This may sound like a stupid question, but how do you know if you’re in love? I’m thirty-three and still haven’t figured it out. My first marriage ended in divorce. We didn’t end up having kids, thank god, but we just couldn’t seem to agree on anything. After being a stellar boyfriend, he turned into the sort of husband I had to nag about doing dishes or taking out the garbage. We both had decent paying jobs but fought over money, arguments usually initiated by him. It began to feel as if he was an enemy. Now I’ve met another man. I really like him; we’re physically compatible, we seem to agree on most things. But I felt that way about my first husband, too, in the time before we married. I don’t want to make the same mistake again. Are there questions I should ask myself to see if this a go?
Thanks in advance.
In Love or Not
Dear In Love,
I can’t say that one is always drawn to people who are good for them and therein lies the problem. Good girls who consistently fall for “bad boys” for instance. It doesn’t sound as if you fall into that category, more like your marriage was undone by domestic squabbles, boredom, a failure to see eye to eye. I would advise you to go by your gut, even though your instincts might have failed you in your first marriage. You know that you are physically compatible with this new man. The question is really about whether you are good enough friends to overcome the sort of domestic issues that can plague any marriage — who does what in the household, opinions on child-rearing, and, in this day and age, opinions about politics and religion. One suggestion is that you live together for at least a year before embarking on marriage. The main point in all of this is that you enjoy one another’s company, that you can be completely transparent with one another, allies rather than adversaries, that … well, for want of a better phrase, you are soul mates who understand one another well and can’t imagine a life without one another. Hope this helps.
REACTIONS TO MY SON IS A MOOCH
Dear My Son,
I’ve been where you are and it’s awful. In the end I did exactly what Knowles advised: put my son’s stuff in garbage bags, set them out on the lawn and changed the locks. The boy was furious but I didn’t care. He went and stayed with a friend, who kicked him out pretty quickly. Eventually he got a job and found a place to live. Now he’s taking classes at night, works for a tech company and pays all his own expenses. I’m proud of him and I’m proud of myself too.
Ada J., Houston, TX
Dear My Son,
I want my son at home as long as possible, and I’m glad he wants to stay here even though he barely ever leaves his room. To my mind, it’s important to protect and support him. I want him safe — not out there in the world doing God knows what. As long as he’s in the house and not in trouble, I’m happy.
Cynthia D., Dallas, TX
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Disclaimer: CD Knowles is not a doctor or psychotherapist. Any opinions expressed on Knowles Knows are just that — opinions.