Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Don't put life on hold while waiting to get pregnant
Infertile Myrtle: My husband and I have been trying to conceive for more than two years. I feel like my life is in a holding pattern. We'll be starting IVF soon. Already tried some other high-tech procedures. I can't plan a vacation or commit to anything outside of work because "soon I might be pregnant."
After living my life like this for two years, I am getting really tired of it. We really want a child. I'm 35, so I don't feel like we can take a break. Any advice? This stinks. Oh — also, almost all of my friends are currently expecting their second children. And my brother and sister-in-law gave their child the name we'd always wanted to name ours. How to move past this? Or through it? Or something?
Carolyn: Live your life, plan your vacations (refundably), set your priorities, make commitments. This is what people do when they're not going through IVF, right? And women do get pregnant unexpectedly all the time — or, they suddenly become the parents of an orphaned relative, or they have other unforeseeables happen, like needing surgery. Trajectories change, and people adjust their calendars accordingly.
So please chuck your holding pattern — along with the defeatist, underdog thinking — and live fully as someone who doesn't have a child. Like absolutely everyone else, you don't until you do.
Overly flirtatious boyfriend is showing how little he cares
Psych major from UVA: Relationship: Five years with live-in boyfriend. Love everything about him except: He is flirtatious (which is okay) but sometimes takes it too far (not okay) — i.e., it turns to innuendoes, suggestive remarks, sex chat, making out with one, and another time met the girl (friend from the past) and had sex.
Over-analyzing it, I think he does it for the challenge/thrill and to see how far a girl will go with his comments. When I found out — he left e-mails and chat windows open on his PC — I got angry and said, "No more or we're done!"
Did some counseling, worked on communication, etc. Then I saw (not such an accidental viewing) that he is back to chatting with the affair girl.
Question: Is it fair to ask him not to communicate with these girls that he's had emotional/physical contact with during our relationship? Or is that part of the challenge, and he'll just find a different way to communicate with them? Do I just let him "outgrow" it or turn away?
I know I, too, am in the wrong by looking at his messages/mail, but at this point I'm feeling like what I don't know can hurt me.
Carolyn: You listed three possible paths you can take with this, and not one of them is "Dump him and run"?
Are you studying yourself in school?
This I-dare-you-to-get-me-to-cheat-on-my-girlfriend hobby of his is not a separate part of him, like an addition on a house that you can just tell him to tear down because you think it's ugly, or a wart he can have removed. It's as much a part of his personality, character, values and brain chemistry as the stuff you like about him.
You care about him, miraculously, but where's the part where he acts like he cares about you?