This letter is somewhat of a train wreck. It comes to us all the way from Australia (the e-mail address even ends with yahoo.com.au!). For effect, imagine the letter being read by Nicole Kidman. And for kicks, imagine my response being read by Hugh Jackman.
Q: Hi, I have been in a relationship for the past year with a man who left his wife to be with me. He has lied to me many times throughout the relationship -- to the point where there were so many different versions of things I felt like he was trying to drive me insane. On the other hand, he is almost obsessive about me, gives me little time to myself, and can’t do enough for me. My instinct is that he has been having sex elsewhere, possibly with his ex-wife. Our sex life has dwindled off since we have spent the last three months arguing over his lies. He says this is OK, and that sex doesn’t matter much to him anymore, (he has 'changed' since being with me). Based on his honesty threshold, I do not believe this. In his marriage to his last wife, he had one affair he never told her about, and also lied to me and said he had never been unfaithful until he met me. I later found this to be a lie. In February he told me he would apply for his divorce, and even though he has the application, he makes excuses and keeps putting it off. He tells me it’s going to cost way more than it actually is, and that he needs heaps of paperwork to finish it (he only needs to ask her for a copy of their marriage certificate). Recently, he has taken on their mortgage completely so he could pay her out more than her half of their martial property. There are a few other financial affairs and assets to sell as of yet, namely a rural property, which he cannot afford to buy outright in order to pay her half, and some vehicles. Unfortunately, for me, I am trapped financially, I had quite a large sum of money last August, but having contributed to his standard of living, it has dwindled to nothing, plus I have no car to get to work in. What do you think?? My plan is just to get proof of my suspicions -- instinct isn’t enough for me -- and just make the most of it, but stay emotionally detached, and least then I wont get hurt so badly if I am right. -- Demelsa, Australia
Instinct isn’t enough for you, Demelsa? Look, I know that leaving someone you love is easier said than done, especially when you're in the thick of a mess and have lost all perspective. That said, you’re broke because you live with a cheater who won’t get divorced. The nicest thing you've said about this cheater is that he smothers you. He sounds like a real dill (that's Aussie speak for idiot!). I’m not sure why you believe you need proof of anything to get out of this relationship. If you're really just sitting around waiting for evidence that he is betraying you, it's time to run. If you feel too broke to bail, find a friend or family member who will take you in. There are probably positive attributes you've failed to mention about this guy – there always are – but frankly, I doubt any of the relationship's qualities outweigh the deceit, financial ruin, and neurosis. And what's this nonsense about his standard of living? Unless you couple off in your early 20s, you can expect that every new partner will have a past life that may include children, pets, divorce agreements, mortgage payments, etc. In exchange for your tolerance, you have every right to expect honesty. Your bloke hasn't done much to put you at ease. I’m pretty sure Boston.com readers -- even the ones who usually disagree with me -- will back me up on this one. Readers? Yes? Can you give this Aussie a talking to? Share your thoughts for Demelsa here. Submit a letter here. Read a letter about holidays here. -- Meredith