“His health bothers me more than the fact that he talks to other women”

I’ve been seeing this man for two years. We started out as friends with benefits. Last year it was just the two of us, no one else on either side. He still chats with other women, but says he hasn’t been intimate with any of them.

When he’s at my house, his phone is on silent and he keeps it face down most of the time. Not so long ago the phone was turned up and he got a call and then a text. He was asleep. I thought it was his pregnant daughter who needed something, but it was an ex-friend with benefits who wanted to know if he was coming.

It’s a problem. My other problem is his health. I knew he had COPD when we started seeing each other. It wasn’t bad then, but he’s still smoking. He had a bad flare-up, an urgent care visit was needed, so I took him in. On the way home he had such a bad bout of coughing that he passed out. Come and find out it wasn’t the first. He had several episodes, including one where he destroyed his car.

My late husband passed away from similar health issues. I had such a strong mental reaction to my boyfriend’s episode. His health bothers me more than the fact that he chats with other women, even though his behavior with these women is so disrespectful. I can’t and don’t want to watch another man I care about die like my husband did.

Should I cut and run like hell even though we’ve made plans for the future? We are both 60 years old, we are no longer young adults. I know the answer pretty well, maybe I just need an unbiased opinion.

– Course?

“…even though we have made plans for the future…”

Have you got?

It doesn’t look like you’re exclusive at this time. Does he plan to continue talking to other women? How does he explain this text?

I guess the two issues that bother you – women and her health – are deciding factors. Also, the problems aren’t mutually exclusive in your brain, and that’s okay.

It sounds like you don’t trust him to take care of himself or follow doctor’s orders (smoking, etc.). You are still dealing with the trauma of your loss, which complicates caregiving. On top of that, you take care of him while dealing with confusion about the status of the relationship. How does he see you? What kind of commitment does he want? You haven’t told us how he treats you, how he explains his behavior, or if he cares about your experience.

I think you know what you need. I guess you could be on board to care for someone you love, in a committed relationship, when that person does a good job of loving you back. That doesn’t seem to be happening here.


Readers? Should the writer of the letter stay? Goes? Why?