Reality Steve

Dr. Reality Steve

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Hey Steve! 🙂

So, I used to be an avid Bachelor watcher and reader of your column, but I just got out of touch until this season and I started watching/reading again. I remembered recently that I wrote you a Dr Reality Steve question when I needed some advice, and I thought I would just give you a follow up, 3 years later, and tell you that you were so spot on. I wrote to you about my best friend not liking my boyfriend. She was also dating someone seriously and was “soo happy,” but was always bringing my relationship down. Anyways, you talked about her being jealous, and the competitive type (she is, very much) and it turned out that could not be more accurate. Andy and I got engaged shortly after, and a month later so did her and her boyfriend. It was a nightmare how much of a competition it turned into, everything from our fiancĂ©s to our weddings was a competition. I was so sick of it! But low and behold, it only lasted about three months and their wedding got called off and they broke up. She says now she got caught up in the idea of getting married and having the perfect wedding, because that’s what I was doing. She eventually came around about Andy, and was, for the most part, a supportive maid of honor. We’ve been happily married for two years now! Anyways, I don’t know if you care about an email you responded to 3 years ago, but I thought you might be interested to know that you were quite right! Hope you’re having a great day!

Comment: It’s always nice to hear when some advice I gave turned out to be correct. Then again, when have I ever given poor advice? I think once back in 2003 it might’ve happened. Can’t remember. Anyway, thanks for the update. I didn’t really think someone would get married out of competition before, but I guess it does happen. Well, try to get married, since it never ended up happening with your friend. What a horrible reason to want to get married. Congrats to you and your husband. And at least she was at your wedding and didn’t cause a scene or anything.

Dr. Steve,

I believe that this is the first time out of four that I’m writing you about a situation unrelated to my romantic relationship — so here you go!

I have a fairly distant relative (we were close at one point but not so much in the past few years), named Jessica. She divorced her husband a few years ago, and they currently have split custody of their kids. I met her ex-husband, Liam, once a few years ago, (months before they divorced). Last year he followed me on Instagram and I added him back soon after.

Fast forward to this year. He posted a cute picture of one of their kids — who I actually have not seen in over a year (I recently moved to a neighboring city, prior to this I was quite far away). I commented and this spurred a conversation. The next day, I ended up going to an event where he was in attendance where we were both invited through mutual friends. We ended up reconnecting and exchanged numbers afterwards.

The day after, there were some texts exchanged, but more to add-on to what we were discussing in person at the event. A few days later, I was away from home, and I noticed I had a missed call from Liam. I was unable to return the call that night, but I texted and said I could talk the next day. He called me the next day and basically vented about a few things, the main thing being about something that happened between himself and Jessica. This essentially involved Jessica not telling him about taking one of their kids to the ER. He found out about it from their other kid 24hrs later and to add insult to injury, one of his friends randomly told him that Jessica went partying only 24hrs after the ER incident. I think it’s definitely unfortunate that Jessica is exhibiting this type of behavior. To make matters worse she’s trying to integrate her new boyfriend into their kids’ lives by going as far to have them call him “dad”. So I can understand the need to vent about all this.

Over the next few days there were a few more texts exchanged, but nothing substantial was really discussed. Then out of nowhere, one night, I noticed another missed call from Liam. Prior to this, I had figured he was with the kids so I did not send any texts. I was in the middle of making dinner so I wasn’t able to respond for a while. When I texted him later to ask what was going on, he just said he wanted to see “how things were going.” I responded and after a few texts it seemed like the conversation was coming to a close. Then he suddenly decided to vent a bit about his situation with Jessica and how he had just met her new boyfriend during the kid-exchange, this venting extended our text conversation by quite a bit.

It’s been about five or six days since I heard from Liam. I can attribute this to the fact that he’s with their kids and there probably has been minimal drama between Liam and Jessica.

Currently I only have one other relative who is in active communication with Liam. She’s a bit older than Liam and myself, so I’m not sure how much they talk. I do know that she’s trying to be supportive and helpful to him. I also know that a few of the misconceptions I had about Liam due to things Jessica used to say have now been debunked since I’ve gotten a chance to know Liam a little better. I also know that Jessica is paranoid about any of our side of the family interacting with Liam. After many months of no communication, Jessica recently asked me to delete Liam from my social media and in the past, her mom has reiterated the message on her own social media account.

