In a way, we all have to be Bobo dolls if we're going to make it through life. We've got to be able to take a punch and stand back up, and take a punch and stand back up.
Lana was newly divorced when she met Jason. He told her he and his wife had split because he gave up drugs and she didn't.
Lana says: "He got clean and began running and lost weight. She continued to use."
Lana and Jason dated and moved in together and then became engaged a year later. She says: "He was handsome with a wonderful personality. We were a socially active, professional couple with grown children and a healthy sex life. It seemed we had it all."
After several years, they bought a condo together. Then, Jason started spending more and more time at the health club and less and less time with Lana. Except the health club wasn't a health club; it was a gay bathhouse.
She says: "Here I was, wearing an engagement ring given to me by a man who was cheating on me two nights a week. But I was stuck. My name was on a mortgage with him."
Eventually, the stress of the situation became intolerable, and Lana collapsed at work. She convinced Jason to buy her share of the condo and moved out of state.
After, she says: "Jason's former wife emailed me and said she'd wanted to warn me. He'd done the same thing to her. She suggested I search my computer for anything strange."
Lana followed her advice and learned that Jason belonged to gay sex clubs across the country, and that he'd run ads and posted nude pictures on the websites.
She described: "The memberships and ads dated back to before I met him and showed activity for every month that we were together. He had a completely secret life! It took me four years to find out."
When Lana arrived in her new home, she weighed 84 pounds. But her health has improved. And she decided she's ready to date. "First I turned to the internet, but those dating sites scared me, so I took out a local personal ad," she says.
Lana got some responses, which she shared:
She says: "First responder: After making a date, he was a total no-show! Fourteen hours after we were to meet, I got an email from him telling me he'd fallen asleep. Rip Van Idiot then wanted me to go to breakfast with him that morning. No thanks.
"Second responder: He emailed me about how perfect we'd be and asked for a photograph. I emailed one. He had every excuse in the world not to send me one. I told him I wouldn't meet anyone who wouldn't send a photograph for safety reasons. Then he started calling me names.
"Third responder: Maybe the third time is the charm. This fellow seems sincere. He sent a photo, and we have a bit in common and enough differences to make this potentially interesting. We're trying to meet up, and he sounds very nice.
"So, you win a few; you lose a few; and then there are rain delays. Life goes on!"
Has life made you a Bobo Doll? Send your tale, along with your questions and problems to [email protected] And check out my new e-book, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."