Do you have a question about relationships and flirting?

You can email me about any of your relationship and flirtation questions, and I'll be happy to address them in my blog. Won't that be fun! Its very Dear Abby, but hey...I'm just as good as she is! Just put "Dear Ottis" in the subject. Make sure your letters are annoymous though, to protect you and me. Send all questions to

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dear Ottis

Last night I was looking on my husband's phone at pictures of the cat and stuff. He was right next to me. In there I found a picture of underwear and a nice bra from Victoria's Secret. This underwear, which was clearly not my size, was laid out nicely on my living room floor, like it was a trophy - as if he were excited to show this picture to someone. My first instinct was to stand up, call my parents, and have them come get me. But instead, I stood up walked away and took a few breaths. When I came back, he lied and said they were for me. I knew they weren't, and said if he didn't tell me the truth, I would leave. He lied again, and said they were for his ex, but that he returned them without sending them. I continued to stand my ground and say I knew he was lying. I said if he didn't tell me the truth I was going to leave right then. He told me that he had bought it for his ex, because she'd texted him saying the kids needed new pajamas and underwear -- and so did she. He took the picture and sent it to her, as well as the over $100 of underwear in the package. I have to beg for his affection most times. He has bought me flowers once. I'm at a point where I feel embarrassed, ashamed, and disgusted that I live with someone who would do that behind my back and then try to lie to me about it. 

Last night, I saw him cry numerous times, saying over and over that he didn't know what is wrong with him. He knows he has problems, and he doesn't know what to do about them. He has depression issues and ADD, and he takes medication for both. I know he didn't mean to hurt me and that he loves me, but at the same time I just keep feeling more and more sad about this. Do you think I should make it work, when I know he is very sorry for this and wants more than anything for me to stay. Or do I take this as the last red flag of many and just get out before it's too late? I'M AT A TOTAL LOSS! I honestly have never felt like this before.

I need your help Ottis,
Cat is out of Victoria's Secret Bag

Dear Cat is out of Victoria's Secret Bag,

Thank you for your letter. I appreciated your letter and am excited about this chance to respond to you. I want to begin by saying that I've been involved in two abusive relationships, both of which were physically, emotionally, verbally, and mentally abusive. On one hand I think that it really helps me relate to those that are in difficult and tricky relationships, and on the other it surely skews my opinions. That being said, here is my view on the matter.  

Ultimately you staying or leaving has to be your choice. I won't sway you one way or the other. There is power in making that decision on your own, and it will help make that decision something you can stick to. If you chose to leave him, more power to you. You will certainly be able to find someone who will make you happy and treat you with respect.

If you decide to stay, then the most important thing for you to do is establish and hold to some very clear boundaries. Within these boundaries there needs to be some clear limits set on what kind of interaction he has with his ex-wife. Obviously we all want him to be a good father to his children, buy them the things that they need, and provide what is needed. She, however, doesn't need him to be purchasing her undergarments under any circumstance. That is incredibly inappropriate behavior for her, and for him to acquiesce

You shouldn't be begging for attention, dinner, affection, touch, or flowers. Those things should come naturally. Spend some time deciding on the things that you really need in a relationship: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  Then don't be afraid to communicate those needs with him. If he can't give those things to you freely, and without being begged, then you're going to need to go where you can get those things. It is hard to do, hard to recognize that someone you love can't give you what you need, but the sooner you're able to make that decision, the more rewarding your relationship can be.

All my best!

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