I'm a young queer man in a committed relationship for over a year.
My partner’s a wonderful man, but I've recently grown resentful of him. Previously, he’d described his past history of partying with narcotics.
It’s troubled me how excited he gets at the prospect of scoring the cheapest drug available.
He lives with his roommate, a long-time friend. His attitude’s become negative, telling me "he hates people.”
I've had to cancel social outings and gatherings because he doesn't want to go, or "forgets."
He and his roommate both say they have social anxiety, but I'm unsure what to believe.
I’m still living with my parents while in university, paying off my student debt.
He and his roommate pressure me to move in with them, for all to have cheaper rent.
He’s content with staying in this city, but my field may take me elsewhere or overseas for work.
He finds flaws with any places where I’d be happy to live and work.
I no longer feel love. But I fear that I’ll hurt him so deeply he’ll eventually relapse.
I've tried to be there for him, but it's not reciprocated.
I realize what my answer is, but how do I make it not hurt as much?
Sad Task Ahead
The relationship’s already “done.”
Most important, he’s narrowing his life interests while you’re broadening yours.
Staying together will bring more pressure for financial help and a wider, impassable gap between you.
You’re not responsible for his potential for relapse. But you can be kind even as you end the relationship.
Do the research as to where there’s a local Narcotics Anonymous group. Urge him to attend.
Tell him you both know that he needs that. And you also both know that you’re no longer meeting each others’ needs and wants.
I have one older brother and a seven-year-old niece. Although not close, we’ve maintained a good relationship. I’ve always attended my niece's birthdays, gatherings, etc.
When I married a year ago, my wife and I chose someone on her side as flower girl instead of my niece – this wasn’t communicated to my brother beforehand.
He was extremely upset and insulted. He caused a scene at the wedding.
After months of silence, he was adamant that something had to be done to reconcile.
However, my wife was upset with his behaviour at the wedding.
She insists that nothing needs to be done; it was “our wedding, our decision, our day.”
My parents, though staying neutral, aren’t allowed to mention us when they see my brother, sister-law, and niece.
We now have a baby girl. My brother and his family haven’t attended our baby shower, or her birthday, and haven’t formally met her.
Is this a hopeless situation? What are my next steps?
Wedding excitement sometimes blurs what are natural considerations.
While it’s the bride’s choice for flower girl, your involvement with just one niece could’ve prompted including her with the other girl.
At least, you should’ve alerted your brother and his wife. It’s the omission that was so hurtful.
However, his negativity at the actual wedding was also wrong.
If you want to have any relationship in the future, you need to apologize about your part in this and suggest something restorative… e.g. naming your niece as “god-sister” to the baby.
Your wife is unfair to insist that you maintain the family breach.
It’s unkind to everyone, even your own child, to lose out on family closeness due to insensitivity on both sides, and stubbornness.
FEEDBACK Regarding the Asian woman (early-30s) whose father wouldn't accept her pregnancy or her fiancé. She wrote, “he’s skeptical that Caucasian guys are good men,” (August 23):
Reader – “If a white male said Asian, Jewish, or black men aren’t good guys, would you let such blatant racism pass unremarked?
“You have a platform to address what I call “casual” bigotry. Recent events have clearly shown that racism is gaining momentum.”
Ellie - All racism offends me and should offend every reader, just as it bothered you. The statement was about what happened in the woman’s life and what she wanted known, in seeking advice.
It was not included as an "okay" statement. It showed how bigotry infects even parent-child relationships.
My purpose is similar to yours – to show the ugliness of bigotry, even when they reflect “cultural” myths/fears.
I backed her decision to cut ties with her parents if there’s no acceptance.
Tip of the day:
Without love and respect, a break-up’s easily looming.