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Spousal and Bodily Burdens


Al Veoli: Happy Valentine's Day!

Al Veoli

Dear Al Veoli:

I'm 48 and have gone out with my boyfriend for a year and a half. Once we started dating I abandoned my workout routine and I've since gained 25 pounds. My boyfriend doesn't want to be intimate anymore. I've realized I have to take care of me first, but what do I do now? He doesn't want to sleep over anymore.


Dear Depressed:

First, you should be commended on realizing that working out is incredibly important for YOU--for your physical health, for your mental health, for your self-esteem. One thing you should not have to worry about, however, is keeping your relationship going based on whatever you weigh. If your boyfriend will not be intimate with you based on your weight (and perhaps there might be other reasons you're encountering problems? something to consider), then he is not the guy for you. It's one thing to want someone to be healthy and to encourage the person toward that goal, but another to shun your partner because you feel superior. It's incredibly insulting and damaging to not participate in intimate acts based on your partner's appearance, but it happens. You need to take stock of your relationship. Perhaps you should lose the excess weight for YOU, and dump this guy in the process.

Dear Al Veoli:

I've been with my husband for 31 years. Now he says he finds comfort in a co-worker and doesn't want to be with me anymore. I still love him. What should I do?


Dear Unhappy:

This is definitely a devastating situation, and you have full support from me. First, you need to ask yourself to what measures you are willing to go to win back your husband's love, and consider how damaging it could be to you in the process when he has rejected you. What is hard to accept is that he might simply want to move on without you, in which case maybe it's better that he's upfront about this rather than cheating on you behind your back. One possible step would be to think about your marriage objectively, or at least to try. Are there things that could be different, things that would improve the marriage? Is there someone in particular who always makes all the effort? If that person is him, maybe that's part of the problem and something you could remedy. But if that person is you, or if it's equal, then there really isn't much you can do. You deserve happiness, too, and sadly, this might have to be found without your husband in the picture if he is treating you this way.

Dear Al Veoli:

I have been dating a boy named Josh for almost three years now. We certainly have had our ups and downs but after so many we have both become stronger and more mature and have been able to stay together through thick and thin...or so I thought. About a year ago I found out that my boyfriend had been going to partys and drinking behind my back for about 6 months. The only reason I found out is because a girl at one of these parties claimed that they kissed at the party when they were drunk. All the guys said it never happened and all the girls said it did. Josh was willing to do anything to stay with me and he was very sorry and sure enough I fell for the puppy dog act. We stayed together, and to this day I still don't know if he cheated on me or not. The only way I began to cope with this is by becoming extremly jealous and controlling. I knew it was wrong but I couldn't stand to let Josh hang out with his friends or talk to another girl out of fear that he was going to go to a party or cheat on me. I guess Josh couldn't stand the way I was acting or treating him so we broke up. I have been trying with all I have to fix things and he has been leading me on to believe we were working out all our problems. Well today, after a big argument about how he thinks we need a break from each other for a little to experience with new people, he told me that he has already found someone and he doesn't want to hurt me in the future so he was going to tell me now. The person he had meet had been a girl that I have hated with an ardent passion for a very long time because she has been trying to get in between me and Joshfor so long. Josh knew I didn't like her and we would even get in fights about their friendship. Then he told me that he has already kissed her and intends on going out with her as boyfriend and girlfriend. He says he still loves me and cares about he just wants to be with her because she is fun and doesn't care if he drinks or partys. I feel horrible and that I am not good enough for him and three years of my life has been flushed down the drain. Josh just keeps telling me that this needs to happen so when we get back together in the future we will realise how much we love each other. I don't know what to do because I don't think that Josh kissing and going out with the one girl I hate more than the world is going to help any of the problems we already have. What do I do? And please understand that we love each other and this isn't just some break up that I need to get over. This is practically my life. Josh is my world and I am his. Where do I go from here. I just wish that I could close my eyes, wake up, and have a perfect life.


Dear Desperate:

Here's the good news: if this is your worst problem, although it's hard to take right now in high school, life will get better, and there are many worse troubles you could have. It might help to recognize that Josh does not have to be your entire life, especially since you don't seem to make up his, if he is willing to go out with someone else even while he professes love for you. This sounds like he is trying to hold onto you while gettig his kicks, which isn't fair to you, and it is blatantly ridiculous to front his relationship as the catalyst that will make you both realize how much you love each other. At the same time, when you were together and you were very jealous, not wanting him to go out, that's not healthy either. It sounds as if you need a major break from each other. Hang out with your friends, maybe go on a few dates, see what happens, and he can drink all he wants with his current girlfriend. As hard as it may be, try to keep your distance from him. It might help you get a clearer perspective of how you can exist (happily) without him.

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