Dear Annie: Eight months ago, I started dating “Ron.” His wife died two months before my companion passed away. We started as friends, and then it became something more. We have similar interests and get along great with one exception: Ron’s 41-year-old married stepdaughter, “Sonya.” Sonya told Ron that he is not allowed to date anyone, and any woman he sees will not be part of her family.
The first time I met Sonya, she threatened me, saying I would get hurt if anything happened to Ron. Ron just sat there and made no effort to stand up for us as a couple.
Since then, Ron has broken up with me three times because Sonya pressured him. The last time was when she criticized him for taking me to see the Fourth of July fireworks. Ron sat there cowering while Sonya jumped on his case. He now says he can’t date me because he might go back to his church. I offered to go with him. Lately, he’s been treating me like dirt. He doesn’t call and won’t do anything with me, and if I see him, he acts distracted and makes me feel bad for wanting to be with him. I have fallen in love with Ron and don’t want to lose him. Do you think he is cheating? – Hopelessly Confused
Dear Hopeless: No. We think he is tightly wrapped around Sonya’s finger. She completely controls him, and he permits it because he is too weak to stand up for himself, let alone you. This relationship is going nowhere. Unless Ron develops a backbone, you will lose every time. Do yourself a favor and cut him loose.