Get off the roller coaster

I am involved with a woman of a different race. She has met my family, but her family doesn’t know my race. I don’t fault her, but it seems like she is scared. We lived together for eight months and then became abusive. She moved out, saying I was the abusive one. She had sex with her friend, and when I found out, she said it was because I didn’t treat her right. We made up, and I moved to another state to work. We called regularly. I was true to her. She said she was true, too. Months later, I paid for her plane ticket to help me drive back to Sacramento. I read her journal. While I was away, she lived with another guy and was in love. When I confronted her, she said it did not work out. Recently, another guy’s name came up; she said they were just friends. I don’t believe her. What should I do?

Believe her. Stay romantically connected to a woman who says that she is true to you while she is secretly living with another man. Be the partner of a woman who refuses to introduce you to her family. Stick around while the names of other men slip into conversations with her, perpetually slinging you off balance as you wonder if they are truly platonic friends or actually lovers. Accept her cockeyed excuses that cheating is an appropriate choice when relationships go bad. Yes, believing her will provide you with all you need for a roller-coaster life.

Another option is to end this relationship and establish future relationships on a foundation of truth. Begin by acknowledging your abusive behaviors. Don’t try to justify anything by imagining that it was a response to something that this woman did or said. Nothing justifies abuse. Seek professional help from Women Escaping a Violent Environment (WEAVE) or a private counselor to help you shift into healthier communication skills. And do not imagine that the woman you have been involved with will suddenly wake up, see that you care and be inspired to change her wicked ways. Her behavior is not the result of a spell that can be cured with a fairy-tale kiss. This is a woman who does not have the courage to face you and say, “It’s over,” so she acts it out instead. Take the invitation and leave the relationship. Don’t go back. (P.S. There is only one race among our species: human. However, humans divide themselves into ethnic groups, according to whim, tradition and fear.)

My husband has gained more than 40 pounds in the past year. He has no medical problems; he’s lazy. I keep myself trim because I believe that’s part of the commitment we made to each other to stay attractive. Five or 10 pounds would be OK, but 40 pounds is too much. Am I wrong?

If you need to be right, you and your husband have already lost this argument. The next issue here is honesty. Did you stand at the altar and say, “I take you (his name here) to be my husband for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, if you remain exactly the same size and attractive during our life together”? If you were not specific about your values before the wedding, it’s not fair to assume that staying trim and attractive is “part of the commitment that you made to each other.” Considering your attitude, it’s possible that your husband’s weight gain is a symptom of depression inspired by being criticized. In other words, are you lazy about your commitment to love him? If so, drop your 40 pounds of complaints, replace them with love for him, and you might see some real changes in your life.

Meditation of the Week

“I dote on myself. … There is a lot of me, and all so luscious,” wrote Walt Whitman. Hmm. As you shimmy into swimsuits for a day in the sun, remember to take complete acceptance of your sweet, generous body with you. And SPF 50, at least!