relationships

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Posted by: | Posted on: January 14, 2019

Does Marriage Mean Suffering Through A Lot of Horrible Years?

Does Marriage Mean Suffering Through A Lot of Horrible Years?

As a longtime reader of your blog, I know you’re a proponent of good marriages as opposed to marrying solely for the sake of not being alone.

I was recently watching a late night show on which Michelle Obama appeared and said, “If you’re married for 50 years, and 10 of them are horrible, you’re doing really good! Anybody would take those odds.”

Should anybody *really* take those odds, though?

Is it simply being realistic, as the former First Lady suggests, to expect a “horrible” year or two here and there sprinkled throughout a lifelong partnership?

If not, is it possible to assess at 2-3 years into a relationship whether or not that “horrible” year is right around the corner?

Perhaps even worse, is it a thing that the first 40 years could be blissful and the next 10 a total nightmare? And if either of those circumstances were to happen in a relationship, what should the partners do?

Thanks, Evan!

Jen

Really great question, Jen. I’m glad you asked it.

I think this is as good a time to point out that the way I feel about relationships is different than the way most people feel about relationships.

Most people:  “Relationships take work!”

Evan:  “Good relationships are easy. If it’s not easy, it’s not a good relationship.”

Most people:  “Couples fight all the time. It’s normal.”

Evan:  “Unhealthy couples fight all the time. Healthy couples fight a lot less — and a lot quieter.”

Most people:  “You should stay together through thick and thin because you made a vow.”

Evan:  “If your relationship is draining you and is not supporting your happiness, what exactly is it for?”

When I say these things, people sit up and pay attention for multiple reasons.

I don’t know anybody else who preaches the …

Posted by: | Posted on: November 19, 2018

My Boyfriend Dumped Me Because I Won’t Sleep with Him. Should I Give In?

My Boyfriend Dumped Me Because I Won’t Sleep with Him. Should I Give In?

I don’t know if I should have sex. Over a six-month period he’s broken up with me on 4 occasions due to my celibate status. I am recently divorced, but a practicing Catholic observing chastity and trying to date. Currently the guy I am in love with is demanding fellatio under the guise that it is not sex. I love him so much, but I’m uncomfortable. I also feel disrespected for him ask for this as our first sexual encounter. For starters, I am not good at it and I worry that he is taking advantage. I am scared to dissent you see. He is putting a lot of pressure on me and only talks around this subject if he texts back at all. I am doing all the pursuing apparently and its been via texts where I’m practically begging for us to retain at least some form of friendship if nothing else. I feel lost without him. I bought your recent book and am hoping to use these new skills to turn things around. It helped get him back because a month ago he disappeared, yep! He swore never to reply my texts or calls ever again and told me to move on with my life. I don’t know if his demands for sex are normal or if I need saving. Please help!

Julie

I’ve written  about this  a lot. However, your question — in my opinion – isn’t really a question as much as it is a request for validation.

You are a practicing Catholic who is observing chastity.

That is your prerogative and no one can really argue with one’s religious stance.

But what I don’t get — and have never really gotten — is why people who choose to be celibate are surprised when people …

Posted by: | Posted on: August 9, 2018

What It Means to Be a Man – According to Men

What It Means to Be a Man – According to Men

FiveThirtyEight and WNYC partnered with SurveyMonkey for a nationwide survey of 1,615 adults who identify as men. We asked respondents to reflect on their ideas of masculinity, workplace culture and intimacy, among other things. The results: A majority of men in the workplace say they haven’t rethought their on-the-job behavior in the wake of #MeToo; a little more than half of men feel it’s at least somewhat important that others see them as masculine; and nearly half of all men say they sometimes or often feel lonely or isolated.”

Takeaways and Surprises:

Pop culture was a source of inspiration for an understanding of manhood for younger men (42 percent of those age 18 to 34), while only 17 percent of men 35 to 64 and 12 percent of men 65 and over said the same. It would literally NEVER occur to me that I should take cues on manhood from pop culture. MAYBE Esquire when I was younger, but certainly not TV or movies.

Sixty percent of men agreed that society puts pressure on men in a way that is unhealthy or bad. And the younger a man was, the more likely he was to believe that.  Maybe it has to do with taking your cues on masculinity from pop culture. 🙂

Sixty percent of men agreed that society puts pressure on men in a way that is unhealthy or bad.

Men worry about many of the same things women do. Weight. Finances. Health. Physique. Incredible. Men…they’re just like us!

Men don’t see male privilege.  Close to 1 in 4 said men are taken more seriously than women at work. But most suggested that there were no advantages to be had. I think it’s the phraseology. Most men don’t feel like they’re given an advantage as men, just like …

Posted by: | Posted on: July 9, 2018

Do Anxious Feelings Always Mean He’s Not the One?

Do Anxious Feelings Always Mean He’s Not the One?

I’ve read almost your entire blog and it’s helped soothe some of my worries about my current relationship. In one way, I’m like many of your readers; I’m attractive, educated, well-traveled, thirty-three years old and in a relationship with a wonderful thirty-nine-year-old man who I don’t quite feel “great” about. I’m also the daughter of two lesbians and I have mild but pervasive General Anxiety Disorder (GAD).  

You’ve written about anxiety before, Evan, saying it’s the main indicator you are with someone who isn’t right for you, but for the

24% of American women who struggle with anxiety every year

24% of American women who struggle with anxiety every year, it can be difficult to tell if our anxious feelings are valid, or if it’s just our brain firing “flight or fight” chemicals for no damn reason. I was raised by lesbians and the men who did feature in my childhood were not good guys.

I mention this because my boyfriend tells me I seem to have a somewhat inaccurate idea of what “most” men are like. I have to accept that’s possible.  I also mention it because I have a pattern of pushing men away. In the past, my anxiety has always spiked at about the 3 to 6-month mark, leading me to freak out and sabotage the relationship. When I finally recognized this pattern, I stopped. I started to take responsibility for my emotions and stopped projecting things on to my partner that weren’t there.

My boyfriend is a solid, strong and dependable guy. He is bright but never went to college, never traveled, doesn’t read books, etc. I do find him impressive for different reasons (he is disciplined, kind, generous, handsome, curious, capable, and manages conflicts maturely). He’s supportive of my goals and I of his, sex

Posted by: | Posted on: July 2, 2018

When To Know You’re A Rebound

When To Know You’re A Rebound

Almost a year ago a work colleague started talking to me and we started getting along. A couple of months later we went out with a couple of his friends and had a great time.  

His girlfriend of 10 years who he was planning on marrying and who he says is the love of his life broke up with him around the time we met

His girlfriend of 10 years who he was planning on marrying and who he says is the love of his life broke up with him around the time we met, and since then he’s been in a depression and taking pills for it. As we started hanging out and talking more, we ended up hooking up after a while.  He always said he was not ready for a serious relationship, as he had just left one and was heartbroken.  

Since then we’ve been spending A LOT of time together (we spend almost every night together), and I’m afraid this will lead to a burnout on both our parts.  While we are not boyfriend/girlfriend, he has said I am his partner, and that he would really like to try to have a relationship with me when he’s over his ex, but also that he’s afraid I will lose my patience and stop waiting for that time to come.  He treats me well and is a caring and sweet man whose life dream is to have a family and kids, and we have talked about anything and everything regarding that.  

He’s introduced me to all of his friends and family as “a friend,” but I’m pretty sure they know I’m more than that, and he has told me that his parents have told him to hang on to me, and not let me go, as I’m a