Mid-Life Crisis a Crock
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Dear Christine,

My boyfriend of five years turned 40 last year. His mid-life crisis took the form of an affair. He’s apologized and begged my forgiveness, but trust, faith, and respect are all gone. He’s asked for another chance. He’s even gone to the extreme of asking me to marry him. This is the first time the subject has ever come up in five years.

I don’t want to be alone and can’t imagine finding anyone with whom I can be as comfortable. What are the odds of us getting through this? -- BETRAYED – WOODSTOCK, ON

Dear Betrayed,

I can’t tell you what to do; the final decision must be yours. But I can give you some things to think about.

Let’s start with the mid-life crisis defence.

Mid-life crisis—what a crock! He could have bought a car he can’t afford or a motorcycle he could risk his life on to prove his machismo. Instead he chose to risk your health, his health, and the entire relationship—all for a little instant gratification.

You say one motivation for you to stay is comfort. To me, comfortable implies routine, habit, even complacency. These are not reasons to stay.

Studies show that over half of married couples don’t even try to work things out after an affair. And of those who try, less than half actually get through it. So if you do intend to work through this together, it’ll be anything but comfortable for a long time.

One has to wonder about a 40-year-old man, whom you’ve been with for five years, who only mentions marriage after having cheated. This sounds like some perverse reward system. It’s almost as if he’s saying if you’re a good girl and forgive him, he’ll reward you with ice cream. Or in your case, he wants to reward you with the privilege of marrying a cheater.

I don’t know about you, but I’d take the ice cream.

Dear Christine,

My lady has a child with her ex. I understand they must talk about visitation and so forth, but it bothers me when they discuss more than their daughter. Although it never gets too personal, they often talk for anywhere from two to 20 minutes. On more than one occasion, I’ve told her that it bugs me. She apologizes, and it cools down—only to start again after a couple of weeks. I know she loves me, but it drives me nuts. Advice? -- SECOND FIDDLE – KINGSTON, ON

Dear Second,

Doesn’t she have her hands full enough raising one child? Grow up!

Those few minutes spent maintaining a relationship with her ex are important for the child—as it sets a better example than parents who are mortal enemies. Raising a child together is tough. Raising a child separately is even tougher. It’s good to hear that she and the ex are able to get along.

Consider this a valuable lesson: When you get involved with someone with children, this is only the tip of the iceberg of what you’ll have to accept. Casual conversations once in a while shouldn’t bother you.

She may be your lady, but her most important role is as a mom. And if she’s any kind of a mom, you will always play second fiddle—after her child.

Have a question, a thought, or a story to share (anonymity guaranteed)? E-mail Christine at: single@keynotebooks.com

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