Dear Ms. Vicki,
My husband went off to boot camp at the beginning of April. We met working at Dulles Airport eight years ago.
He ended up marrying someone else we worked with and never told me, even though we were dating the whole time.
After that, he explained he was married only to get his green card. I asked if it was only for that reason, why not marry me? He claimed he didn't know me that well but had known her for more than a year.
We kept dating. After about 1.5 years, I started to question his green card marriage. The more I dug, the more my gut told me he was lying about many things, especially when it came to things he was doing and places he was going with his wife.
By that time, I had had too much. I was pregnant with our first child. I went over and spoke to his wife. I was very calm with her. We spoke for hours.
He had her believing I was a psycho. Our relationship ended. Then, we got back together when he said he was getting divorced.
After our second daughter was born, he moved in with us. He claimed he knew what he wanted: a life with us. Come to find out, he was cheating again, with someone different this time.
My kids and I deserved better. I ended it. After several months, he went back to church and said he seriously regretted all that he had done. I still didn't believe any of it as I had been burned many times.
After learning about the self-help classes he had taken and the amount of time he was spending praying and going to the mosque, I allowed him to come and visit again. After a couple of visits, we had a long conversation about how he has no excuses for all that he has done to me and the girls over the past years.
We are now married. I have always believed he is my soul mate, even at the angriest of times. Can I trust him now?
-- Cat Chasing Its Tail
People write to me so they can have an objective ear listening to their situation and to get some honest advice. I know that I am talking about your husband, the man you love. But here goes: I really regret that you married him.
You will always be chasing your tail for as long as you are with him. You are looking to receive something from him that he will never be able to give you -- unconditional love, respect, honesty, admiration. I think that's what you want, right?
Well, if that's what you want, why are you wasting your time and having babies with a loser like him?
Again, I'm sorry and I know he is your husband and the father of your children. I should at least respect him for that. Your children don't have any wrong in them, and they haven't done anything wrong.
My mother and grandmothers always talked to me about men at a very early age. Here are two things they said to me: Vicki, (1) you will teach a man how to treat you. And (2) a man will do everything but quit if you let him.
While some of my colleagues think it is so important to know why people stay in bad relationships for so long, I think it is paramount to understand why you entered into the relationship in the first place.
How can a person be so attracted to someone who humiliates and disrespects them? If you don't figure this out, you will go from one bad relationship to another. I have to wonder why you were willing to marry a man who has treated you so badly.
Marrying this man hasn't given you any leverage in the relationship. If anything, he won't take you seriously. He may feel that he can do whatever he wishes and you will always accept his behavior.
In my heart of hearts, I hope you will write to me and tell me that your husband proved me wrong.
-- Ms. Vicki