not working for me, I suddenly become the evil villain.
When I end the relationship because they don’t reciprocate my values or because I have seen a change that I do not like, they will attack me. They revert to high school name-calling, anger and manipulation to keep the relationship. Amy, this is only after three weeks and four or five dates!
How can I end a relationship that is barely a relationship? Is it too much to expect to be treated like an adult? -- Frustrated Good Guy
DEAR FRUSTRATED: If you find yourself the X factor in a repeating pattern and you want the pattern to change, then you will have to change.
If you are meeting women on E-harpy.com for instance, then you might want to rethink.
Otherwise, slow down. I get the feeling that you are perhaps leaping into physical relationships (with attendant pillow talk/sharing) before you have adequately checked for crazy. Don’t become intimate — emotionally or physically — too fast.
You also need to learn how to break up. Blaming the other person for “changing” (or blaming her for anything) is not necessary. The best way to break off a new relationship is to use the old standby: “It’s not you, it’s me.”
There is a reason it’s a classic — because it works.
DEAR AMY: I am in my late 20s and have been married for six years (and with my husband for 10 years). We have three beautiful kids, and they mean everything to me.
I have recently fallen in love with another man. He is my best friend. I still love my husband, but I am questioning what kind of love it is. I have tried to sort out my feelings, and the more I dig into them the more confused and depressed I get.
I am not sleeping and can’t focus on my daily routines. I am afraid of hurting my husband, my kids, the rest of my extended family, and the man I have fallen for. No matter what decision I make I know I am going to hurt someone, and I can’t bear the thought of that. What should I do? -- Confused and Sad
DEAR CONFUSED: I hope it brings you some comfort to know that this is a common issue at your stage in life.
You have been with your husband since you were a teenager. The bloom may well be off the rose in terms of your animal attraction to him. You love him but wonder if you’re still “in love” with him.
You have three young children who complete (and deplete) you.
You can power through this challenge by making choices to recommit and rekindle your relationship with your husband; professional counseling would help. He should be your “best friend.”
This process is not easy, but it is definitely possible — and if you succeed you will look back on this period of your life and smack your head and say, “What was I thinking?”
DEAR AMY: You should have told “Sober” to get someone to videotape his friend’s drunken flirting. Then get the group of friends together to view the video and pull an intervention on “Brandy.”
Arresting her for assault will end almost any chance of getting her into treatment for an obviously serious drinking problem. -- Addictions Counselor
DEAR COUNSELOR: Many people suggested that recording this assault scene (it was not “flirting”) would shine a bright light on “Brandy’s” problem.