So, I’m fairly new to the area I live in, and I guess I’m a bit more receptive to making friends. I enjoy talking with Liam, particularly when it isn’t about him venting about how his current relationship with Jessica is not in a good place. However, I’m wondering if I should be purposely trying to keep my distance? I know that Liam needs to vent about life, particularly his relationship with Jessica. Since I don’t really talk to Jessica, I haven’t told her about my recent interactions with Liam. I also want to know if you think that there is any reason for me to suspect that Liam has an ulterior motive? I’ve received mixed feedback when I’ve asked other people so I wanted to know what you thought.

Thanks in advance,
Loyal Lady

P.S To any readers who would like to comment — I appreciate the additional advice!

Comment: I don’t think you need to publicize the fact you’re talking to Liam, and it doesn’t look like you are. Could he have ulterior motives? It’s possible. But if he does, he hasn’t crossed them yet. Unless there’s something about your conversations you aren’t telling me. If you guys end up talking all the time, and he’s constantly coming to you, then yeah, you might wanna cool that down. But for now, I don’t see anything wrong with this because nothing is going on. However if he eventually asks you out or starts hitting on you, then you basically just need to get the hell out of that situation because Jessica will eventually find out and that’ll blow up in your face. So it’s up to you: if you think it’s eventually going to go there, then cut it off at the pass now. If right now it’s harmless and he’s just venting, and you don’t mind listening, then continue doing what you’re doing. Right now what you’re doing I don’t think is so bad. But I think eventually Liam is gonna want it to be something more with you.

Dr. Steve,

I’m having difficulty accepting my boyfriend’s obsession with video games. I understand that he enjoys them and that he could spend his time in more harmful ways, but I am incredibly turned off by the amount of time he spends glued to the computer with them every single day. I would expect as much from a 15-year-old boy but we’re talking about a 34-year-old man. He lost his job two months ago and has been spending at least three to six hours a day playing video games. Sometimes he stays up literally all night getting drunk while he plays and completely ignores me when he does. I want to be respectful of his hobbies and I don’t want to tell him how to live his life. I simply don’t know how to not get so utterly disgusted by him seemingly wasting so much of his time pretending to shoot people for hours and hours instead of doing anything productive, like finding a job or learning a new skill. I am an active, intellectual, outdoorsy person and moved across the country last year to be with him with the understanding that we would hike and do other outdoor activities together regularly (I hike or run alone nearly every day as he consistently turns down my offers to go together). Is this behavior normal for a man in his thirties? Any suggestions or insight as to how I can not get so annoyed? Am I making this an issue when it shouldn’t be? Thank you!

Slighted in San Francisco

Comment: Ummmmm, no. You’ve got problems. And hearing that you moved across the country for him and now you’re stuck in this relationship? Not a good sign.

I understand gaming is becoming more and more popular. There are even pro leagues out there now where you can actually make money off this stuff. But that doesn’t sound like what he’s doing at all. There is nothing good about this relationship based on what you told me. No, at 34 and jobless, he should be doing everything he can to try and get back to work. Not blowing people up on PS3 or whatever. Not to mention, you said it’s at the expense of your relationship and your happiness. You’re in a bad situation and need to get out of it. But you’re not gonna just up and leave without a warning. So basically you have to lay it out there that you don’t appreciate that he spends more time playing video games than spending time with you, everything he promised you he hasn’t followed through with, and you’re unhappy. If after this conversation, you don’t see his ways change, then I’d leave. I get that people have hobbies, and you can’t prevent a guy from playing video games if he wants to, but if he knows it’s affecting his relationship and still doesn’t change, then you have your answer pretty much. Not to mention, he sounds incredibly unmotivated, and who wants to be with a guy like that?

I am a happily married woman of almost 5 years. I literally found the man that was made for me and I knew from the first moment I saw him and the rest was history. I still feel guilt though over 2 ex boyfriends who I cheated on in the past. This was when I was very young.

