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Hi Dr. Aesha,

So it’s a long story but I really could use some advice.

I’ve been engaged to a man for over a year. However we have known each other for 23 years. He was a single father and I was a single mother when we got together. Anyways, he suffers from OCD and not the typical type some have but the one like Howie Mandel. It’s so bad that his temper gets the best of him at times and he can’t stay off a schedule. But it is one of the things that challenges our relationship.

Another challenge is infidelity.

I have trust issues from my past, I will admit, but in the beginning and throughout our relationship, he had received texts and calls from these random females who he either went on a date with, had sexual relations with or just flirted with. One who he claims he only went on a date with bothers me the most because last September she emailed him asking why he blocked her from social media, and if it was because he was engaged to me and still talking to her. I confronted him on this and he denied it but it caused him to start questioning our relationship. At this time, I put the ball in his court and told him to decide if he wanted to make a commitment to me and our family (we are expecting a child) or does he want to go back to the life he was living, as a bachelor sleeping with different women. He stated he needed time to think on this. Since we have been together, these women hit him up and he replies back. Friendly as he is, I just don’t think it is right for him to respond. Then he didn’t mention that he slept with his barber. And the biggest issue we have…Yes I am 6 months pregnant but he has not had sexual intimacy with me in almost 2 months. He can’t even give me a stable reason. Every time I bring this up, its a different excuse. And my last pregnancy with him, we were always intimate up to 8 months when we lost our baby. We stopped attending Church which I can’t say I really mind. I love my pastor and the church I attend but he has his past there. An ex girlfriend he was engaged to and she is a big supporter of the church but she also tried to sabotage our relationship the 1st year we were together.

But where I am going at with this is, I have just these feelings I CANNOT trust him and I don’t know why it is so strong with him. It scares me to want to marry him. Is it cold feet or do I have a legit reason to not trust him? I love him deeply and really want to see my life with him. But I just want to make sure I am doing the right thing. Any advice can help me.

*****

Girlfriend. I’m not going to give you advice. I am going to give you some tender and tough love here.

First, the tough love.

You’ve given me a laundry list of reasons why no one in her right mind should marry a man like this, yet you’re still wondering if YOU have a real reason not to trust him or if it’s just cold feet. If your best friend came to you with this story, what would you tell her? Cuz I’m about to be your best friend. This man is lying to you. He is violent and abusive. Anyone who will cheat on you multiple times and lie to you about it is abusing your body, emotions and spirit.

No, you are not having cold feet. Your spirit is trying to tell you that this is a bad situation that will only get worse!

Now the tender love.

I’m curious how you can deeply love a man who you know in your heart of hearts isn’t healthy. How can you see a life with him? What quality of life do you think it will be? What you are witnessing with this man is just the tip of the iceberg. When you marry, you become one. You don’t just join lives. You join hearts and spirits. Do you really want this man’s anger, lies, and reckless behavior to become the dominating force that impacts your daily life? Because that’s what will happen when you marry him.

The fact that you would dishonor yourself and your unborn child by choosing to stay with this man leads me to believe that you have some root issues of worthlessness, shame, and fear. It’s like this, sis:

“We accept the love that we think we deserve.” ~Stephen Chbosky

In other words, what you’re tolerating in this toxic relationship is a reflection of what you believe you deserve. If you knew in your heart that you were worthy of protection, honor, integrity, and basic respect, the first time this dude snapped on you or stepped out on you, you would have been out the door.

But somewhere along the line, perhaps in your childhood or early romantic relationships, you experienced something that taught you that you weren’t worth much. It could have been some trauma or abuse or it could be something as simple as being in an environment like a church, school or family where you were shamed, rejected or made to feel invisible. You’ve also learned how to suppress your feelings and ignore your instincts, which is why you’re doubting the TRUTH about this whole situation.

We’d have to have a conversation about it, but I can tell you that there’s something in your heart that needs to be healed.

Marrying this man will only make things worse for you and your child. Trust yourself. Honor that still, small voice that’s telling you you’re making a mistake. You deserve real love and this ain’t it.

With love,

Dr. Aesha