The following are questions left over from my Jan. 22 live chat, “When to End It:”
I’ve had a passionate affair with a co-worker and I don’t want it to end. But what I once felt okay about is starting to weigh on me. I’m still single; she’s married, but says her husband’s like a roommate.
They have no kids, she’s out a lot (often with me), but he apparently doesn’t complain. I’m beginning to feel sorry for him, though I know I’ll miss her terribly. Do I end it to be kind to another man?
Yes, because “kindness” is not your only motivation. Something’s changed for you to now be thinking about this man… guilt?
Or, perhaps you have a feeling that she’s not told you the whole story, since she’s still living with him despite their having no children nor, she says, any sex – which are the usual ties that bind.
Sometimes, despite the passion, an “affair” wears thin because it’s not happening in the real world. She goes home to him, and that doesn’t seem about to change. Follow your instinct and end it.
My close friend’s with her second husband, and he’s as lazy and difficult as the first one was.
She had a nice house and three kids, he moved in, and only contributes to the food they eat, because he says she managed everything else without him before he moved in.
She accepts this, and doesn’t like to talk about it, but she never looks happy. What can I do to help her end it?
Listen, but don’t interfere. If she has you to complain to, and him to be annoyed with, she has ongoing drama. That may be what she’s used to accepting, rather than taking a stand and disrupting her life again.
However, this man’s also controlling her with his self-serving logic and refusal to contribute.
Since she’s visibly unhappy, mention that she owes it to herself and her children to at least talk to a professional therapist about her willingness to carry on that way.
Then change the topic. She has to dig deep on her own, to start that process. If she goes ahead, that’s when she’ll need your caring support.
I was very excited about a woman I met online, her photo was very sexy, and her profile promised “fun and passion.” We texted constantly every day, and when we finally met a week later, it was like lightning struck!
But after two months, it’s fizzled. She’s more homebody than it seemed, the sex has cooled, and we don’t have a lot of stuff to even text each other any more. Do I just stop contact, or do I have to officially say it’s over?
Disappearing by just abruptly ending contact is cowardly. It fosters anger in the other person who’s “dumped” without explanation, when in fact this wasn’t a long, committed relationship, and ending it isn’t a betrayal of any sort.
Moreover, you don’t want her or anyone else to perceive you as a hit-and-run guy, and post that message on Facebook or other social media.
It’s far more decent to say, honestly, “You’re a lovely person, and we both started dating with very positive feelings. It was great. But we’ve seen that we don’t really have that much in common to keep this going. I wish you well…”
It takes a minute but says a lot about you that’s all good.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman being judged by a friend for not having children:
Reader – “With so many people opting to not have children, those that do often feel like they need to put it out there just how awesome parenting is (which it is... most of the time).
“I've been on both sides of it (one child by choice in my late 30s). Half my friends have kids, the others don't. Finding the balance in those relationships is sometimes hard.
“Tell your friend that the choice was hard for you, but it was right for you. Tell her that you're glad that she finds joy in her kids, and she’s doing a great job as a mom.
“Once she realizes that "rejecting" kids (which is NOT what you're doing, but the way she sees it) is not a rejection of her, or a judgment on her choice, then your friendship may recover.”
Tip of the day:
When your instinct is to end a relationship, face up to the reasons.