I recently ended a nine-year relationship; the main reason was lack of communication on both our parts. I’d let it get out of control.
Though I’m not emotionally able anymore to try again, I still care about her and want to help her and her kids get through this. I’ve told her I’ll help as much as I can financially, and want to take the burden of the break-up from her so she stops blaming herself.
What else should I do? I don’t want her to suffer.
Concern is good, financial arrangements are crucial, but over-involvement can be problematic.
Your long time together puts you in a position of responsibility to help provide for her children – this is not just generosity, but a moral (and possibly legal) obligation, depending on the family laws where you live.
The “blame” is an emotional concern that you both should have, if each of you hopes to succeed in another relationship. Communication is a necessary part of living together; otherwise, misunderstandings and hurts occur.
Instead of being solicitous as if you’re the wise one (implying that she’s not), accept equal blame and say that you intend to explore why you were uncommunicative. Hopefully, she’ll consider doing the same. Then, back off.
You can’t break up and then hang around as Mr. Helpful and Caring. It sends the wrong message that you’re still taking care of her.
To move forward, she needs to care for herself.
I met a wonderful woman on a group vacation; I was attracted immediately but didn’t approach her until the last few days. We connected instantly. But we live in two different countries.
We’re both 30 and want this long-distance relationship to work.
Long distance relationships work best if there’s a solid base of knowing each other. It means you two need to arrange mutual visits soon, and also develop the ability to communicate well – and honestly - through email, phone and letters.
If the commitment is realistic as well as equally shared it can work… so long as there’s a future together in the planning.
I’m in my early 40’s, and have no one to communicate with - no family, no friends, no boy friend.
I had a hard life since childhood; I’ve raised my sons alone and am proud of them all.
I’m extremely lonely – on my own 20 years.
I previously had two friends, but each was using me in different ways, and one of them was constantly putting me down.
I’m educated, smart, attractive, but scared to meet the wrong people.
I’d love to write my own story, and to sing solo professionally.
How can I find nice people and also fulfill my dreams?
Writing your personal story may be helpful eventually, but not now if it keeps you isolated longer. Look for a community centre you can get to regularly, or a congregation of your faith, to join their group programs, discussions, book clubs, whatever catches your interest.
Doing these things will increase your contact with many, and spark conversations that can lead to friendships. But be careful not to come across as too needy as it’s often off-putting to new acquaintances.
If you have singing talent, pursue it – join a choir to get started, and take some lessons to boost your confidence.
Also, many community adult-education programs and colleges have writing workshops where you can hone your story-telling skills.
I’m a male, 29, in an 18-month same-sex relationship.
We’ve stopped having sex because he’s either not in the mood or makes me feel bad for initiating. Now, I suspect he’s been sleeping with others.
We’d agreed that I can have sex with other people until we’ve figured out our problem, but we did NOT agree he could sleep with anyone else, since he causes the problem!
- Resentful and Distrusting
This relationship isn’t working, whether he’s guilty or not. Take a break.
There’s already a huge breach between you - his distance and negative attitude have bred your resentment and distrust. Once you call a halt to this silent power struggle (which withholding sex is often about), you’ll soon know whether he cares enough to want to go to sex counselling together or at least compromise on sexual frequency.
You’ll also likely know from the gossip mill, whether he’s sleeping around.
Tip of the day:
After you’ve called for a break-up, be careful not to send the wrong messages through over-involvement.