Dear Annie: I am engaged. I have been for six years (I know, I know), but we actually plan to get married in a few months. I am in love with her, but I just don’t know if letting my feelings fall to the wayside is how I want to live the rest of my life. I always feel like she puts the feelings of others before me, like it doesn’t matter how I feel as long as the other person is fine.
She also has adult children who don’t like when I correct them. (We all live together.) She makes me feel like I’m wrong for wanting them to be responsible or make positive changes.
Lastly, I’d like to be more active, adventurous and social, and she’s just not like that. So, should I settle and potentially enter an unhappy marriage? Or is it not really that bad? — Cold Feet
Dear Cold Feet: Each of these complaints warrants its own discussion with both your wife and a couples therapist. You owe it to yourself to address your concerns before tying the knot.
If you mean it when you say you are in love with her, then I believe the two of you can find a way to communicate so that 1. You feel heard and seen by your wife; 2. You reach an understanding regarding when and how you offer advice to her children; and 3. You find an outlet for adventure and activity, either with your wife or with another friend.
If, after therapy, you do not see eye-to-eye on these issues, perhaps you’re better off building a life with someone more compatible. Better to learn that lesson before you say, “I do.”
Dear Annie: I was in a very happy relationship with someone I thought was the love of my life. I met him when I turned 20. At first, we were so in love, happy and content with each other.
After the first year is when it started to get bad. He started doing drugs and got very sneaky about who he was with. At times, he would get so drunk and forget who I was and would put his hands on me. The next day, he would always apologize and swear he would never do it again. I would believe him.
I then caught him cheating on me multiple times after going through his cellphone. He would always say it was his friend or something, and I would always believe him. I always took him back because I was in love with him.
A few months ago, he started to act very shady and was hiding his phone all the time. One night, I caught him looking at pictures of this girl “Samantha,” and I asked him about it. He said, “Why are you so worried? You know you’re the only one for me.” Again, I chose to ignore it.
Two months ago, he dumped me. I still haven’t gotten over him or what he did to me after three and a half years. He just simply didn’t want me and started dating Samantha right after we broke up. Now, at 24, I’m very depressed and haven’t been able to get him off my mind. My question is, do you think he ever loved me at all? — Stuck on my Ex
Dear Stuck: My heart is breaking for you. Nobody deserves to be treated the way that he treated you. It is important to remember that you are not to blame for his behavior.
I recommend reaching out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 to seek support for the abuse you suffered.
As for your question — “Did he ever love me?” — I am not a mind reader. I will leave you instead with the wisdom of motivational speaker Tony Gaskins: “Love doesn’t hurt you. A person that doesn’t know how to love hurts you. Don’t get it twisted.”
“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]