I had a boyfriend in another state and I didn’t see him much. I sadly got by on my looks and serial dated. I met a guy while learning to golf randomly with a friend and he was our golf instructor. We became friends and it turned into more. I dated him while dating my boyfriend for several months. I was in love with two guys and knew i had to tell them and break up with one. My mom knew golf instructor (will call him GI) as my friend and the boyfriend from out of town as my boyfriend. They both thought I was only dating them. Well my boyfriend decides to see me and visit. He visited two times and I went to see him once and we dated for a little over a year. I told the GI that I was going to be visiting my cousin and will call him when I get back into town. We went to a store that a friend of GI’s worked at and he saw us together. I quickly said I was there with a cousin but he saw him kiss me and call me babe. Well he goes and calls him and tells him he saw me with another guy and I was in town. I had a horrible feeling in my stomach. I knew I had to tell my boyfriend what was going on and tell the other guy too. We drove into my driveway and I saw him waiting there! He already talked to my family and they knew about everything and so did GI. He found out how I was with my boyfriend for a year and how they knew GI as my friend, how I wasn’t visiting with my cousin, etc and my boyfriend found out when he got into the house. Tons of yelling from my family and GI as my boyfriend was trying to just talk it out with him and he was shocked. I got so upset I just left and came back inside and started crying. My boyfriend was more concerned about everyone yelling at me and told them to stop. GI wanted to still be with me and asked if I loved him because I told him several days ago. I had to lie to his face and tell him I never loved him because my boyfriend was there and I knew I didn’t want to lose him. It was horrible to see his face and watch him leave upset and to see my boyfriend hurt. GI said he knew I was lying and that I loved him and I said I didn’t and I loved my boyfriend. He left upset and I will never forget the hurt on his face. It broke my heart. My boyfriend was leaving in the morning to go home so it was a horrible goodbye. His face hurt me even more so. I apoligized and cried with him for hours and we decided we wanted to still be together but he said I have to earn his trust and need to work with him to move past everything. When he went home we talked on the phone every day but then things got too hard with trust issues so we stopped talking. He would think I was out with men when I was just at work or school for example. I understood for a while but when he started threatening my family with secrets I told him I had to put an end to it quickly. I didn’t want to but knew we weren’t meant to be and I destroyed the trust in our relationship.

10 years later and I still haven’t been able to move past how I hurt them. My ex boyfriend is married with kids when I looked for him on Facebook, and the other is in a relationship with a younger girl. I was wondering if I should write them and just apoligize for what I did. I found God and I completely changed my past ways and I grew up and met my husband. I don’t want to be friends with them or remain in contact with them, but I’m wondering if I should just let it go or if I should write them a note, mainly the golf instructor? I never contacted him again and have wanted to many times. I’m wondering if I should let it go or if I should send a note? If so, what should I say and not say? What would you do if you got contacted by an ex who cheated 10 years later to apoligize? It’s from my heart and I really want them to know I’m sorry. Idk if it’s worth it though. I wouldn’t tell my husband I wrote them if I did because be doesn’t know what happened and it’s something that I want to remain in the past as it was a one time thing and so long ago.

Thanks for your help! I feel like Ben where he is in love with two women, bit I was in love with two men. Just hate that I cheated and that’s the part that still hurts because I know I hurt them. For several years both of them were single when I looked at their Facebook and I knew it was a lot to do with me as they both were never single for years prior to me being with them. I appreciate any advice you can give. Thank you and keep up the great work with the spoilers! Glad caila isn’t the bachelorette now.

Comment: Why? What’s the point? If you’re happy in your current marriage, I mean it’s fine to look back and think about an ex, but this was such a detailed story of everything that happened, I don’t see why you feel the need to contact them. I would let it go. I understand you just want to apologize, but it’s been 10 years. I’m guessing they’re over it. If you really feel the need to, I would just send a FB email and make it as short as possible. Maybe just say that you saw his profile, he looks happy, that you’re happy for him, and even though it’s been a while, you just wanted to apologize for everything that happened in the past. But don’t go on and on rehashing what happened. I bet he doesn’t care. I wouldn’t do anything if I were you, but if you feel like you have to get this off your chest, just drop a quick line like that. I bet he doesn’t respond though.

