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Boyfriend sexting other women

Dear Annie: I’ve been with the same guy for three years. At first, he was incredibly thoughtful and sweet. Over time, I’ve grown frustrated with how unaffectionate he is. Getting him to express his love feels like trying to wring juice from a dried-out lemon. And he’s never introduced me to his family or friends, except for one old friend. Meanwhile, he’s met my family and a lot of my friends. Every holiday, he leaves to spend time with his family but doesn’t invite me to come with him. Sometimes, I’ve wondered if he’s even really visiting his family.

One day, out of the blue, I received a Facebook message from a girl. She told me that she and my boyfriend had been talking. She showed me all the dirty messages and photos he’d sent her. I couldn’t believe it. I was just heartbroken.

That night, I drove to his apartment to get back my house key and left him his things. He confessed that he was talking to another girl but said he has a masturbation addiction; he didn’t feel an emotional connection with her. He also insisted that he’s never actually been with her sexually.

I was devastated. I thought of just leaving and starting a new relationship. I even downloaded some dating apps. But I really didn’t want to give up on the relationship and have tried to stick it out.

It’s been hard getting past the cheating. He said that I make him feel bad by bringing up the incident so often. So, for now, we agreed to take space. I still love him so much. And still he keeps calling and texting me. I blocked his number, but I still check the blocked calls folder to see if he’s reached out.

I’m just so sad; it’s hard to focus on anything. How to move on when I pictured my life with this man? I really want to settle down, and when I did download dating apps, I noticed that the guys on there only seemed to care about one thing, and it wasn’t long-term commitment. — Heart in Shambles

Dear Heart: End it now, and end it for good. I was ready to tell you that even before I got to the part about his cheating; there’s just no good excuse for someone not introducing you to their friends and family after three years. Blocking his number was smart. Now, keep it blocked. Heck, change your number if you need to. Stay busy with friends and hobbies. You can even try dating apps or websites again, just be selective: Some platforms, like Match.com, Hinge or Bumble, have better reputations than others. You will miss him for a time, but once you get over the hump, you’ll be so glad you dumped the chump.

Dear Annie: This is in response to “Stumped Step,” who wondered if she could still consider her stepdaughter a daughter after her husband dies.

My late husband died 16 years ago, and I enjoy a loving, close relationship with his family to this day. I am honestly closer to my sisters-in-law than my biological sisters. It is truly one of the greatest blessings in our lives! Love wins! — Grateful Step

Dear Grateful: Beautifully said. I received several letters similar to yours, including the following.

Dear Annie: I, too, am a stepmother and a widow, and without question, I say “Stumped Step” should continue to address her stepdaughter as such. Annie, you were right in saying that they’ll need each other more than ever. Keep and cherish that bond. I know firsthand how gratifying it is. Our family ties are stronger than ever. — Joan C.

Dear Joan: Your letter touched my heart. Thanks for sharing.

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