Q: My wife and I recently attended my grandmother’s funeral (six hours away), where I discovered she had been cheating on me. We worked it out on the ride home, but once we got back, she wanted to take three weeks off from our marriage (no contact at all). I am 100 percent confident that her relationship with this guy is over, but I don’t trust that she isn’t cheating on me with someone else. My heart says trust her, but my brain says I am a fool. I forgive her cheating but not her lying. What should I do?
A Mia: Marriage isn’t a summer job. You can’t just take a couple of weeks off when you get tired of it. So your brain is right. This is an unfair request. I suggest the two of you get into couples therapy immediately.
Steve: When it comes to affairs of the heart, listen to your brain. The brain’s function is to get you out of the trouble that the other organs get you into.
Q: My roommate and I have been sharing a house for about two years. Everything has been going great, but there have been some issues with his new girlfriend. I like her a lot, but she seems to have moved in without any discussion. She refers to my roommate’s bedroom as “our bedroom” and things like that. She recently lost her job, so she spends six days a week at our place just hanging around. She doesn’t pay any bills, but she does cook and clean — and bring other girls around. The thing is, she has smothered my roommate so completely that I haven’t even had the opportunity to ask him if this is a problem. I cannot see how he could want her to be here all the time. How do I approach him about this, and what advice can I give him? I know from her personality that she would not take it well if we asked her to come over less often.
A Steve: The question to ask here is what’s the quality of the girls she brings over? Just kidding! Focus on the key facts: This woman has moved in; she is not paying rent. You need to tell your roommate that if his girlfriend is going to continue to live with you six days a week, the rent must be divided three ways. He can either choose to pay two-thirds himself or get her to pay. If he refuses, move out.
Mia: Of course, it’s totally possible that your roommate is fine with her being over there that much. So I wouldn’t assume that he feels smothered. That said, she still has a place of her own, right? So make clear to your roommate that they should spend some time at her place also. If the six-day-a-week thing continues, then the two of them should get their own apartment.