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  1. rob22

    March 17, 2016 at 2:59 PM

    To the girl obsessing over some bad behavior 10 years ago and has changed her life & has God in her life. If you really read the Bible, it’s all about “letting go”, in many ways. Girl, you have to let go of this. Pray about it, ask for forgiveness and let it go. Nobody from 10 years ago wants to hear from you. Especially not someone you cheated on. It’s just a big disruption. So don’t FB them, or whatever, and both them. That’s just involving them in YOUR stuff. Just because you feel bad, doesn’t mean they need to get pulled back into your life. Stop it. If you really believe your faith, you have to learn to forgive, be forgiven and let go. Otherwise, you really haven’t learned or gained much from your spiritual awakening. It’s a process, of course, so don’t beat yourself up. But you have to let go. We all have things we regret. Join the club.

  2. rob22

    March 17, 2016 at 3:24 PM

    So, to the person with the crazy in-laws. First, understand that people always want a relationship with their families. Drug addicted losers without jobs. They still want a relationship, even if it’s not realistically ever really going to be what they want it to be. So, you need to draw some boundaries around it. What are you willing to do and not willing to do? It sounds like there really isn’t much required if you only saw them a couple of times. A drive by get together on Christmas is not that big of a deal. An hour for lunch, not a big deal. A weekend stay over. No. Don’t do that. As long as you only need to show up once or twice a year for an hour, or two, well, you should be able to do that. You should be able to be polite, and you should be able to smile when they act like jerks, knowing it’s just an hour of your life. If he starts wanting something more regular, tell him to knock himself out. Be supportive of his (unrealistic) desire to have a relationship with his family. He wants to see them, fine. But draw the line at visits lasting over a couple of hours. Be up front. Tell him you understand his desire to have a relationship and you completely support it. But you’re not up for more that an occasional short visit & when kids come along, you’re really not up for much contact at all. He can go all he wants to see them…. solo. Draw the boundaries well and completely avoid telling him what HE should do & how often he should see them. Just make sure it’s clear what YOU are willing to do and not do. I can’t emphasize this enough…. support him in HIS visits. Just don’t participate that much. Show up and smile once or twice a year. Give your “sincere” regrets beyond that.

    My guess is that all of his attempts with them won’t lead much of anywhere and you’ll get to the point where you see them once a year, if that. No need to create any drama. Let him discover this on his own. He already knows it anyway. It’s just a fantasy that “kids” have about their parents being close to them. It doesn’t always work out that way. People are who they are and they’re not going to change. Ever. I know several people who have handled it this way & it’s always played out the same. They end up minimizing or eliminating contact with the crazy families. And it just is what it is. And it isn’t much. Oppose his efforts and all you’re asking for is problems with your spouse. No need for that, at all. The parents will drive him away sooner rather than later & you haven’t had to do much of anything to make it happen. When someone you don’t like is self destructing, let them. They’ll do all the work for you. Let them be jerks. Nobody wants to be around jerks very much.

  3. llevin

    March 19, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    Love the info. Crack up at your humor, and I know you have to make money, but I gotta tell you, on all of my devices, it’s almost impossible to read your site. The pop ups are so bad that they mess with my computer, ipod, and phone–no matter what I’m on, even reading one page, I have to buffer twice. you’ve got to make these ads less user prohibitive. Please, ’cause I love what you have to say!

  4. rob22

    March 20, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    @llevin: you’re 100% right. We put up with the worst website in the history of earth to read his spoilers. For a while, this site was blocked by my privacy software because all of the junk on the site threw up so many red flags. His webmaster must be an 80 year old man.

  5. shari253

    March 23, 2016 at 5:06 PM

    To the person who is sorry about being in love with two guys ten years ago and wants to apologize: You have your own answer in your answer where you say you would not even want to tell your husband about it. That’s your answer and I’m surprised Steve did not pick up on that. If it is something you don’t feel you can be honest to your husband about, then it is not something you should do. My advice to you is to learn to be a more honest person. Really strive to change this quality about yourself where you have secrets and live a double inner life. It is not healthy and you will never really be happy if you do that. Also, for what it is worth, “finding God,” has nothing to do with anything. Being a good person who is not ashamed of anything they do or think is the important thing.

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