DEAR AMY: I am in a relationship with a man who has a toddler with his so-called ex. They don't live together, but there are occasions when they get together and post pictures as though they're a family.
The ex tells people she's his girlfriend and that they're together.
He has said to me that he'll do anything to have a relationship with his child.
I don't think she knows he is in a relationship with someone else (because he's not telling her). I care about him, but I hate whatever this is.
I would not say anything to her because of the child.
How do I resolve my feelings or how do I change my feelings so I can deal with this? — Sometime Girlfriend
DEAR SOMETIME: Your boyfriend poses for pictures with his so-called ex and child "as though they're a family" because they are a family. This is a fact of their life and it won't change.
As you describe this relationship, you (and his ex) are being kept in the dark regarding the nature of your respective relationships.
All you need to do is to ask your boyfriend to inject some clarity into this murky situation: "Are you and I together? Are we exclusive? Are you still in a romantic relationship with your ex? Have you told her that you are dating me?"
You should then make a choice in your own best interests.
You can't necessarily change your feelings — but what you can do is weigh your options and find a way to cope with the fallout. If you act with integrity and honesty, the knowledge that you're doing the right thing will help to mitigate whatever bad feelings arise.
DEAR AMY: I've been married for more than 20 years to a man who used to be kind, considerate and loving. In the past five years, he has become stubborn, rude and unhappy.
I've tried therapy, and he went with me for one visit. Medical tests have shown nothing medically wrong with him.
He's nice to everyone else, but when we're alone he acts like he's mad at me and I cannot do anything right. I've tried to ask him why he is nice to others but will snap at me for no reason. He hollers at me, then I cry.
He says I shouldn't take it so personally, but it is personal. Although I'm not as great looking as I used to be, the same can be said for him (I am not overweight).
Love starts at home! How can I make him see how miserable he's making me? I know a few other friends who are going through this same problem and can't figure out why these men can't treat their wives with love, respect and kindness. — Just Plain Sad
DEAR SAD: This issue isn't confined to the behavior of one gender. People in successful longtime relationships treat their partner with the same enthusiasm, respect and kindness with which they treat their friends. Others are like your husband, who reserves his good manners for people outside his own household.
You have been turning yourself inside out trying to please him and fix his problems. Nothing has worked. Your best efforts now should be directed at your own life. What do you want? How do you want to live? How can you be happy?
If you can fill the emotional void in your life with activities, useful work and friends, you might find your marriage tolerable. However, the next time he lashes out at you for no reason, don't cry about it -- get your car keys and go.
DEAR AMY: I'm weighing in on the comments about an employer forcing employees to attend a "raunchy" movie as part of a work "team-building event." This constitutes sexual harassment and indicates a very sick workplace culture.
The young woman involved should either find another job or quietly collect evidence (and there must be plenty) and hire an attorney. I'm sure an attorney would be willing to go after this creep on a pro bono basis. — Also Been There
DEAR BEEN THERE: I agree that this choice was the very opposite of "team building."