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Addicted To Her

Direct Answers 'Column for the week of August 4, 2003

I dated a woman I work with for four years. In both our minds we were soul mates. A year and a half ago she broke it off. I never found out the real reasons.

After we broke up she would still tell me she loved me and we were soul mates. Of course at the same time she was dating another man, a married man. But it's worse than that. In college this guy stalked her--her words, not mine. Now, of course, she'll claim he was "just observing me."

She is still dating him. He is still married. He lives a few hours drive away so it's easy for him to hide the fact he hasn't filed divorce papers yet. In fact, I know he and his wife just refinanced their house, yet my girlfriend is convinced he'll marry her one day.

But wait, there's more. To this day she asks me to lunch every day, calls me "babe," touches me affectionately, and talks about vacations together. When I'm on travel, she calls once or twice a day. At her request, we're seeing a therapist to resolve our trust issues, but not to reconcile.

It's difficult to say my hands are clean here, but I am truly concerned. Everything I've read suggests there is nothing but pain and heartache down the road for her, and I've worked hard to change my shortcomings through therapy, reading, and action.

If things were right, I would like to begin anew with her. I've tried the approach of moving on and seeing other women. She knows enough to be jealous of these women, but it has no effect. How do I approach it without blowing my chances?

Dieter

Dieter, a few years ago when we were guests on a radio call-in show in Los Angeles, a man called and asked what to do about his soul mate. He knew she was having an affair, he said, because he had hired a private detective who found the evidence.

If what you and that man have is a soul mate, what do you call a couple who love each other to the exclusion of all others?

What you really have is a woman who finds some benefit in letting you fantasize about her while she tries to land another man. You are not ready to accept our answer, but what you have is more like an addiction.

The only cure for an addiction is to remove yourself from both the substance you are addicted to and the environment in which your addiction flourishes.

Wayne & Tamara

Parenthood

Recently my wife announced it was time for us to "make a decision about having a baby." This announcement blind-sided me, because I have always been perfectly clear on this matter. I only want kids if they are saut - ed correctly.

All my friends and all my relatives know my aversion to children. The reasons behind my feelings are varied, but this has never been a gray area for me. My wife, on the other hand, says that "my future involves having a family," implying in no uncertain terms that she is going to have children with or without me.

This seems to be an irreconcilable situation. What are your thoughts?

Chad

Chad, not everyone makes a good parent. People like you, who recognize this early on, shouldn't have children. You made it perfectly clear before the wedding, and you thought she accepted this fact.

Your wife has a right to have children, but not with a man she knew never wanted to be a parent. Your dark humor expresses the seriousness of your convictions. Since you know you do not want children, it is your responsibility to make sure you don't father a child.

Your wife is right that it is time to make a decision, but the issue is your future together.

Wayne & Tamara

About the Author

Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAndTamara.com.

Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com.



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