- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I met a guy who was in the Army for almost 15 years, and after that he went to work for the federal government. He is someone I fell in love with, and now I find myself confused.

When he first changed jobs, he was able to communicate with me, write, phone and chat. Then he got a promotion with more responsibilities, and that’s when he started to become different. He says it is his job and not me. Still, he seems to be far away from me.

I don’t understand why he is such a workaholic. I don’t know if this kind of job would make a single guy keep working and working with no interest in how it affects his life. He says he cares about me, but everything is the same.

I know what I have to do, but I don’t want to be unfair. As women, we tend to imagine many things, but I feel coldness from him now. Can you help me think, even if works or not?

- Sheila

Dear Sheila,

It sounds as if you are a very passionate woman who is looking to share your life with someone special. Let me be very honest. To quote a recent movie, he’s just not that into you. Don’t take it personally because you have done nothing wrong.

You see, when a man is “into” a woman and loves that woman, he will stop at nothing to spend time with her. I know he has a career to which he is committed and that he has to work a lot; that’s a good thing, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, he is not the only man who has a career and works a lot. Other men are finding a way to have good balance and cultivate relationships and make the women in their lives happy.

You deserve the best. Don’t spend too much time trying to figure this guy out. While you are doing this, you could be passing by a great guy every day. Don’t close your heart on love; just don’t waste it on a “zero.”

Dear Ms. Vicki,

A year ago, I was introduced to a man who quickly became my friend and lover. He is affiliated with the military and I with the local board of education. We found an undefined comfort in each other.

Because we didn’t have a lot in common, we found things of interest to both of us. We don’t talk much about our work or rely on each other. Occasionally he would ask me about my job, and I usually would change the subject. I refused to rely on him and his credentials and continue to pursue my own goals.

We saw a lot of each other in the beginning. As time has gone on, we have become more disconnected yet continue to see each other occasionally. My friends, who have their own relationships, are curious and are asking if I have a beau. I have talked to girlfriends who are in the same vocation as my friend, and they assure me that I should try to get closer to him and not let him go.

I feel differently. They don’t know the whole story. I really want to save face in all of this and get out of the relationship. Last year, I went out on a limb by asking him to meet my teenage sons, but he thought it was a bad idea. Taking this as a rejection, I began to care less about our relationship but continued to see him because of fear of being lonely and losing a relationship.

About four months ago, I found out I was pregnant, but I miscarried in the third month. I didn’t tell him when I saw him, keeping it to myself because we would have gotten into an argument.

It’s not that I don’t share my feelings; it’s that I want to end this nicely, being able to say goodbye and put this all behind me. I am no different now than I was before I met him. Inside, I am an emotional wreck, but I’ve handled worse. I know I can get through this. I really want to thank you for just looking at this. I need to put this behind me. I’ll keep going on.

- Timing Is All Wrong

Dear Timing,

Thank you for writing and sharing your story. I am interested to hear what you have decided to do, but I truly hope you have decided to leave the man alone.

It doesn’t sound as if this was a healthy relationship - it sounds like the two of you would hook up from time to time and have sex, right? As a result of the hookups, maybe you wanted more from the relationship, but nothing ever materialized.

In my opinion, you should cease contact with this guy. He is not ready to move forward in a relationship with you; he didn’t even want to meet your sons. There are just too many red flags. (You also don’t owe your friends an explanation.)

Maybe I’m being too harsh, but I don’t think he wants to build a relationship with you. You deserve the best. Keep in touch and let me know what you decide to do.

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I want my wife to take a lie-detector test so I can know just how many times she has cheated on me. I wonder if her two children even belong to me.

I’ve been deployed three times and have been a faithful husband. I have never cheated on my wife. I’ve been a good husband who works hard to take care of his family, and this is the respect I get.

What’s wrong with me, and what did I do wrong to make her sleep with everyone in our hometown? I mean, everyone is laughing at me. My cousins are saying they slept with my wife! My mother and father want me to leave her and get paternity tests.

I just don’t know what to do. I’m trying to believe my wife. She says she only cheated on me one time, with a trucker. I want to believe her, but I feel like the only way I can is if she takes a lie-detector test. She won’t take one.

She says I need to trust her and trust what she says. How can I do that when I know she spent all of my money while I was deployed, partied all night long, and everyone all over town is talking about how loose she is.

I know she is my wife, and I love her, but I can’t be a fool. Am I wrong for asking her take a lie-detector test? Be honest with me, Ms. Vicki.

- My Wife Was All Over Town

Dear Town,

I don’t know what a lie-detector test will prove. It sounds as if you have proof that your wife has been unfaithful. Here’s the question: Can you continue in a relationship with someone you don’t trust?

She admitted she had an affair with a trucker, and only the Lord knows with whom else. You are putting your life at risk because she surely was having unprotected sex.

You sound like a great guy with his heart in the right place. You’ve been serving your country and have endured many deployments. My heart goes out to you, and I think you deserve better. I’m sure your parents want you to divorce her, and I can understand that.

Honestly, I wish you would dump her and move on. I don’t think she will ever change, and this behavior is something to which you will have to become accustomed. I must admit, however, that I have seen marriages survive infidelity.

If you choose to stay with her, you must seek professional counseling immediately. You both must consent to individual and marital counseling. There are things you can both discover about yourselves individually that can help your marriage.

I regret you are facing this problem but hang in there and take care of yourself. Depend on close friends and family to help get you through this tough time. Let me know what you decide to do, it will be good to hear from you.

c Vicki Johnson is a licensed clinical social worker, military spouse and mother of three. Her column runs in The Washington Times on Thursdays and Sundays. Contact her at dearmsvicki@yahoo.com.

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