Direct Answers - Column for the week of June 30, 2003
Please bear with me. I desperately need advice. I dated this girl for a year, and we broke up many times because of religion. We are of two different religions, and she wanted our potential children to be of her faith and only her faith.
To me that seemed a bit unfair. I too want to share in my children's spirituality, and I too want to take them to my church and experience a bit of what I had while growing up. She did not like this idea. She said it would be okay if I took them to my church, but the children could not pray with me or to "my" God.
I tried to explain to her that we are all one and all God's children. I said our children would benefit from what the two religions have to offer. In addition, since we care so deeply for each other, we should respect each other's beliefs.
We never reached an agreement, and three months ago we broke up for good. Last week she invited me to dinner. She told me she dated someone for a month, but it didn't work. I was hurt because the thought of me dating another makes me sick.
One thing led to another, and we were intimate. When we parted she said she will always love me and for me to e-mail when I become engaged so she won't have to wonder "what if." She also said one day she may change her mind and agree with my views about children.
I don't know what to do. Oh, one more thing, prior to dating me she had a four month relationship with a married man twice her age.
Sig, a person who suggests she feels so strongly about her religious faith needs to date within that faith. But that only partly describes your situation.
Your former girlfriend seems to be inventing the rules as she goes along. Her behavior does not reflect a life lived within religious teachings. It is as if she is trying to add piety to herself by speaking of her religious fervor for children who don't yet exist.
She is also giving you hope for the future in case she cannot find someone else, and because you have been intimate with her, you feel possessive about her. That is why the thought of dating another makes you sick. You also feel fear about the uncertainties of dating again.
Don't let your desire for a relationship blind you to what is happening. Letting her come back to you because she cannot find someone else is in her interest, not yours. She does you a disservice in saying she loves you, because what you are describing is a woman who likes you up to the point where you are not of her religion.
Wayne & Tamara
My friend Missy is getting married this Saturday. I am the maid of honor. Missy's fiance has expressed deep concern about their sex life. Basically he isn't getting any.
Missy's fiance has asked Missy's friends, including me, to talk to her about it. So far nothing seems to work. He has already said he will just have to suffer in that aspect of their relationship for the rest of his life. I know this is a personal issue, but is there anything I could do to help?
Tricia, as a young man, Missy's fiance has no idea how long a lifetime can be. He will never have more leverage than he has now, but he is marrying with a marriage-ending problem.
There is no indication in your letter that Missy is saving herself for marriage. Rather she believes by marrying her he has accepted things as they are. Letters like yours make us want to scream with frustration. When will we receive his letter asking if he should cheat or divorce?
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.