Featured Short Letter

This Week - Criminal History

Can a second marriage succeed if both parties cheated on their spouse in the first marriage?

Alex

Alex, is there honor among thieves? That is what you are asking.

There is an honesty to ending a marriage when you don't love your spouse and don't believe the marriage should continue. Divorce may not be a pleasant thing under those circumstances, but at least it is an honest thing. There is a creepy, under-the-rock, loathsome quality when someone breaks the vow of fidelity while holding to the convenience of the marriage.

That's what occurs when you start a new relationship before ending the previous one. You crave assurances the cheater won't cheat on you, but there is no assurance of that. It's hard to live in the present while watching your back.

Wayne & Tamara

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Last Week - Identity Theft

I've known my best friend for six years. Initially I thought she was a great person who was there for me in times of crisis. As time went by I noticed she was very competitive with others, and then I saw she was most competitive with me.

She will ask what I am wearing, then wear something shorter or more low-cut. She sees me in something, then buys that exact item. She copies phrases I say and repeats facts from me and claims them as her own. When we were in college, she constantly tried to one-up me in grades and games, even cheating to do so.

I confronted her after a close mutual friend brought this to my attention. I tiptoed around the issue because I did not want to hurt or insult her. She said she competed with everyone, but not me, because with me she feels she cannot compete. After that I let it go.

Not to boast, but I am an attractive person, and her male friends always ask about me. I only mention this because I know she is insecure, even though she is an attractive girl who is physically fit, smart, with many friends.

When I moved, she purposely "forgot" to pass on invitations to a wedding and to a reunion of college friends. She forgot my birthday, then tearfully explained it was all a misunderstanding. Mind you I live five minutes from her house, and she did not even pick up the telephone.

You cannot get into a car without her speeding to show you how fast she can go, or be in a group without her trying to appear more intelligent than you in conversation. I see the person she is inside, and I don't like that person.

Part of my problem is during college she was there for me financially when my family could not be. I will always love her for that. Even though I paid back every dollar, I still feel indebted. Sometimes I think she only helped me so she could feel superior.

Hailey

Hailey, who you are is a compilation of all you have experienced. You were raised to be good and polite. You have a sense of style and a sense of self. But your friend is invading your identity.

Robbers in a home invasion might take a homeowner's gun and use it against her. You may not own a gun, but you own a sense of niceness and your friend is using that sense of niceness against you. The word "nice" comes from a Latin word which means to be ignorant. You are not ignorant of what is going on, but you are ignorant of your own best interest.

She is injuring you. When you fail to confront her, you are not being honest, and being honest outweighs being nice.

You've seen inside her, and you don't like what you see. The only way to take back your identity for your sole use is by severing this relationship. Don't be nice. Be honest.

Wayne & Tamara

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Two Weeks Ago- Stand-In

My husband and I moved very fast in getting married. On my end, I was lost and lonely after my former fiancé was killed in an accident. I wanted to be close to someone again. I dated my husband 12 months after my fiancé's death, and six months later we were married. That was 10 months ago.

I was never a "must be in a relationship" type of woman. But I was very sad after losing my fiancé and having to let go of the dreams I had for our life together. I believe this is why I jumped so quickly.

I do love my husband, I want him to be safe and happy, but I can't be married to him. He's not a bad person--he doesn't cheat or drink or smoke. It's nothing like that. We simply do not connect intellectually or have any common interests. Some days I think to myself, how can I deal with this incompatibility day in and day out for the rest of my life?

I cannot continue in this marriage. I've already come to that conclusion. The painful part is leaving. I am dreading that. Five months after we married, I decided to move out and put down a deposit on an apartment. He was sad and crying, so I stayed. But I feel if I stay with someone I have so little in common with, I am cheating myself from what marriage can be.

Brooke

Brooke, you have explained so clearly what happened. It is picture perfect clear to us. You had all these plans in your head, another man came along, and you applied these plans to him.

You have to sit down with your husband and explain to him what you explained to us. Admit your mistake, then act. Delay, vacillation, and letting him argue will only prolong the pain. His refusal to accept what you say won't change the facts. Coddling another often only makes things worse, even though the original mistake was our own.

Wayne & Tamara

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