Dear Rachel,

I had a baby with a male friend and we have an open relationship. The problem is that I’m in love with him, but he still hooks up with other women. I thought I had come to terms with our relationship, as it is, but the older our daughter gets, the more I want to give her a steady home. How can I get the father of my baby to stop sleeping around and be monogamous with me?

Signed,

Ready To Be Steady

Dear Ready To Be Steady,

This is a tricky one. You seem to have come to some kind of agreement with your daughter’s father that initially allowed him to see other women. Now, you’d like to re-negotiate the terms of that agreement. If the birth of your daughter hasn’t inspired this man to be monogamous, he may not be a monogamous-relationship kind of guy. However, you’ll never know until you talk to him. Tell him that you’d like to set a healthy example for your daughter by showing her what a committed relationship looks like. Hopefully he wants the same. If he doesn’t, you may have to choose between him and another man who can be the role model you desire. Since you’re in love with your daughter’s father, it will be hard to let him go. However, if he doesn’t eventually want to settle down, you may have to look elsewhere for the stable home life you want for both your daughter and yourself.

Dear Rachel,

I’m miserable. I ruined the best relationship I’ve ever had. I wish I could take back my actions, but it’s too late. I broke the heart of the perfect man, and now he wants nothing to do with me. We fell in love, and then I cheated on him with someone I don’t even like. I couldn’t stop myself. What’s my problem?

Signed,

Miserable

Dear Miserable,

I recently received a letter from another reader who freaked out because her relationship was too good to be true. So you’re not alone. There’s a common tendency to self-sabotage “perfect” relationships out of fear. The more intense the relationship, the greater the chance that one or both people involved will destroy it beyond repair. When a relationship’s good, there’s more to lose, and so the stakes become higher. High stakes create high pressure that causes some people to self-destruct. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy when we create the exact outcome that we fear most. In this case, you may have subconsciously sabotaged your relationship because you were scared of losing it. But shouldn’t a good relationship feel good? Not if you don’t think you deserve to be happy. If you’re like most people, you may also be scared of getting your heart broken and feeling devastated. Or it could be that a healthy relationship feels foreign to you because you equate romance with dysfunction. In other words, fear can keep you from enjoying a fulfilling relationship.

You may feel that there will never be a man as perfect for you as your ex, but if you learn from this situation, you will get another chance at love. For the future, remember this: Just because you feel fear, doesn’t mean you have to act on it. Next time a relationship makes you feel scared, avoid taking action until the fear has subsided. In this way, you can avoid regret by sidestepping impulsive, fear-based decisions.

Dear Rachel,

I don’t trust my female friends with my husband. I have two close female friends in my social circle. I love them both dearly, but I don’t trust them with my husband. They’re both single and looking for love and my husband’s a catch. Whenever I have them over to the house, they come in full make-up and sexy clothes, even when we’re just going for coffee. They’re both promiscuous and flirtatious and one of them has had an affair with a married man in the past, so I know she’d do it again. Lately, I’ve made the decision to spend less time with my friends because I don’t want them around the house. Am I right to be wary of them, or am I being paranoid to think that my friends want to steal my husband?

Signed,

Suspicious

Dear Suspicious,

I don’t know if you’re generally suspicious of other women’s intentions towards your husband or if this is a friend-specific situation. From what you’ve told me, you may have legitimate concerns that your friends are untrustworthy. If these two specific female friends of yours make you feel uncomfortable, by all means don’t invite them to your house when your husband is around.

Regardless of your friends’ intentions, you must be able to trust your husband in order to maintain a healthy relationship with him. If you spend a significant amount of time worrying that your husband will cheat on you, there may be a deeper issue at work, either between you and your husband or within yourself, that needs to be addressed.

Rachel Iverson is a freelance writer, dating coach and author. Her book, “Don’t Help A Man Be A Man: How To Avoid 12 Dating Time Bombs,” has been endorsed by Dr. John Gray, author of “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.” For more information on Rachel or her book, visit www.rebelgirlpublishing.com. For dating advice, contact: rachel@rebelgirlpublishing.com.

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